Source: Game Informer is reporting that Namco and Capcom are working together on a pair of crossover fighting games built off the Tekken 6 and Street Fighter IV engines.
What we heard: While the fighting game genre hasn't been the same since the heyday of arcades, crossover efforts have been one surefire way to draw attention. In 2008, Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe scored the last big hit for Midway Games, and next year's Marvel vs. Capcom 3 dominated this year's Capcom booth at the Electronic Entertainment Expo.
With Street Fighter, Soulcalibur, and Tekken, Capcom and Namco own some of the biggest fighting game franchises in the world, but the two publishers' brawlers have very different play styles. Capcom generally restrains its fighting action to a single 2D plane and features fireballs as commonly as fisticuffs, while Namco's fighters allow for more free-roaming movement and lean more toward melee combat.
Those different styles would make settling on a middle ground for a crossover game difficult, but the Game Informer report offers an interesting solution to the problem. According to the rumor, Namco would make a game called Namco vs. Capcom using its own style and based on the Tekken 6 engine. Meanwhile, Capcom would produce Capcom vs. Namco how it saw fit and build the game on the Street Fighter IV engine.
That's a similar approach to one used for Capcom's original cross-company crossover with SNK. Beginning in 1999, Capcom created a handful of titles using both companies' characters, including arcade and console editions of Capcom vs. SNK and Capcom vs. SNK 2. Meanwhile, SNK created SNK vs. Capcom card-battling games and a fighter for its short-lived Neo Geo Pocket Color console, and years later it released SVC Chaos: SNK vs. Capcom for the Neo Geo, PlayStation 2, and Xbox.
As for Namco's fighting game crossovers, they've been more limited in scope. Each of the console versions of Soulcalibur II featured an exclusive guest character, with the GameCube version including Nintendo's Zelda star Link, while Xbox players got to take control of Todd McFarlane's Spawn. For the PS2 version, Namco brought in one of its own brawlers, with Tekken's Heihachi entering the weapons-based fighter bare-handed. The publisher took a similar approach with Soulcalibur IV, shipping the game with Star Wars icons Darth Vader and Yoda as exclusive characters on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, respectively.
Namco and Capcom have also worked together on a crossover project before, even though it never saw release outside of Japan. In 2005, Namco published Namco x Capcom for the PS2. Unlike the SNK-Capcom games, Namco x Capcom was a role-playing game featuring more than 200 characters pulled from both publishers' entire catalogs, including non-fighters like Klonoa, Ghosts 'n Goblins, Xenosaga, and Resident Evil.
Game Informer's story doesn't name its sources and clearly labels its report as "rumor." However, it also says the crossover will be announced in a trailer this Saturday at Comic-Con. Looking through the Comic-Con panel schedule, Capcom does have Super Street Fighter IV producer Yoshinori Ono scheduled to give a talk reflecting on his latest game and offering "his exciting vision for the future of the franchise."
The official story: "We don’t comment on speculation or rumors."--A Capcom representative.
"We do not comment on rumors or speculation."--A Namco representative.
Bogus or not bogus?: There's not enough info to make a call just yet, but the rumor makes sense. Both companies have been amenable to such partnerships in the past, and two distinct crossovers would generate tons of interest. Check back with GameSpot throughout the weekend for the latest from Comic-Con.