It's fair to say that fan anticipation for Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite is running high. The first game in the series since 2011, Infinite is slated to arrive in late-2018 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows PC, and gamers have been rabid to learn every bit of information they can about what the franchise's next chapter will bring.
It's also fair to say that the absence of the X-Men from the fighting game's vast roster of Marvel Comics superstars has not gone unnoticed. Indeed, from the moment the game was announced, the lack of a single familiar mutant face on the card, which is made up almost entirely of heroes who are a part of the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe, was a point of contention among fans who are otherwise thrilled to see the franchise continue. Now, an interview with producers Peter Rosas and Michael Evans has shed new light on why Wolverine, Storm and the rest of the X-clan have been left on the sidelines, though it's a reason that's unlikely to make fans happy.
After openly admitting that there are aspects about the X-Men licensing deal he can't speak to, Evans said the character selection was driven first by the characters his team wanted to work with, then by storytelling potential. He then pointed out one more argument in favor of leaving the mutants out of the fighting action.
"[T]he third one is obviously the popularity of these characters. X was one we had to get in there. A lot of fans wanted to see X, so we brought him back. Then also we talked with Marvel very closely about their future roadmap, about what's gonna be happening," Evans explained in the Gamespot interview. "Your modern Marvel fan, maybe they don't even remember some of the X-Men characters, but they know some of the Guardians characters or Black Panther. You know what I mean? Captain Marvel may seem like a strange pick, but she's fantastic. She fits the gameplay. She fits the story, and they're gonna be really pushing her as a strong female lead all the way up into the movie. We're trying to take everything into account and choose the best characters."
This answer is unlikely to pass muster with most fans, considering the characters are the basis in one of Fox's most successful movie franchises to date. In fact, the reasoning is more likely to fan the flames of a long-persistent rumor that Marvel has spent the last several years banning the characters from licensing deals in order to prevent having to share moneys generated from the characters with 20th Century Fox. While no Marvel or Fox executives have ever gone on record to confirm this as being the case, whenever a new licensing deal, publishing slate or other project has been announced without the X-Men's involvement, the rumor flares up once again, as will likely be the case here.
Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite will arrive Sept. 19 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows PC, and will include single-player Arcade, Training and Mission modes, and multi-player content, as well as an immersive cinematic Story Mode.