Why Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies Is Being Released As A Download Game

By Ishaan . May 13, 2013 . 11:30am

This morning, Capcom announced that Ace Attorney 5 is being released in the West as a download-only title via the Nintendo eShop. Titled Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies, the game is slated for release in the West this Fall.


This is the first time that a major new Ace Attorney game is being released as a download-only title, and Capcom USA’s Senior Vice-President, Christian Svensson, explains why. On the Capcom forums, Svensson shares:


Sorry guys, but a physical release is not in the cards.


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.


You can read more about Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies using our tag for the game.


Read more stories about & on Siliconera.

  • Am I missing something here, or is Capcom hoping that everyone forgot that Ace Attorney Investigations 2 exists?

    • Chris Lane

      I hate what Capcom has become. But at least were getting it.

    • Reki Honoo

      Basically as it had been said in the other post, when they were ported to ios, they did well there.

      • ronin4life

        Those ios portwouldn’t have exsited without the success of the ds games in the west.

        This reasoning seems like half the story. Retail AA has always done well, minus the spinoff investigations. And many much smaller companies can release far more niche games and make profit, so I doubt capcom couldn’t with something as well known as AA.

        This is product farming: There is no risk in retail, only more overhead that would cut into their profits. Profits they are near garunteed to have regardless.

        • Adam Elfassy

          Finally someone who gets it! Their motivation is greed. Shovelware titles and movie tie-ins get full retail releases and they’re the perfect candidates for digital-only releases. Just look at the shitty clearance bins you find all over filled with that junk.

    • Coeurl

      Now THAT is a game I wouldn’t mind a digital release for.

      • Unless full digital DS games are planned for the eShop, it’s just not happening. The time has long since past for it to be profitable, if this article is anything to go by.

        • Coeurl

          Maybe on the future WiiU2 shop then.

    • creid8

      They probably would’ve done a digital-only release for AAI2 if Nintendo had their shit together at the time (as far as digital distribution is concerned.)

      • Capcom would’ve had to upgrade the game to DSiWare. Additional coding and QA beyond mere translated text/graphics/voice to fit in with previous AA games.

  • Kavyn

    Hopefully the price tag reflects the change to Digital-Only. As much as I love PW I have absolutely no intention of paying $40 when that price accounts the manufacturing, shipping, etc.

  • XYZ_JolteonZ980

    Well I guess it seems like the game will be discount priced.

    • Coeurl

      It better be or i’ll be waiting for the sale

    • I don’t bet on it, some of digital game on eshop is about £39.99 lol

  • NLucafs

    First off, yes, I’m mad, so if this post comes off as a bit edgy, I apologize.

    “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.”

    I have never heard a more BS excuse about something in my life. If
    you want as many people as possible to enjoy the game as long as
    possible, then retail is the OBVIOUS answer here. We all already know
    that Capcom isn’t doing a physical release because they think the game
    won’t sell well enough to justify such a thing (because that’s the ONLY
    reason any company ever does DD only on a non-PC platform. That, or they just want more of your money, because DD is cheaper for them, but
    they’ll still charge the typical retail MSRP). The fact that they make up this
    excuse to make it seem like they have our best interests in mind when
    they really don’t is just… disgusting.

    On that note, how can sales of the AA series be so low that they
    don’t justify a physical release? How much money could it have possibly
    taken to make AA5? It’s not some AAA-budget title that has to sell
    millions to break even, it’s a text adventure with some simple models
    and menus in it.

    Just… agh. I was really excited for this game and all of my excitement has gone right down the drain with this digital only release. Coupled with Nintendo’s pretty awful online business model, I think I’m just going to pass on this one.

    • Solomon_Kano

      The fact that they make up this excuse to make it seem like they have our best interests in mind when they really don’t is just… disgusting.

      What excuse? He outright says this is because they don’t think it’ll sell well based on the previous games.

      Historically it’s been tough to attract long term retail support for Ace Attorney titles.

      The games don’t continue selling. They hit a drop-off. They lack longevity. There are several ways to restate that, none of them excuses, all of them acknowledging their lack of confidence in the series’ long-term sales potential.

      • Ladius

        Problem is, the same could be said for lots of niche games, and that’s why other publishers have successfully made small print runs while also using digital services.

        Only on 3DS, we have seen physical releases that are as niche or even more obscure than AA5, like the upcoming Hakuoki 3DS, Code of Princess, Project X Zone, VLR and others.

        • Solomon_Kano

          That’s neither here nor there though. He was saying they’re making excuses, yet the statement clearly acknowledges that they don’t believe in its potential as a retail title. Could they have done a small print run? Certainly, but I’m not arguing that to begin with.

          • Ladius

            Yeah, I think the issue with their position is linking the potential of a game as a retail title with so-called “long legs” (the potential to sell for months), as they’re called in sales threads, while retail releases are fully possible even without huge orders from retailers or constant sales.

            In fact, most games outside of AAA franchises concentrate their sales in the first weeks after release, or even in the preorder phase.

          • Solomon_Kano

            Yea, it kinda makes me laugh considering they gave MH a physical release despite its failure to really catch on in the west being well-documented. Long legs being an issue here but not there just kinda makes me scratch my head.

          • I think the difference is that Capcom USA has always seen immense future potential for Monster Hunter in the West. Even with MH3U, while the game isn’t going to sell a million copies, it’s clearly doing well enough that people are taking note of it and talking about it on more mainstream sites, which is something that has never happened before.

            So, in the case of MH3U, I feel like they did it because they’re building up to MH4 and whatever else is coming beyond that. They were probably well aware 3U wasn’t going to sell a huge amount, since it’s primarily an updated version of Tri.

          • Solomon_Kano

            Hm. Fair enough.

        • Alexander Marquis Starkey

          You also have to consider that certain companies have different standards for niche games, and if they don’t hit those standard, then it is of their belief that it’s not worth the effort to make it.

      • OneOkami

        Tell me if the logic of these two statements flow together to you:

        “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.”

        In what way does releasing the game ONLY digitally somehow benefit people being able to enjoy the game as long as possible?

        Yes, I think we all know the real reason why they’re going digital only, but I believe what Nick takes issue with (as do I) is the BS PR speak that tries to skirt around that fact and spin this as a positive thing using logic that makes no sense.

        I can’t stand PR lingo garbage like that. Just say sales of the series haven’t been strong enough to justify the costs of physical production and be done with it.

        • Solomon_Kano

          You’re barking up the wrong tree. Whether the statements in question make sense or not isn’t in what I’m responding to.

          Nick’s statement that they were making an excuse rather than saying “they think the game won’t sell well enough to justify such a thing” is what I’m responding to. There’s no PR BS there, Sven outright says that it doesn’t have the staying power for them to think it worth a physical release.

        • NeoAthanasius

          I think what he is getting at is this, retail will not commit to keep this game in stock for the long term. This leads to people not being able to find the game in stock anywhere. Whereas the eshop will never have this issue. It’s not PR lingo, it essentially means they don’t have to deal with the headache of retail. Retail space is very limited, and it can be a battle to secure it. Also the game will never have stock issues on the eshop. I think he is being completely transparent with this statement.

          • OneOkami

            Oh, I realize what he’s saying, but I’m seeing through his BS PR wording of it. Yes, a physical item will only be on shelves and available for so long, and digital item can be made available for as long as there is a means to distribute it that way. That’s not what I was referring to when I said PR lingo garbage.

            The PR lingo BS I’m talking about is saying that you want as many people as possible to enjoy your game as long possible, and then try to use that as justification to distributing a game digitally ONLY. First off, like I said before, ONLY digitally distributing your game poses absolutely no added benefit to that end versus distributing both physical and digital copies.

            Second, his careful (or should I say “manipulative”) wording tries spin this decision as a positive thing for consumers by saying they’re doing it keeping in mind wanting “as many people as possible to be able to enjoy the game for as long as possible”, when in fact it’s actually a negative thing for some consumers because they’ve less choice in how they may purchase the game, some people prefer physical copies, and some people do not like the way Nintendo handles digital content licenses. To word it this way as if they’re doing this as a “benefit” to consumers is BS and personally a tad bit insulting because I know he’s just trying to cleverly skirt around the REAL reason most if not all of us here know why they’ve decided to distribute this game digitally ONLY (which brings me to my 3rd point).

            Again as I’ve said before, sales of the series haven’t been strong enough to justify the costs of physical production. Just say it! We know it. We understand the logic of it. Just be honest about it instead of beating around the bush . Skirting around the real (and simple, I might add) reason for only digitally distributing the game what I’m talking about when I say PR lingo garbage and I can’t stand it. It’s manipulative, arguably dishonest, and personally a bit insulting.

            Don’t tell me you won’t give me a choice in what format I may purchase your game and then tell me you made that decision with my interests in mind. I wasn’t born 5 minutes ago.

      • NLucafs

        In my original post, I say that we all know that Capcom isn’t doing a physical release because they think the sales won’t justify it BECAUSE Sven states it. I… figured that was obvious.

