Operation Backlog Completion 2024
Jun 192023
 

(Note: this is not the correct play order.)

As you can probably guess, the absolute highlight of the recent showcases for me was Capcom’s, because it included the announcement of the Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy.

If you didn’t catch the news, the Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy is a new collection of Ace Attorney games that bundles the 4th, 5th, and 6th mainline games: Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies, and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice.

(For some reason, the official website includes a beautiful image of the games’ art… in the wrong play order, as seen here, but that’s probably because Spirit of Justice’s art looks best as a centerpiece.)

It will be out in early 2024 for Switch, PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

Even though I’ve already played all three games, I’m delighted by the news, not only because it means more people can play them, but also because I believe it’s another sign that Ace Attorney’s future is brighter than ever.

We’ve been waiting for Ace Attorney 7 for a very long time. Remember back in 2017, when rumors claimed Ace Attorney 7 was coming in 2018? That obviously didn’t happen. There hasn’t been a brand-new Ace Attorney game since 2017, when The Great Ace Attorney 2 first came out in Japan, so it’s no surprise that hopes for the series were starting to dim.

I’d started to give up hope that we’d ever even see the unlocalized entries in the series, which at the time were Investigations 2 and the two Great Ace Attorney games.

All that changed in 2021 with the release of The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles. Capcom had decided that the two historical spin-offs (which hadn’t sold well) were worthy of being remastered, bundled, and translated for the first time. Chronicles even got a physical release on the Switch in North America, despite the last two mainline entries being digital-only. That was enough to make me believe in Ace Attorney’s future again, especially when Chronicles blasted past sales expectations (according to the leak, their sales expectations for Chronicles were 300k copies by 2025).

Yet with no sign of Ace Attorney 7 despite the leaks saying it was in development, many fans once again started to say the series was dead.

But what about now?

In the leaks that revealed The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles and claimed Ace Attorney 7 was also in development, the prospect of a collection containing Apollo Justice, Dual Destinies, and Spirit of Justice was mentioned only tentatively, to be decided based on the sales of the other games. Many fans went so far as to say it was confirmed to not be happening due to the expenses required to translate Dual Destinies and Spirit of Justice into all the languages Apollo Justice had been available in.

Well, it seems that’s not the case after all, because the Apollo Justice collection is on its way, in 7 different languages, with Dual Destinies and Spirit of Justice being translated into other languages for the first time (previously, Japanese and English were the only languages for those two).

Since Capcom is willing to give Ace Attorney games new translations, I’m more optimistic than ever for Ace Attorney Investigations 2’s chances of being localized.

And between The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles and the Apollo Justice Trilogy, it looks like we’re finally free from the worry that Capcom believed an Ace Attorney game would only sell if Phoenix’s name was in the title. Could we see an Ace Attorney Investigations Duology in the years ahead?

Most important of all, the biggest hurdle to a 7th mainline game was the fact that only half of the mainline series was available on current platforms. With the 3DS eShop having been shut down, the 4th, 5th, and 6th games were only available on mobile devices, and even those were unavailable for a lot of new phones.

With all 6 mainline Ace Attorney games on modern platforms, Capcom willing to go the extra step to translate entries that hadn’t been translated before, and the series seeing excellent sales (enough for them to use “from the creator of Ace Attorney” in the hopes of boosting Ghost Trick’s sales, too), I don’t see anything standing in the way of Ace Attorney 7 now.

Yes, there’s a good chance it’ll have a new director if Shu Takumi no longer wants to work on mainline Ace Attorney, since Takeshi Yamazaki left Capcom a few years ago, but there’s no reason to think Capcom couldn’t put someone else in charge – and no reason to assume the new director wouldn’t understand the series, either.

This isn’t the time for Ace Attorney doom and gloom! With The Great Ace Attorney translated and the Apollo Justice Trilogy coming next year, I say Ace Attorney optimism should be at an all-time high.

How do you feel about the current state of the Ace Attorney series and its future prospects?

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  9 Responses to “Ace Attorney’s Future Looks Brighter Than Ever”

  1. Your analysis of recent Ace Attorney history and the cause for optimism is spot-on. The likelihood for Ace Attorney Investigations 2 to be officially localised (as part of a duology) is at its greatest point, far better than when we were campaigning for it together in 2014. Especially because of The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles.

    This is also twice in three years that Ace Attorney has been the star of the show in CAPCOM’s June showcases.

    You’re also missing that CAPCOM bothered to redo the Ace Attorney Trilogy on mobile. If that was a trivial lift for them, that’s a very good sign, because it should hopefully mean that when the next hardware generation comes (as defined by Nintendo; I’m pretty sure the Switch is where Ace Attorney sells the best), it should be trivial to port Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy to that too. Even better if the next console is backwards compatible, which is why PS4 and Xbox One is the platform that these keep coming out on.
    The last thing we want is for a new hardware generation to “reset” our re-release “progress”. If CAPCOM has to waste time or resources doing yet another re-release of the first trilogy, they’re never gonna work on anything new, because they like the path of least resistance.

    I think you do have one flaw, though!

    We’d get one of Ace Attorney 7 or that Investigations duology next. Not both. At least, not for several years. Knowing CAPCOM, it’s probably the duology. Ghost Trick running on the RE Engine probably means they’d have the Ace Attorney Investigations games running on the RE Engine, too.
    I think Ace Attorney 7 might have some troubled development history. Maybe they’ve scrapped it several times because they dunno wot direction the story should go.

    As for the artwork, the placement they have is the best placement when you consider the direction of everyone’s pointer fingers.

    • That’s true, I tend to overlook the mobile port of the Phoenix Wright Trilogy, but that was another significant move.

      I disagree, I think getting Ace Attorney 7 next is more likely than the Investigations duology. Continuing the main series feels more important for the brand, and the Apollo Justice Trilogy will create momentum toward it. Announcing AA7 after the Apollo Justice Trilogy will make it easy to market as the next game to play, while porting Investigations in between might make that more confusing for new fans.

      (Not that I’d mind being wrong, though. Investigations never even got a 3DS port, so it’s past time for it to see the light of day again.)

      And yes, I’d originally written a line questioning the placement of the artwork, until I looked again and saw how they were pointing. That’s when I changed it to instead say SoJ’s art works best as the centerpiece.

  2. I’m not sure about brighter than ever; I feel like true fever pitch was reached when Ace Attorney was crossing over into Professor Layton, and Project X Zone, and even Marvel vs. Capcom! But I do think this is the brightest that the series future has looked in years and I’m very hopeful that the games (including Ghost Trick!) continue to sell well and encourage more games in a similar style! Hey, maybe even other companies having success with the format (like The Murder of Sonic the Hedgehog) being a positive influence on them making more!

  3. […] from this is that Edgeworth is popular, and Capcom knows it. A couple months ago, while discussing my optimistic beliefs about Ace Attorney’s future, I said I thought the success of The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles and the announcement of the […]

  4. […] you’ve seen my recent Ace Attorney posts, you know I’m very optimistic about Ace Attorney’s […]

  5. […] mentioned earlier this year that Ace Attorney’s future looks brighter than ever (or at least brighter than it has been in over a decade). The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles getting […]

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