Capcom Vancouver has announced, via the community outreach site Capcom Unity, that its mobile title Puzzle Fighter is being shut down. The game can still be downloaded from app stores until July 1 and will be playable until July 31, when the servers will officially go dark. Players of Puzzle Fighter will be able to play with three new characters (Resident Evil‘s Ada Wong, Mega Man‘s Dr. Wily, and Dino Crisis‘s Regina) and two new stages for free for the rest of the game’s lifespan. If you already own it, Capcom has provided a thank-you gift of 10,000 gems.
Initially announced in August of last year, Puzzle Fighter is a head-to-head mobile game patterned after Capcom’s classic 1996 arcade game Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo. (There was never a first Puzzle Fighter; the title of the game is self-parody by Capcom, referring to its own multiple pre- and suffixed versions of Street Fighter II.) Players pick from an all-star cast of Capcom characters, including Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li, Mega Man, Morrigan, Jill Valentine, Dante, and Viewtiful Joe, and compete with each other in a block-dropping puzzle game.
Puzzle Fighter is the latest chapter in a series of changes being made to Capcom’s Vancouver, B.C., studio in recent months, following the layoff of 50 employees in February and the cancellation of an as-yet untitled original project. This was reportedly spurred by the reported underperformance of 2016’s Christmas-themed open-world zombie beat-’em-up Dead Rising 4. These moves by Capcom Vancouver are, as per the Puzzle Fighter announcement, designed to narrow the scope and increase focus on the next game in the Dead Rising series, which in turn, represents an announcement that there will be another game in the Dead Rising series.
(The franchise’s survival was, at least for a while, in doubt. Dead Rising 4 abandoned the series’s difficulty and emphasis on strict time limits in favor of a bland, lowest-common-denominator open-world power fantasy, and recast the voice role of the franchise protagonist Frank West. In return, it got a critical shellacking.)
Capcom Vancouver was founded in 2005 in Burnaby, British Columbia, as Blue Castle Games. It was later tapped to develop 2010’s Dead Rising 2 for Capcom, which was the only real success story from a period where Capcom was in the habit of farming many of its go-to franchises out to third-party developers. After DR2, Blue Castle was acquired and rebranded as Capcom Vancouver. Puzzle Fighter was the studio’s first non-Dead Rising release since 2009.