        The problem with this being he went on after saying that Capcom doesn’t believe the series has long-term potential to saying things like “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.” (which IS an excuse, no matter how you slice it).

        Look, I understand that Capcom is business. They’re making games so that they can turn a profit. If they think that a digital-only method (however much I disagree with it) is the best way to make money off of a product, then that’s their prerogative.

        But don’t try to say things like “we wanted as many people as possible to be able to enjoy the game for as long as possible.” just to try and put a positive spin on your decision, ESPECIALLY when the spin you try to put on it directly contradicts what you are actually doing.

        • Suicunesol

          Doesn’t putting it on the eShop make the game available at all times to everyone who wants to buy it regardless of when the game was released? If it was a retail release, you would have to go hunting around, and in a year after its release, it may be extremely difficult to find AA5 on shelves. I think it was the same way from the previous AA entries.

          It’s a “positive spin” for sure, but I don’t think it contradicts.

          • SolRevr

            That’s what I took away from the “enjoying the game for as long as possible” part as well. Having easy access to it for years to come.

    • Asclepius

      wanna know what’s the more obvious answer?

    • Luna Kazemaru

      Because they see the game will not sell much its bad they moved to a safer route? ….WHAT

  • Adrián Alucard

    “we wanted as many people as possible to be able to enjoy the game.”

    With the eShop only release I think it’s completely the opposite.

    “we wanted as few people as possible to be able to enjoy the game.”

    • I have yet to see anyone claim issue with the eShop to the point where they can’t use it at all.

    • eShop can sell to as many people as there is demand (for those willing to buy digitally); physical copies will cost more to produce and always be limited in numbers. – That’s my takeaway from that part.

      • Ladius

        If their objective was to reach the largest number of players the best thing would have been providing a small print run alongside the eShop release, though.

        We’ve already seen a good number of niche 3DS retail release that were successful because they were able to print the right amount of copies, using eShop as a venue for those who couldn’t find one or were fine with dd. It is a matter of planning and good will, but it’s hard to call it unfeasible when games like Hakuoki 3DS and Project X Zone are able to get retail editions.

        I will buy this game regardless, but Capcom’s choices damage the fanbase as a whole, since we all know many fans will boycott it, potentially jeopardizing the series’ future in the process.

        • The speculation of how big the boycotter crowd actually is is best saved for after the sales numbers come out. Comment sections are hardly reliable sources for statistics.

          • mirumu

            Speculation after the sales numbers come out is hardly a reliable source for statistics either.

          • A collection of random unorganized noises VS. actual records that are bound to be more systematic in comparison – do the math. Even if the reliability still wouldn’t be perfect, it’s still more sensible than randomly guessing the power of the vocal people.

            And I’m not the one trying to speculate anything here; bring that up to people who are.

  • The problem isn’t Capcoms decision. I get it in a business way, and digital stuff seemed to work for them so far, so don’t worry there Svensson. The problem is Nintendo’s online service which just outright sucks, from beginning to end. Not to mention we don’t get any safety either.

    • M’iau M’iaut

      Does downloading the game require an always on connection to play? Don’t see any mention of that. SD cards are honestly about as cheap as memory gets and even for a game as big as this there is plenty of room for it and others. Store the downloads alongside the rest of the DS collection, not asking a lot there.

      • gold163

        The problem arises that the long-term support for downloadable titles can always be brought into question. The appeal of physical media lies in the assumption that the game will last as long as you take care of it (and as long a the physical restrictions of the medium will allow). Essentially, the physical media are complete products that you can retain full ownership of in a traditional sense, whereas digitally-distributed products are perceived to lack a tangible quality due to the nature of their distribution and access (whether this is true or important or not is up to debate).

        Nintendo and Capcom probably reserve the right to take down the game from digital storefronts at any time or lock out customers from their purchases for any reason. This is why they have EULAs and ToS.

        Furthermore, as long as store accounts on the 3DS are hardware-locked (are they still hardware locked?), there is always the risk of “losing” your purchases if your system breaks down.

        There are two counter-points to this:

        First, the issue that Nintendo or Capcom may relinquish a digital purchase at any time is not isolated to Nintendo’s service; this is the risk that ANY digital distribution service presents its customers with. If the servers shut down you’re SoL if you want to download the game again, especially if the game has implemented DRM, which is most of them.

        Second, while hardware-locking is indeed a problem, there are indications that Nintendo is at least attempting to move away from this model in the long term with how they are adjusting the Wii U eShop. Furthermore, Nintendo has traditionally been pretty good about providing hardware repairs and long-term support for online services. I mean, there are no indications that the Wii Virtual Console will shut down any time soon, and seven-year-old DS games are still playable online (even if the playing populations are dead). You have to pay a fee for hardware repairs, of course, but this isn’t like the Xbox where if Microsoft shuts down the Live servers and your Xbox breaks down you’re probably totally fucked.

        • M’iau M’iaut

          It is just troubling when comments are made against a console DL title and folks still flock to steam and buy Humble Indie Bundles on a weekly basis. Full console game downloads usually come with far less DRM than PC game downloads and the storefronts are run by the console manufacturers themselves. Folks who have a far greater interest in keeping the doors open than what is basically only a digital store.

          • gold163

            I would argue that the fact that the storefronts are run by the console manufacturers themselves is what causes the uncertainty. The console manufacturers would apparently have no obligation to support older online services once the generation has passed.

            Contrast this to a service like Steam, which is not being held back by the need to accommodate entire generations of dedicated hardware specifications so much as be able to support smaller increments of them.

            In my opinion the console manufacturers themselves actually have less interest or obligation to keep the doors open in their digital stores. If it’s not going to sell a new Xbox or Playstation, or if it’s not compatible with the new hardware, why keep it around? Assuming that the Playstation 4 can never play digital purchases of Playstation 3 games, why would Sony continue to sell or distribute PS3 games long after they’ve stopped selling the hardware, and long after the retail sales have stopped? Microsoft shut down support for first-generation Xbox Live products and services midway through the 360’s life cycle, because these products and services were no longer making them any money, while these services also cost money to keep running.

            As long as console storefronts aren’t scalable from generation to generation, I can imagine each generation of services shutting down once their time is done. It only makes sense. On the other hand, if the console storefronts do become compatible with all future generations, then… what’s the point of buying a console? What you’d have at that point is a glorified and obsolete gaming computer.

          • Barrylocke89

            That…is actually a very compelling reason to shift ones support to PC gaming. I’ve already realized that one of the only reasons that I still go for consoles+handhelds vs sticking to PC gaming is because the games I’m interested (ie mostly Eastern games) tend to not be found on the PC. Most of the western games that I buy, especially those that are on consoles vs handhelds, are also on PC, and that’s where I usually buy them.

        • Alexander Marquis Starkey

          Where here is the thing. Developers, publishers, and the company that runs the market place WILL ALWAYS have multiple back ups of the original game, so it’s more than likely that if something changes about their digital distribution services, they will always be able to put their game up on the market place.

          • gold163

            Yes, but the question is, will they? Most companies retain the source code and original game assets for the sake of archiving and copyright. If the company goes bust and is liquidated and does not retain their assets, the original game is essentially lost forever. If Nintendo’s servers shut down forever and Capcom no longer exists in the year 20XX, then what happens? Given that this is not likely to happen, especially not any time soon, realistically it’s not something we have to worry about, but whenever we question digital distribution we’re not talking about reality; we’re talking about ideals.

            I can concede that the idea of a digital-only release disappearing forever is kind of far-fetched and stretches a bit too far into an indeterminate future, but it’s this very ideal of longevity and ownership that’s being called into question whenever exclusive digital distribution is concerned. On the other hand, you could always make the argument that video games are ALWAYS digitally distributed, even on physical media.

            Of course, the potential damage caused by some dystopian future is mitigated by the fact that the game *does* have a physical retail release — in Japanese, that is.

  • I think that’s a safe bet for a cheaper release… Either that or an episodic release… : O

  • riceisnice

    Dare I say it? I’m okay with digital.

    Oh please, lower your pitchforks and muskets.I’m aware of the danger. I’m aware of the fear from “digital overlords”. But this is a form of convenience. Part of the ongoing cycle of improvement. It’s okay if you prefer cartridges, but don’t berate us because we’re not the “hardcore” gamers with shelves of mint-condition box arts and manuals. We just want to play the game by downloading midnight releases as soon as possible!

    I just hope the price reflects the decision. Can someone say 29.99?

    • D H

      It’s not the boxes and manuals, and I get tired of people saying that that is the issue. The issue is, I want to play it when I want to play it, and not however long its offered. I can, in fifteen years, go find a copy of Ace Attorney 1. Unless there’s some upgraded bundle-packed version or something, in 15 years, there is no guarantee that I can play Ace Attorney 5 now. Sure, they can keep releasing it on every digital platform. Eventually though, sales aren’t going to be enough to give them an interest to. Also, if my system dies, then I may or may not have rebuy the game and the system with digital copies, depending on what store it’s on. Also, if I want to upgrade to a new system that features backwards compatibility, Nintendo has shown us that there is a good chance that I’d have to rebuy classic games to make them work on the system. If you want to support digital, that’s fine, but I want to support the longevity of a purchase. I’m not buying a license to play the game, despite what the manual/screen/whatever says, when I buy a physical copy, I’m buying the game to play whenever I want to, midnight, tomorrow, next week, next decade, next score, for my descendants next century. Obviously, they aren’t going to care by that point, but the idea stands.

