Published on May 15th, 2013 | by David Arce2
Ace Attorney 5 gets digital-only western release
In a move that should calm some of the intense distrust and heartache coming from fans of the various series’ they control, Capcom has announced that Ace Attorney 5 — now known as Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies — will be heading to the west for the Nintendo 3DS. In another move which may rekindle those same ill feelings, Capcom also announced that it will only be released as a digital download on Nintendo’s eShop. A price point hasn’t been revealed yet, and the game is set to come out in fall 2013.
Capcom’s Christian Svensson explained in a post on Capcom Unity why a physical release wasn’t possible: “Historically it’s been tough to attract long term retail support for Ace Attorney titles. With the release of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies we wanted as many people as possible to be able to enjoy the game for as long as possible. With that in mind we have opted for a digital only release via the Nintendo 3DS eShop. I understand that this decision may upset fans who wanted to have a physical version of the title to add to their collection but we believe this direction is the best to take. We will be confirming details on the price point in the not-so-distant future which I hope will also shed more light on the strategy at play here.”
Despite all their missteps in the past, including the atrocious handling of Street Fighter x Tekken‘s on-disc DLC, Resident Evil 6 managing to sell 5 million copies and still somehow become a failure, and pretty much everything related to Mega Man, this might actually be the best course of action for the Ace Attorney series.
The series’ has always had its own issues with sales. Spin-off title Ace Attorney Investigations 2 was never localized due to the disappointing sales of its prequel, and Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney barely scraped by. Regardless, the news of Dual Destinies being a digital-only title won’t sit well with some. Many Nintendo users have previously voiced their concerns over buying games digitally on the eShop due to the lack of a structured account system. These are valid issues to bring up, as a lost or stolen 3DS system could result in losing all of one’s digital games permanently.
My hopeful interpretation of Capcom’s comments on the price point for the game is that Dual Destinies could be priced lower than the MSRP standard for 3DS games. Of course, Capcom hasn’t had the best reputation when it comes to pricing 3DS games. Last year they wanted gamers to fork over $50 for Resident Evil Revelations. Couple that with Nintendo’s attitude towards pricing digital games, and it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that Dual Destinies might end up being $40 on the eShop.
The most frightening thing about this turn of events is what happens if Dual Destinies fails to meet whatever sales expectations are set for it. Falling short could spell doom for any future Ace Attorney games in the west.