      • Alexander Marquis Starkey

        Look dude, I get all that, but do you really think companies that run digital E-Market places, are so stupid that their digital servers could crash and they do not multiple back ups of the original games at disposal? No only do Nintendo, Microsoft, Sony, Valve have back ups, but so do the actually developers, the publishers, and probably a few other entities.

        If something does happen, it may not always be be guaranteed immediately, but there is very small chance that if something were happen to digital servers, that those games would be lost forever.

        • Armane

          You don’t understand. Licenses expire. Look at Outrun Online Arcade for example; Sega’s license with Ferrari expired and they chose not to renew it, so you can no longer buy the title. Or similarly with Fate/Unlimited Codes (although I believe, in the US, you can still buy it via GameStop).

          Those games are as good as lost now to those who didn’t already own them.

  • Ladius

    I will probably buy this game day one regardless since I would like this series to survive in the west, but this explanation makes little sense.

    If their issue was to make this release reach as many people as possible they could have very well made a small physical print run (like Aksys’ Hakuoki 3DS or VLR, Namco’s Project X Zone, Atlus’ Code of Princess etc) AND a digital eShop release, giving customers the choice between those business models while giving AA5 at least a modicum of retail presence. It isn’t like dual releases aren’t common on 3DS.

    I imagine a big publisher like Capcom isn’t familiar with small print runs and isn’t interested in exploring that possibility for a single release when they usually deal with heavy hitters, but that doesn’t make it unfeasible or unprofitable. In fact, seeing the comments online I fear lots of fans will probably boycott AA5 because of this choice (eShop’s issues make anti-digital stances even more aggressive, too), while releasing it normally could have made it at least a niche hit.

    • In fact, seeing the comments online I fear lots of fans will probably boycott AA5…

      You are honestly overestimating the vocal minority as always. The 80,000 people that bought Fire Emblem via eShop say hi. Money talks louder than comments on Disqus.

      edit: As an aside, I’m so glad Nintendo put out those eShop numbers for Fire Emblem: Awakening. It’s going to put an end to all of this boycott nonsense that people love to pull. Boycotts don’t work. They never will. Fire Emblem is a testament to the fact that there are more people interested in simply playing these games than having a box for them.

      • Ladius

        If anything, Fire Emblem’s sales prove that a dual physical-eShop release has a lot of potential, but it’s hard to use it as evidence to support dd-only 3DS releases when retail sales still amounts to 23 of the 240k total (NPD February+March, afaik), not to mention some of the eShop buyers went the dd way because retail copies were extremely difficult to get in the first week and some chains weren’t even able to satisfy preorders.

        Also, this isn’t Call of Duty: when a gigantic AAA fanbase has some vocal boycotters we all know sales won’t have any meaningful change, but niche franchises can be different simply because the ones speaking up on the web are a far more relevant percentage of the total fanbase. No one is saying they’re the majority, but they can be a relevant minority.

        • not to mention some of the eShop buyers went the dd way because retail copies were extremely difficult to get in the first week and some chains weren’t even able to satisfy preorders.

          And you think in a case where there are no retail copies at all, people won’t do the same? That doesn’t seem very logical to me. No significant number of people are going to boycott this game, I assure you. You’re far too invested in the things people say on forums and in comments.

          The bottom line is that Ace Attorney isn’t going to sell anywhere near as well as Fire Emblem will in the long run, which is precisely why an eShop release is more appropriate for the game. That was Sven’s point.

          • Ladius

            I think Fire Emblem would have sold more than 80k eShop copies if it had been a dd-only release, but I don’t believe it would have ever sold 240k copies without a physical edition (with that kind of reasoning there wouldn’t be a need of physical editions even for blockbusters, but we all know that isn’t the case). This whole scenario is a bit far fetched though, since Nintendo marketed it so well exactly because they were doing a retail release.

            Also, I never claimed the boycotters are a majority, I simply said that, as someone who will buy the game, I think creating this kind of debates in the fanbase could very well damage its sales, nor do I think discounting everything people say just because they post it on forum or comments is fine. People have a right to speak up, and there are a lot of consumers who are uncomfortable with dd-only releases, or even only with eShop dd-only releases.

            As for the last part, Sven seems to think that retail releases are only viable for big selling games, or games that have an extremely long retail lifespan, but the huge variety in the retail space (even only on 3DS) proves otherwise. It’s simply a matter of being flexible (like Namco is doing with PXZ, or Aksys with Hakuoki and VLR, or Atlus with CoP, and so on) and accepting the usefulness of limited print runs made in order to appeal the physical audience, while still providing a dd release for those who are fine with it.

          • You should read my reply about limited print runs and cartridge manufacturing complications above.

          • Ian Bailey

            Gamestops near where I live now can only handle downloadable copies of the game.

      • ShadowDivz

        Can’t really blame him. It’s easier to hear the rich girl gloat about how awesome her life is than the shy one minding her business in the library. Heh, anime stereotypes.
        Also, is that a cat with L’s hairstyle in your profile pic?

        • Ladius

          I don’t think that’s a fair comparison, though. When people call for boycotts against series such as Call of Duty or Mass Effect we still know their next iteration will sell millions of copies regardless simply because the fanbase is huge and only a tiny fraction of it is engaged in web debates.

          Niche series, however, are quite different since they have far smaller fanbases that are used to search for informations on the web (because of the lack of marketing, for instance) and are up to date with announcements and community issues. In turn, that means this kind of situation can do more damage than usual. No one is saying they are a majority, but they’re still relevant, and Namco and other companies acknowledge them with small print runs for games that sometimes are even more niche than AA.

          • antithesis

            Exactly, niche series have a small and limited audience. It’s usually quite difficult for the fanbase to grow unless there is a dynamic change to the story/art/gameplay that will attract more. By making it a digital download, it only serves to shrink the fanbase.

            Also, 3DS does not have the same number as DS out there.

            My money and time is limited, and there are quite a good amount of niche titles out there, and most of them have really neat day 1/first print bonus. So Capcom lost this sale from me.

        • Yep, that’s my L-cat! He’s been my avatar for years. :)

          And that rich & loud vs. quiet comparison is actually very valid. That’s what fans fail to realize. Simply being loud isn’t always enough. You have to put your money where your mouth is, and very often, the “hardcore” fans don’t. It’s the more mainstream ones that are the majority of the audience.

          • VitaminC

            Where is the premise and conclusion in that comparison to even find the validity of it? Are you sure you know what you’re talking about…?

      • mirumu

        Speaking as someone who bought Fire Emblem on eShop, I don’t really see how it’s sales say anything about boycotts whatsoever.

        Money does talk, but everyone’s wallet has a vote and it doesn’t always have the same outcome. At the end of the day all sales numbers tell us is that a certain number of people were willing to part with their money. It says nothing about how many decided not to buy for whatever reason.

        • Well, clearly, the number of people that decided not to buy because they couldn’t find a physical copy isn’t holding the game back. We keep hearing claims of these so-called boycotts, but I’ve yet to see a single instance of them having any real effect.

          90% of people do not care. That other 10% may or may not have bought your game anyway.

          • mirumu

            Sure, Fire Emblem wasn’t held back. It might have done better. Who knows?

            It’s all a matter of interpretation. Games succeed despite boycotts/scandals/platform choice/DLC, games fail due to piracy/poor marketing/bad release timing. Those often seem to be the only acceptable arguments despite evidence usually being thin on the ground.

            I’d agree organised boycotts rarely appear to have any effect, but when large groups of consumers independently decide to pass on something for some subset of reasons isn’t that really the same thing? That has happened a lot over the years. Those with an agenda spin it how they like, but the effect is the same.

      • Ace Trainer Chris

        Uh…wasn’t FE’s high number of downloads due in part to Nintendo screwing up and not shipping out enough physical copies, leaving people to having to resort to the eShop download?

      • katamari damacy

        You’re also forgetting the manufactured ‘shortage’ nintendo used to spur the sales of the digital release. People bought the digital release because the physical one was selling for ridiculous prices. However, small print runs in conjunction with a digital release for prosperity is the way to go with niche titles

    • creid8

      “I imagine a big publisher like Capcom isn’t familiar with small print runs…”
      Did you already forget how small the first run of AA1 was? You don’t know what you’re talking about. Franchise sales have steadily declined, and it’s clear retailers are not all that interested in stocking AA games anymore.

      • Ladius

        I don’t think there’s a need for this kind of condescending attitude, I do remember the older AA games, and the one who saw a sharp decrease in sales compared to the franchise’s previous average was Miles Edgeworth, a spin off, while this is a numbered entry in the main franchise that could have done a lot to rejuvenate the series.

        Also, it makes absolutely no sense to think retailers won’t stock an AA game while they’ve no trouble doing so with far nicher games, like the ones I mentioned before (and that is only in the context of 3DS, there are even tinier releases on less successful platforms like Vita or PSP). Of course it won’t be a million seller, and it won’t have so-called “long legs”, but that goes for most retail releases outside of the AAA context.

    • OR. Or… maybe think about this for a second… a limited-print run isn’t possible because Nintendo requires that you license a minimum number of cartridges, since manufacturing costs for carts can add up. And considering this game is voiced, I would imagine it would require one of the larger 3DS cartridges to accommodate.

      As always, it isn’t as black-and-white as you make it out to be.

      • Ladius

        I have provided plenty of examples though, nor do I see why you have to paint my posts as “black and white” when I have simply tried to put AA5’s release in the context of the current 3DS western release landscape.

        Regarding licensing minimal print runs and cartridge memory, I don’t think Hakuoki 3DS or Virtue’s Last Reward 3DS (both full voiced visual novels on 3DS) would have larger print runs than a Phoenix Wright game, and there’s no reason to assume their cartridges’ costs are different unless we have some source (especially for VLR), yet they are both retail games.

        I also don’t understand why a big publisher like Namco could justify making a print run for Project X Zone (also voiced in Japanese) and even include extras if such releases are unfeasible outside of big sellers. And the list could very well continue with other releases, without even considering other platforms.

        The difference, as I see it, is between supporting the game while thinking that Capcom could have done better than this and supporting the game by trying to ignore the efforts of those publishers who have been able to satisfy both the physical and dd needs of their audience.

        • Capcom isn’t the same as Aksys, though. For Aksys, VLR might constitute a major release. Additionally, Aksys are not tied to any other company, nor are they responsible for anyone’s profits but their own.

          For Capcom USA, they literally have to fight their Japanese division to bring these games out over here because it could potentially amount to money lost for the overall organization.

          In the case of Project X Zone, for starters, that is a game that uses sprites, not high resolution 3D models and textures with fully animated rigs. The amount of memory you need for that, along with the voice-acting, adds up.

          Another thing to consider is that Project X Zone is an actual “videogame”. It’s replayable and will last you many hours. Ace Attorney is a visual novel. It’s not really replayable, and thus, not really the kind of game you can charge a full $40 for, even as a physical release.

          • I don’t know about you, but I find VNs very replayable. After all, at it’s basic level it’s a visually enhanced book. And who doesn’t reread their favorite books from time to time?

          • Exkaiser

            Replayability in the gaming sense refers to multiple playthroughs within a certain time frame. Most people don’t re-read books immediately after finishing them. Likewise with linear visual novels like AA. They put them down, let them sit on their shelves for at least a year or so and then might reread them.

            Every game has “replayability” in the sense that anyone might come back to it at some point down the line, but it really comes down to varying content which incentivizes players to come back to it sooner rather than later.

            Regardless of whether or not you consider them replayable or not, most people are going to look at a primarily text-based game with one route and an unchanging story and expect one playthrough. This is going to affect their choice of purchase, no matter what anyone says.

          • cj_iwakura

            That makes absolutely no sense. People replay VNs, and the PW series, all the time. It’s the same logic as wanting a physical copy of a film. And they’ll still probably charge $40 for it.

          • And they’ll still probably charge $40 for it.

            Apparently, you still haven’t learnt to read, even after all these months.

            “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.”

            Why would they say that if they plan to charge the full $40 for it? Use your head.

          • Or it could mean “we are ascertaining if it should be $40 or lower.”

          • It does most definitely not mean that. Sven isn’t an idiot. He knows exactly what people will infer from that statement.

          • Digoth

            good job with the comment deletion princess.

          • PersonaBull

            Pretty disappointed in you pulling the “actual videogame” line. You’re better than that, man.

          • It’s not a viewpoint I share personally. Visual novels are still my favourite genre, but to the average consumer, they don’t represent “value for money”.

            It’s becoming very difficult to sell these kinds of games at higher prices. Adventure games are going through the exact same thing. Look up some videos or interviews with Tim Schafer and Ron Gilbert. They say the same thing about adventure games. Or look at Telltale’s releases of The Walking Dead or Tales of Monkey Island. All episodic releases at lower prices.

            It’s unfortunate, but that’s just how things are. The average consumer needs to see something replayable or something with fancy graphics or something with multiplayer. To the average consumer, those are the things that represent value for money. If they aren’t there, then they question how much bang they’re getting for their buck.

    • Alexander Marquis Starkey

      But in that case what’s to stop people from buying the game new? I’m not gonna say that that is what the move to digital is about, but it’s a chunk of it and used game sales are seriously bad for the market.

  • I don’t understand why don’t they just make a limited physical release (perhaps more expensive with a silly statue or something) AND a digital release. EVERYONE WOULD BE HAPPY.

    • Manny Being Manny

      That would require them to spend money on producing and distributing all of that stuff, and maybe making too many. Its too much of a risk for a low profile release.

    • Swison

      I’m probably wrong about this but maybe for the same reason they didn’t release Ace Attorney Investigations 2. Piracy. I’m guessing they’re concerned about the revenue they wouldn’t make if someone used a rom dumper to get the rom file. They also said that they are worried that the physical release wouldn’t attract long term retail support which I think is false. But evidently, it’s their choice and not ours.

      • Corey Owens

        I don’t think 3DS games can be emulated yet.

      • Firekitty

        Except it’s not actually possible to pirate 3DS games at the present time. You can dump the roms, but you can’t do anything with them.

      • Piracy on the 3ds is not possible yet

    • gold163

      The problems are likely political. We are talking about Capcom here, not Atlus or a small localization studio like Gaijinworks. The reality is that as much as many people working at Capcom would love to cater to the fans, upper management in the homeland probably wouldn’t green-light anything that doesn’t have the potential for massive profit margins.

      No matter how you slice it, a digital-only distribution of a game intended for niche audiences is the only smart thing to do from Capcom’s point of view. Considering how large mobile gaming is in Japan and how the console game industry is shrinking, the larger game corporations all over the world are trying to consolidate and streamline production and distribution. The fact that we’re getting a western localization of another Ace Attorney game is less a miracle and probably more that Capcom recognized that they could capitalize on a smaller audience, but to do so would warrant smaller-scale, no-frills distribution. Gotta make that paper.

      • Ladius

        I would love this game to be successful, but, as much as I agree with you analysis and hope all goes well, there’s really no reason fans should excuse publishers for the lack of flexibility that makes small yet profitable print runs unfeasible.

        Without mentioning Aksys, Gaijinworks or Atlus, Namco Bandai is bringing Project X Zone to 3DS, and they’re making its first print edition rich with extras, too. That’s the difference between a big publisher like Capcom, unable to see any merit in niche releases, and a big publisher like NB, able to budget its releases according to each audience’s dimension and key traits.

        • gold163

          I think that the comparisons you draw are valid. Capcom’s business sense is different from Namco Bandai’s. Despite having similar operational capacities in the context of the entire Japanese game industry, they are run by people with apparently very different priorities. You could say that Namco Bandai loves their fans more, but this would be presumptuous.

          It’s important to consider that Capcom does indeed see merit in niche releases (at least from the western gamer’s standpoint). Their approach to this is fundamentally different, however. If they can turn a niche game into a behemoth like the potential that a series such as Monster Hunter has, they will push for it. If they don’t see that potential, they will go the less risky route, such as their digital distribution endeavors with Japanese doujin game localizations.

          Ultimately I think that the larger issue at hand here is that it seems as if Capcom’s corporate culture is so removed from the fan culture (in the case of Ace Attorney, at least). You could make the case against Namco’s reluctance to localize [email protected] releases in the west — it may seem to make less obvious sense because you could argue that the western fanbase is too small to warrant it, but that’s exactly how Capcom views Ace Attorney.

    • Zonic505

      As good as an idea this is (Namco did this with Ni no Kuni’s special edition, and it helps gauge interest), Sven addressed this idea and responded with this:

      “A retail release would necessitate changes to code, another QA pass, a seperate submission to NOA/NCL, 45 days of manufacturing/shipping time and significant physical COGs that would require pricing that is different than what we will be doing.”


  • raulrain

    Put more resources for “Download Content”, now it´s clear the direction of capcom, thank god, Project X Zone it´s been localized by Namco Bandai, a company that learned their lesson and now focuses on giving the fans the games that they want

  • Alex Sargeant

    I would be more okay with this were Nintendo a little more clued-in regarding digital purchases. Really sucks that I wouldn’t be able to play this all that easily if I were to upgrade to an XL or if my original 3DS died.

    In theory though I’d be terrifically excited about this. Hopefully it works out well for them.

    • PersonaSpace

      Actually if you upgrade to an XL you can just use the system transfer tool to transfer everything, even ambassador status.

      Still though, a dead system will not warrant Nintendo transferring all the purchases, so they do need to fix that problem soon.

      • SirTeffy

        Actually if your system dies you can send it to Nintendo and they will send you a new system with all data transferred. If it’s out of warranty they will charge for the service though.

  • I’m still as hyped as ever, honestly.
    This is on a personal level one of the very few long-running Capcom franchises they haven’t scrapped or rebuilt in a way I don’t like.
    Plus, can I really say no to Athena? :)

  • FullMetalAlcopop

    I have no real problem with a digital-only release, my problem comes if and when anything bad happens to my 3DS, at which point the complete lack of competent infrastructure on Nintendo’s part means I have to re-buy and restart the entire game.

    • Manzoku

      Honest question: isn’t the digital-only download made to the 3DS SD card? Is there no way to transfer an installed game (or even just the saved game) over to a new 3DS?

      • Suicunesol

        Yes, you can transfer all your installed games, save files, and ambassador status to a new 3DS via system transfer. That’s how I upgraded from regular 3DS to 3DS XL. Digital games (and save files) are downloaded to the SD card.

        I switch out SD cards all the time, and only games on the currently inserted SD card can be played. Games that are registered on the 3DS that are not currently on the SD card don’t show up on the main menu. And content from SD cards registered with different 3DS systems doesn’t show up either.

        Mr. Clements is referring to the unfortunate scenario of losing or breaking the 3DS before you can transfer.

        • Manzoku

          That makes sense, thank you.

      • FullMetalAlcopop

        It’s encrypted so that only the original 3DS can read it, when a system transfer happens, what’s actually transfered is the data of the original 3DS system, which is then wiped.

  • If you’re upset about it and want to see both a digital and physical release, get on Twitter, facebook, and capcom unity to let them know that we, as consumers, don’t accept this. They won’t see your comments here, after all, and it is still early enough to try and change their minds.

    • They aren’t going to change their minds. Either this game comes over as a download title or it doesn’t come over at all.

  • dragoon_slayer12

    I liked the Harvey birdman game, how much better are the Ace games? I always wanted to try them, but didn’t want to ‘”waste” my money on one

    • The birdman game was basically Ace Attorney with a birdman skin. Ace Attorney plots get way more wacky in each new game.

    • Honestly,it is pretty good and really makes you think.The story telling is great but it might be troublesome if you’re impatient as..you need to find clues to support your case.The biggest downfall is really no replayability besides if you’re just a fan of the game.

    • Firekitty

      The Ace Attorney games are a must-play for anyone with a sense of humor. I still wish the games let you choose to play with a more literal/correct translation, but this series is the one case where I won’t argue too much with a ‘liberal’ translation, since they seem to put in a lot of work to get the punny spirit of the game down.

  • Peace Legacy

    Not exactly related, but why can’t I just sometime shake the feeling that Capcom is single-handedly providing daily 3 meals and a roof for everyone in the entire gaming journalism industry, I wonder. Every reported movement they make can all have the potential to causes huge controversies and flurries of thousands of comments across the net.

    Is it that dang hard to be a huge publisher and not be a giant evolving clusterf-mess of controversies at the same time?

    (@ the reply below: my question was rhetorical)

    • gold163

      In order for there to be a controversy, there has to be a conflict of interests. This means that it goes both ways — you can say that there are controversies because Capcom does questionable things, and you can also say that the things Capcom does are perceived as questionable because of the people who perceive them.

      This isn’t to shift the blame for Capcom’s decisions onto their consumers and critics; quite the opposite. But what is happening here in this case is just a business decision by Capcom, in my opinion. If it’s not one you like, that’s fine. It happens.

      In that case, vote with your wallet: Either you DON’T buy the game, and show Capcom that western Ace Attorney fans won’t settle for less because they want and deserve more, or you DO buy the game and show Capcom that there are Ace Attorney fans out there who like the product and the work that went into it enough to look past whatever questionable business decisions that Capcom makes. Neither choice is really wrong.

      • ShadowDivz

        I usually prefer people buy it anyway. It’s their money they can do whatever, but if they buy it, the company will see that there is a market over here.

        • gold163

          I agree. I understand if people are frustrated enough to never want to deal with a company again, but I think that choosing what you want to buy has more of an impact than not buying at all. If you choose to support smaller properties that aren’t getting the attention you think they deserve, and enough people do this, then the game companies can come to the conclusion that there are people out there who will support that property. Meanwhile, if you don’t buy their games at all, it tells them nothing. Capcom won’t know why people aren’t buying Ace Attorney games, and will be left to assume or make up reasons that the fans will have no control over.

          • ShadowDivz

            My thoughts exactly.

  • laurenhiya21

    *sigh* I was really looking forward to a physical copy of this :( Oh well, just as long as it’s not priced the same as a new, physical copy then I’ll be fine.

  • Small print runs cost as much as large print runs. Those of you who want them just to make a few don’t understand the economies of scale there. If a small print run would be profitable, so would a large one.

    Essentially they don’t think it’s profitable releasing at retail, so instead of not releasing at all we are getting it digital. That’s not a bad thing, it’s a bad thing only if you measure vs. at Retail, but note THAT IS NOT A CHOICE.

    I have this discussion with my daughter when we are in front of the bakery. Do you want cake? NO I WANT ICE CREAM. But we don’t have time to go there, only here for cake. NO I WANT ICE CREAM. So you get no ice cream and no cake.

    Do you want your cake or not?

    • gold163

      Small print runs probably cost more than large print runs. There is less profit to be made from them, and manufacturing less typically costs more per copy, which makes the prospect of doing small print runs less than endearing to larger companies.

      I do think it’s interesting how small localization studios such as Gaijinworks can afford to Kickstart small-print runs of their works. It’s not a matter of Capcom can’t, but rather they won’t. The takeaway here is that Capcom needs to make more money more than Gaijinworks does, which seems like fairly obvious common sense at first but then reveals the difference in priorities between companies of different scale and different relationships to their customers. There is a fundamentally different symbiosis at work between the company and consumer in a company such as Capcom versus a company like Atlus, which is interesting to note.

    • Coeurl

      I keep hearing this but really. They cost the same you say but how much does it cost to produce physical copies?

      • A lot. You need memory chips (this is a big game), you need to print boxes, you need to print manuals, you need to make the cartridges, you need to ship them to retail, you need retail to give you shelf space which you probably need to pay for too. It’s not negligible.

        • Coeurl

          “A lot” means nothing here. What are the numbers here compared to a digital release?

  • Highasthesky

    I’m excited for the game not the box.

  • You people are lucky, none of the games i want to come over are coming period. I’d love a digital release for Dragon Quest Monsters for the 3DS for example. Never happening.

    • gold163

      This comparison is asinine. The reason why there are any Ace Attorney localizations in the first place is because enough western consumers have demonstrated their commitment to the series. If Square Enix could be convinced that a digital release for Dragon Quest Monsters in the west would be profitable, they would do it.

      It’s got nothing to do with luck. The western Ace Attorney fanbase has always been very vocal to the point of being controversial and sometimes even antagonistic. They made themselves hard to ignore by Capcom. Can you say the same about Dragon Quest Monsters and its western fans? Capcom and Square Enix have different approaches to how they treat their western fanbases.

  • SirRichard

    That last tidbit there implies that they’re not pricing this at full retail price (because why else would he bring that up?), and given that the eShop has been very fruitful from what we’ve heard, it’s no wonder Capcom want to give it a shot. Here’s hoping.

  • Tom_Phoenix

    I never thought the day we would get an English trailer for AA5 would turn out so disappointing….

    I guess the only hope those of us who want a physical release have now is that the Japanese version will have an English language option, much like the DS releases. It’s definitely a far worse option than a local release due to the region lock, but it would at least be an option.

    • Zeik56

      That seems extremely unlikely, especially since it’s region locked. They haven’t done dual-language since Trials and Tribulations.

      • Tom_Phoenix

        I never said it was likely. Just the only hope we have for a physical release at this point.

        • Zeik56

          Honestly I think it’s more likely that Capcom would change their mind at some point and do a retail release than that.

  • Hatsuaki

    It’s a really stupid move from Capcom towards the fans, but I sort of understand their point. Ace Attorney has never sold exceptionally well, and they already skipped one of the games in the series. Plus, this game will probably cost a lot more to localize than the others, what with the voice acting and all… Capcom has always been known for making bad choices at the last second, though.

  • Hound

    Digital ensures longevity of sales and availability, sure. However, I don’t recall any Ace Attorney game being “easy to find” as a physical copy. So it’s not as though they rot on the shelves if released in a limited quantity.

    I’ve always treated PSN, XBLA, and E-Shop games as “out of sight, out of mind” or “extremely low priority.” For many, seeing an item on a store shelf is more likely to get them to acknowledge its existence, and limited availability is more likely to get them to purchase on a whim.

    Either way, this does limit availability to those whom can (and know how to) navigate the E-shop (every region of the universe doesn’t exactly have wifi and not everyone owns a wireless router), have access to a credit card or are willing to pay (and know where to find) the next 20 dollar increment in prepaid cards, and are willing to pay extra for an additional SD card if extra space is required (Nintendo’s E-Shop doesn’t seem to show the number of blocks needed for a full purchase until you’re in the middle of purchasing it, requiring you to have the funds available.)

    I now have until the end of the 3DS to care whether or not I purchased Ace Attorney 5, so I’m certainly going to put it off for a while since I have larger priorities. I doubt Capcom will bother releasing Layton vs Ace Attorney or Investigations 2 at all despite their E-Shop “solution” to lower purchase numbers.

  • Go2hell66

    as if people needed to be told why its DL only, its always the same story

    • antithesis

      More net profit for Capcom. That’s really all they need to say.

  • Will Jay

    …Or you could do both a limited physical release for fans on your online shop or something and a digital release only and get the same effect, if not even more profits.

  • Byas

    Capcom isn’t really at fault since downloadable games are pretty popular these days, too bad that it’s coming on this gen’s worst online system.

  • Tooru

    It’s pretty lame that Capcom is doing this, especially with arguably more niche games like Project X Zone and Rune Factory 4 getting physical releases. Then again, it is Capcom.

    I’ll be willing to bet it’ll be priced at $40, too.

    • SirTeffy

      I’m willing to bet it won’t, considering the quote about how “Pricing will be announced later, which SHOULD SHED SOME LIGHT on our strategy here”

      Pricing TBA and will show why they went eShop only? I’m betting it’ll be $20, $30 at most.

      • Zeik56

        $20 seems way too low for what this game is. It’s still a full game, whether or not it’s download only. I could see $30 though.

  • evilmoogle

    If only the 3DS eshop was like steam, people wouldn’t complain that much.

    • mirumu

      Yeah, that’s really the bigger issue here to me. I’m quite disappointed at the lack of a physical box option, but it wouldn’t bother me so much if it was available on a more well run and established online service.

      I want to be able to download this game 5 years from now on whatever new Nintendo system I own and have it work, but that doesn’t look at all likely. It’s pretty much guaranteed not to with the way Nintendo tie purchases to consoles rather than accounts. We still can’t even share funds between 3DS and Wii U. Each new device they release seems to have it’s own unique online system. If Nintendo want the eshop to be taken seriously by the mainstream gamers they need to stop phoning it in with these poorly implemented amateurish attempts.

      I will buy this Ace Attorney game, it’s one of the few series that I will do what I can to play, but it will be a one-off exception until Nintendo get their online store fronts in order. The only other eshop title I’ve bought was Fire Emblem, but I couldn’t count how many titles I’ve bought on other online systems this year alone.

  • konsama

    This is awesome, i would totally buy it.

    What leads me to, Nintendo, hurry the hell up and start selling prepaid cards in Mexico.


    A limited-print may not be possible in the event that Nintendo require you to license a minimum number of cartridges, since manufacturing costs for carts can add up. Considering this game is voiced, I would imagine it would require one of the larger 3DS cartridges to accommodate, which means you would potentially have to buy more large, expensive cartridges from Nintendo than you actually expect to sell.

    As always, it isn’t as black-and-white as certain people like to make it out to be. There are a gazillion factors that go into these decisions. Again, publishers are not stupid. Capcom USA, especially, are very tuned into what people want. Give them some credit. I’m sure this decision wasn’t made lightly. The fact that they’re going to all this effort at all demonstrates that they’re dedicated to keeping fans of their more niche franchises happy.

    • Tooru

      I don’t understand why smaller publishers can release niche games on both the eShop and retail, but Capcom can’t. I would understand more if there were tons of niche games in Japan that were getting eShop-only localizations in North America, but when we have stuff like Soul Hackers and even Capcom’s own Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate getting physical releases, the decision just baffles me.

      • Those are actual games. This is a visual novel. Those games are immensely replayable and can be sold at full price. This one can’t.

        • Tooru

          Ace Attorney can’t be sold at full price? That’s a little silly, isn’t it? Games that have had more visual novel elements than Ace Attorney (which is more of an adventure game series, really) have gotten (or are getting) physical releases at full price on 3DS, such as Virtue’s Last Reward and Hakuoki 3D. If a company as small as Aksys can take that much of a “risk”, why can’t Capcom?

          • Alexander Marquis Starkey

            Virtues last reward is about the same as Ace Attorney isn’t it? Both basically qualify as adventure games more so than visual novels.

          • Because Aksys have a handful of employees and are only responsible for themselves. Capcom have thousands of employees and are responsible for five separate divisions of the company, all located in different parts of the world. I know that seems like a lame answer, but it’s the reality of the situation.

            They have to be picky about what they devote their resources to. If you’re paying someone a monthly salary to localize your games, you have to make those localizations count, or that localization division is technically losing you money.

          • Tooru

            If that’s the truth of the matter, it’s a bit sad, isn’t it? Tiny companies seem to have more freedom than the larger ones. They seem to satisfy their fanbase better as well, though that surprises me much less.

  • Ceci “Ruzuzu” Kiyomizu

    Digital? No thanks I prefer physical for my collection so i can stack plastic in my room and look at my wasted life.
    Besides joking around I don’t like the Idea of the game being digital so I most likely wont be buying it unless it’s cheap (Very unlikely) i’ll have to pass for now Capcom.

  • Eric Harris

    “we wanted as many people as possible to be able to enjoy the game for as long as possible” so we will give buyers only ONE of TWO purchase options. Haha what a bunch of **********. If you want “as many people to enjoy the game for as long as possible” you release BOTH options, you big corporate dummy.

  • Alexander Marquis Starkey

    Honestly, I do think that DD is going to hurt sales slightly, but not because of the anti-digital crowd. More so because of how many fans may not even pay attention to all of the marketing stuff on the internet. Most people don’t know a game exists until the see that case on the shelf in a store they walk into. If the game releases digital only, those folks may not find out it even exists, let alone know to buy it from the E-Shop. It doesn’t happen often, but I’ve seen a few people get on forums and ask about why they find a game, only to find out it was digital only.

  • I just want to play Ace Attorney. I buy retail copy if given the choice but I’ll bite with this.

    I hope Nintendo gets a new account system, the handheld is awesome but feel like digital only full priced games are gonna end up flopping because people are nervous to buy games.

    • That and if you lose (or break) the system you lose all games on it.

      • You can lose your physical copy too (actually easier to have a friend “borrow” it!). Just not “everything”.
        But yeah that is a problem, you can apparently get it back due to good customer service.

        How will account system work for those who bought games already? Will it merge to the account?

  • No. Just no. You are right it has upset people, fans, such as me making it DL-only. You have lost my money.

    • Ceci “Ruzuzu” Kiyomizu

      Your not the only one alone friend I don’t know I find it odd that games like Project X Zone or Rune Factory 4 can get physical but not AC5? I dunno could be me being a physical only fanboy.

      • Yah. I dunno I guess different companies feel differently.

        • Ceci “Ruzuzu” Kiyomizu

          I guess so whatever Capcom thinks whats right then they should go for it.
          Even if I am a bit grumpy right now.

  • I really don’t care as long as it’s in my 3DS!!

  • You guys should be happy the game is getting localized at all.

    • My thoughts exactly.

    • Zeik56

      You know the saying about a glass being half full? Nobody on the internet knows what that means. The glass is always empty. Also the glass is actually an atomic bomb that’s going to kill everyone and ruin everything ever forever.

  • Phoenix_Apollo

    I really want to buy this and I probably will, but digital only always ruins the experience for me. It’s like Chris said, I wanted a physical release so much. I always forget about my digital downloads, even if they’re good games I haven’t played before. I honestly hope I remember I have it when I buy it.

    But I wanna know, would strong sales for AA5 on the eshop convince Capcom to look into a retail release in the future or even for this title? Or would it only reaffirm their choice and make them decide to do that for the rest of the series from here on out?

    • Reasonably, they can see good sales and be open to retail requests.
      Capcom logic, we passed the test and future games will be digital only.

      Either way if the game flops digital or physical we would see Japan only games. Best to just buy the games if you want it.

    • antithesis

      It will only reaffirm because Capcom has been pushing for and towards digital downloads for a while and I do not wish to support that stance at all. If it means I miss out on Phoenix Wright than so be it. At least with the PS3, I was able to import Okami HD on disc with English.

      Even if I import Phoenix Wright 5 from Japan, I still need a Japan 3DS to play it.

      I take my money elsewhere and help other publisher thrive where there interest and my interest align.

    • Phoenix_Apollo

      Also, does this hint at a possible DD release of Investigations 2? That’d be sweet, even without 3D.

    • British_Otaku

      Strong sales for digital AA5 leading to physical AA5?

      If they answered us on the subject perhaps, as it stands we have people who believe that we should accept the digital release as it is the only way to get any AA (up to Capcom to decide whether they think physical releases are worth it after potential higher profit margins) or ignore the title till either it becomes a physical release or Nintendo fixes up their accounts (chances are Capcom would take it as low sales overall).

      It’s one of those no win situations if you have strong views one way or the other. Similar somewhat to the “Buy DmC, or we may never get any more Devil May Cry” or Ubisoft teasing us about Beyond Good and Evil 2 (http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/114158-Want-Beyond-Good-and-Evil-2-Buy-Rayman-Origins) again.

  • You know what? I’m perfectly fine with this. So long as they agree to also release the other Ace Attorney games as Digital Downloads so I can have the entire collection on one SD card. Please, Capcom? I

  • Bear Negishi

    Day 1 buy.

  • If it’s less than a boxed cop of the game i’d consider it, if the eshop would just lower it’s prices i’d probably buy half my games digitally.
    There’s been so many instances where iv’e looked at a title and wanted it there and then but the fact that i can get a physical product for the same price or cheaper just puts me right back off.

  • Lazulis

    Oh…well…looks like I can’t buy it day one. I would if I could.

    I don’t own a 3DS yet. :/ I’ve bought Lautrec, Fire Emblem, SMT IV, EOIV and Adventure Time for when I’ll own one…no possibilities of a very limited print run? I’d preorder that right away.

  • Pichu0102

    So how can we play it when the eShop dies or it is removed from the eShop, and we don’t have a 3DS with it installed? How can people play it in the future if they want to go through the older ones?
    Oh, right, letting people have access to older games wouldn’t make as much profit.

    • Alexander Marquis Starkey

      They won’t take down E-Shop, but more than likely restructure it, and reupload all of their digital games, can keep doing so as they need to. There are several, several, SEVERAL back up copies of the game in the hands of Capcom AND Nintendo…though you will probably have to pay for it again, and if you really want to play it that much, just like you would rebuy a game you lost or sold, you rebuy the digital title.

      • antithesis

        That’s BS. So we, the consumers, should pay for their incompetence?

        • Alexander Marquis Starkey

          You aren’t paying for incompetence. Who mentioned incompetence? I said you’d probably have to pay for it again as there is truly feasible, easy, unextremely convoluted way to truly link accounts after a the market place is rebuilt for a new console, and anyone who really wants to play any old games they don’t have will pay for it again, just like anyone who wants to play their PS3 games on PS4 will do.

      • Pichu0102

        A. See Four Swords DSi, which was taken down and can no longer be downloaded, likely ever again.
        B. If digital wants to take off, it shouldn’t be restricted to how a physical copy would act, since redownloading a title is virtually costless.
        C. There is no guarantee that Nintendo will keep the eShop up forever. When they finally turn it off, it’s gone, and your “purchases” go up in smoke, unlike a physical copy.

        D. Digital copies aren’t affected by used prices, and, at least on consoles and handhelds, tend to have higher prices than their physical counterparts, even months after release.

        • Suicunesol

          I don’t understand bullet point C. If the eShop ever goes offline, whatever games you have on your 3DS remain playable. Your digital games are safe as long as your 3DS is safe.

        • Alexander Marquis Starkey

          Then keep your digital copy, I wasn’t arguing about all of that. You can’t say Nintendo will never put the game on digital market place again so that doesn’t work as well. Justify your physical copy all you want, but eventually if you want to keep playing games, you’ll put up with it as eventually discs and production costs will be a thing of the past…hell so will consoles, yet video games will continue.

    • s07195

      Nice avatar. :)
      Raven/Toona is my favorite character!

  • SuperSailorV

    Time to go preorder the LE.

    Speaking of which, anyone check it out on play-asia? The extended edition and game itself are prepared to be pre-ordered, but the figure and limited edition aren’t… Did they run out of pre-order room or something, or are pre-orders not yet opened?

    • SilentMC

      It looks like pre-orders have sold out for those two other limited editions. Bummer.

    • British_Otaku

      You can still preorder it from CDJapan (http://www.cdjapan.co.jp/detailview.html?KEY=NEODAI-3622 ). .

      Play-Asia seem to have ran out of their early preorders so you could still get a copy from them closer to or after release if lucky.

      • SuperSailorV

        Do you have any idea how reliable cdjapan is? Also, do I have to pay to preorder or do they charge after they ship?
        I’m assuming I have to pay up front.

        • British_Otaku

          They had four payment options last I checked.
          PayPal – Instant payment.
          Card – Payment taken when shipped.
          Alipay – Instant payment.
          Cash over registered mail – Processed when payment arrives, payment should arrive in 42 days of order.

          Sounds like you would want to buy it by card so you don’t have to pay upfront.

          On CDJapan’s reliability? They are pretty damn good, I usually use them to target manga volumes and CDs (it’s in the name), I expect them to be quick and responsive like you would expect the likes of Play-Asia, YesAsia, AmiAmi, Nippon-Yasan and such.

          • SuperSailorV

            Awesome, thank you! I actually checked my play-asia account and the last thing I bought from them was in 2006… lol.
            Anyhow, that sounds just perfect. Paypal is a great option because of how easy it is, but paying by card sounds like the best option for me now. (I don’t know why it feels like less of a blow by being charged later than earlier). While we’re on the subject, how about you? Are you pre-ordering it as well?

          • British_Otaku

            No problem. Looking back at my account, I buy from Play-Asia in three year intervals, though I’ll make use of them for DS Classics like Etrian Odyssey which they are shipping for free.

            Me? I just preordered the game a few hours ago… I was initially curious about the figure, between the lack of a physical edition in Europe (or worldwide in general) and all… I’ll wanted it. I may get the localised version though.

            Just to be sure, you are aware that you need a Japanese 3DS in order to play this? Even though, the game is 99.99999% chance exclusively in Japanese (I know katakana >_>). I’m just checking you are sure about your purchase.

          • PoweredByHentai

            I am assuming that both of you have a Japanese 3DS, right?

          • British_Otaku

            Two regions out of three covered so far. European and Japanese. The only games off the top of my head which are US exclusive are Devil Survivor Overclocked (we got this remake late with bugs and crashes) and Adventure Time 3DS. >_>

            The money would have been better spent on games than another system.

          • SuperSailorV

            Hey, also, I just wanted to ask… it is one of the special requested item deals on cdjapan, right? Do you know how that works on there exactly? They’re so scarce on details and I don’t want to get screwed, especially since playasia’s preorders were never actually sold out, just in preparation (pre orders are up for it now).

          • British_Otaku

            I found a link which talks about the service in depth: http://www.cdjapan.co.jp/request/shopping.html

            Basically, it is a stock on demand service where someone fills in a form confirming interest then CDJapan buys the item from the chosen store to insure stock to match the demand. In the end, they charged us: Product Price (9990 yen) + Domestic Shipping Charge + CDJapan Service Fee (depends on item value) + EMS Shipping Charge (we can’t pick a cheaper service).

            Presumably, they are guaranteeing stock from e-Capcom for the two of us, I assume Capcom doesn’t send anything or at least those outside of Japan’s islands so it should be fine especially as we were one of the early orders.

            On Play-Asia, I checked over the price and for CDJapan it is 15350 yen – almost £98 now or nearly $150 (CDJapan including required EMS shipping and all, yes there is quite a bump up from 9900, importing hurts wallets) vs PlayAsia’s US$159.90 (GBP~107.34) which doesn’t include shipping which ranges from Fedex ($ 23.90 /GBP~16.04 – 3-5 days) to more expensive courier services (US$ 53.90 /GBP~36.18). Aside from being safe in general, we paid a bit less.

            So I’m sticking with this, though you are free to find a better option. :P

          • SuperSailorV

            You seem pretty sure about it! I think you’ve allayed my fears. I hope it works out for the both of us. And thanks so much – playasia is charging a ridiculous amount…

  • SilentMC

    Well while I’m bummed out that it’s not getting a physical release (reflects todays market even more), I’ll still be getting the game. In fact, just to own a physical copy, I think I’ll import the japanese version just to feel better about this.

    • Guest

      Exactly what I plan to do as well. Long ago placed my pre-order for the most expensive of the 3 collector’s editions and my 3DS LL is waiting. Now, I can’t read Japanese (haven’t started my classes yet), but I like collecting games in physical copies and today’s announcement only further cemented my confidence in pre-ordering the Japanese version. Now, don’t get me wrong; I still plan to purchase the US release on the eShop. But having the physical copy to display on my shelf along with the rest of my gaming titles, a vast mix of Western and Japanese, is important to me. I don’t let anything stand between me and the games I look forward to, especially those that have never made it to Western markets. When it comes to games, where there is a will, there is a way. This was my stance when I imported things like Kuroshitsuji: Phantom & Ghost, Ace Attorney Investigations 2, the LovePlus series (I am a girl btw, so don’t judge me playing a guy-oriented dating sim series or jump to ridiculous conclusions), Bravely Default: Flying Fairy.

      I was disheartened when I heard of the digital only release and honestly thought it a slap in the face. But I quickly got over it. I share the concerns of many about the horrible Nintendo practice of downloaded content tied to the hardware but, as I said, I will still purchase the game not only to show my love and support of the Ace Attorney series, but to prove to Capcom that I am one of the many that are interested in keeping the series going and potentially getting more releases in the future.

      (Edit: Sorry about the appearance of the picture. Something happened while I fiddled with my phone whenI typed the post)


    Price Point, huh? If they sell it for $30 or possibly even $20-25, aside from getting a whole lot more on-the-fence customers, they’ll be making a nice statement to every other overpriced game on the e-Shop ($5 for the NES version of Pac-Man is about $4.50 too much)

    I’m interested to see what Cap-“Gouge Gouge DLC”-Com will do in regards to what is pre-order DLC in Japan as well. Will it be free for the US for the first week or two, ala Fire Emblem? Or will it be $4.99, nothing more than a pack of pointless shiny gems?

  • Simon

    I’m not gonna say I won’t buy it because of this, just probably won’t pay 39.99 or even 29.99 for digital copy. When it gets to 19.99 then I’ll buy it.

  • As much as I’m not a fan of digital download, I don’t mind. I mean, I want a physical release as much as everyone else so I can have it in my collection, but I’m just so happy that AA5 is even being localized!! I think that’s the most important thing. At least it is for me. I’ll support this series any way I can.

  • Daverost

    I like how they say it’s tough to sell the Ace Attorney series over time, but they jumped in and said they were going to localize it literally as soon as the game was even announced for Japan. IIRC it was the same day or the day after. Can’t be that tough.

    • Justin Graham

      The difficulties in selling it overseas are why they’re taking the digital-only route with the next one. That’s why they’re giving this a shot; the eShop is a route they haven’t taken with the series before.

  • Zharkiel

    No cartridge, no buy. Dammit Capcom, it’s always one step forward, 2 steps back with you .

  • scratchbach

    I’d love a physical release, but if this is what it takes to get Ace Attorney released, I’ve got no objections.

    • “no objections”

      Oh you are a clever person.

  • Michael Charvat

    I can understand the point i dont see why people have an issue it is the onlyway we would get it if we got a retail release capcom would lose money and no business purposely loses money i would prefer a box bt ill take this over zilch

    • relsirc

      Agreed, although I’m disappointed that I won’t have a physical copy for my collection of the ace attorney series. But will definitely get this once it comes out and hopefully we’ll get more english ace attorneys. I just wish the US e-shop allows non-US credit cards.

  • n my opinion, I would like to collect a cartridge stag on my shelf with my other game collection than just a “file” stored in a SD card…. this makes it nothing different from bootleg R4 Supercard.

    I wanna get it from Day One but I’m afraid they might release a cartridge later on…so rather wait. (It happened to those Telltale company games such as Back to the Future that I paid for all 5 episodes downloaded on PS3 then they release as a Bluray disc not even a year after!!!)

  • Haku_Luvs_You

    Yikes! Lots of negativity in here. Hope it sells well so we can still get these games. I still have no problem with it. But I totally understand why people would be upset. Still I hope for the best for this game :)

    • I am glad someone can see something positive out of this.

  • MrSirFeatherFang

    >Support initial release
    >Capcom rereleases an “enhanced” version physically next year within 5 months

    Aw yeah

    • British_Otaku

      It’s a lingering thought in my mind that we could get an “enhanced” physical version (presumably with just the DLC costumes) still on the same platform.

      However, Capcom have the common sense now to make a decent gap and fill the gap with physical ports/compilations/localisations of the other games… Wright?

  • XypherCode

    So much heated arguments here xD

    • s07195

      Want some popcorn?

  • I’ll buy it, I really don’t give two horse farts about it being digital even though I prefer a hardcopy, especially considering I’ve never been able to get my hands on any of the previous Ace Attorney games when I wasn’t super broke or jobless. I just hope the re-releases they did of the first 4 games stay low so I can at least make an attempt to get them at a later date.

  • xXDGFXx

    So this means I will probably never buy it. I was psyched that it was coming over, too…

  • 60hz

    American video game retail is laughable – all they care about is the latest gta/madden/cod – and then they wonder why they only make money off of used games… shameful – i can’t wait for it all to get digital download. good riddance retail jokers.

  • Mister Spooks

    There wouldn’t be so much negativity if Nintendo didn’t insist on their asinine digital content. A 60 dollar game is a huge investment in something that could you could lose ownership of due to an entirely unrelated incident. If the 3DS malfunctions, or is stolen, anything and EVERYTHING you invest in from the Nintendo store is unrecoverable. As bad as the PSN and Xbox Live is, this at least isn’t a risk. Same reason why I still haven’t used the Wii’s DL games either. I already invested about 100 dollars in points on my first wii, and that thing died within 3 months of ownership. Brand new, at that.

  • FlamingFirewire

    Until they take down the bloody game – Fate/Unlimited CODES was another DD-only game on the PSP, and is now impossible to buy or legally redownload since Capcom took it off of PSN. If I had a 3DS I would still buy this game as I did with the Corpse Party games, but only to keep the series I really like getting translated into English.

    • The games taken down are licensed. Fate is, Brave Story (based on a novel), Outrun used car company license…
      Ace Attorney 5 should be safe but some that was taken down have a reason unfortunately.

      • FlamingFirewire

        That’s the thing though, when a licensed game like CODES gets taken down, the only way left for someone to get the game is to either import or pirate since there is no longer any other way to get your hands on the game. That’s why if you have a physical copy, even if all the digital copies are “destroyed”, if you own it and take good care of it, the game will last you a long time.

  • Otoya

    This is totally crap….. I always hated download only as I could not access it due to outside of US. This sux…..

  • Höhlenmensch

    Those are some pretty lame excuses.

    They could always sell a limited print run via their own online shop if retailers don’t want to stock the game.

  • Looks like I’m going to enjoy my little box on July 25 :) Regardless westerners should be delighted to have it and so fast, especially given that such a great game as Investigations 2 wasn’t localized at all.

    Do we know if it will be translated in various Europeans languages?

  • Ni

    My only problem with download only games is on a nintendo system since if my 3ds break i’m going to have some high losses

    • Mr_SP

      The 3DS doesn’t record your purchases?

      • I recall they do, this is still an “account”. Likewise using Club Nintendo and writing down your serial number helps.
        People forget that Nintendo actually as a pretty good customer service.

      • SiliconNooB

        There’s no user accounts – this is why I don’t own Crimson Shroud… :/

        I don’t care if companies do digital only on Vita, but when it happens to 3DS and Wii U it’s incredibly frustrating for me, since I don’t feel comfortable buying digital on those platforms.

        Nintendo’s online strategy is a sadness.

        • Don’t get why people miss out on the budget stuff. It’s 5$ this month, a fast food meal.
          I understand for full price (AA5 will be my exception) that is a much taller order.

          • SiliconNooB

            The thing is that for around $10 I can buy a PS1 game for my Vita and have it tied to my account, or I can buy a SNES ROM and have it tied to hardware.

            There are probably a few games that I could bring myself to buy on 3DS, but the prospect of upgrading my storage in order for me to have a decent amount of room, and then setting up my credit details, is so unappealing that I haven’t got around to it yet, and probably won’t until there’s something I just have to have.

            The Vita is a digital download powerhouse, and it’s frustrating that Nintendo don’t even try to learn from it…

          • So? Buy what you want, even if it is Crimson Shroud.

            SD cards are cheap and probably take as long to set up 3DS as other consoles, just no proper account system.

            The only thing NIntendo has to learn is the proper account system really. Sure it would be nice to have those VC games crossing over.
            Once Nintendo fixed this problem, eshop’s reputation and sales would double.

          • SiliconNooB

            My point is that I’m never desperate enough to bother with that stuff on Nintendo consoles, because my Sony consoles scratch my digital download itch, and do it so much better.

            Nintendo miss out on a lot of my money because of their reterograde setup.

  • Valtiel Ikari

    oh svensson, you and your silly excuses, regardles, will try to get the game anyway, it just that I’m a sucker for physical copies.

  • Kioku


  • Once again Capcom is so full of themselves. They treat all of their franchises as popular and mainstream. It’s the same reason Breath of Fire will never come back because they think it can’t compete with the likes of Final Fantasy. As if that wasn’t obvious….

  • FamiComplex

    Why is it that no one seems to consider the negative aspects of digital-only purchases? The most important of these is that the game is essentially impossible to preserve.

    I’m a game collector, so this is an issue close to home for me. I’ve got shelves full of 30-40 year old games that still work to this day. But in 20 years, if you didn’t buy it or your 3DS has broken, how will you be able to find and play a copy of this game? The servers will be gone. You’ll have to find a 3DS in the wild that has purchased this game and still has the game installed on it, which is going to be a tall order even if the game sells well. Not to mention the price – it’ll be even more of a rarity than a limited-print physical cartridge.

    That is, of course, provided the hardware holds out – things aren’t made as well as they were even 20 years ago.

  • Im not against eshop purchases despite the fact that there aren´t any sort of account yet that ties your games with it so you can re download em on another device. Also being Ace Attorney a niche title, this way it´s actually wise. However, seriously, i don´t know what the US folks think about the eshop prices, but WTF is going on with latin america. There are many fans over here, but with those prices they put sometimes, it´s not a very good incentive.

  • TWE

    After the Fire Emblem shortages I guess this is the next step – make an equally anticipated title download only “just because”. I don’t expect any less from Capcom, though.

    The truth of the matter is there’s been this feud between publisher and retail going on for a number of years and we’re the ones who suffer for it.

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