Operation Backlog Completion 2024
Aug 282023
 

If you’ve seen my recent Ace Attorney posts, you know I’m very optimistic about Ace Attorney’s future.

To me, Ace Attorney 7 is a matter of when, not if.

For that matter, I even think we have a chance of seeing an Investigations Duology collection, especially given the recent attention it’s received.

But optimism still leaves us with one big question: where is Ace Attorney 7?

The seventh mainline game has been rumored since 2017, and here we are six years later still waiting for a shred of actual news. As I mentioned in my post about Ace Attorney’s future, the data breach leaks that revealed The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles and tentative plans for the Apollo Justice Trilogy also said Ace Attorney 7 was in development.

According to that roadmap, Great Ace Attorney staff would be shifted to the in-development Ace Attorney 7 after finishing work on Chronicles, with Chronicles planned for Q1 2021 release followed by a projected Ace Attorney 7 release in Q3 2021. Chronicles released later than its projected window, but Ace Attorney 7 has come nowhere close. This has led to a lot of speculation about what exactly happened to it, and I think there are three main possibilities.

Possibility #1: The delay is strategic

The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles game out at the end of July 2021 and blew past sales expectations. With Chronicles selling so well, the last thing they’d want to do is release another Ace Attorney game too soon and risk cannibalizing sales – and it might have spurred them to release a collection of games 4-6 before Ace Attorney 7 after all.

Chronicles came out in mid 2021, and then they used Ace Attorney’s success to boost marketing of the Ghost Trick remaster in mid 2023, while preparing the Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy for early 2024.

If this possibility is correct, it would mean that Ace Attorney 7 is going well or even finished, but the announcement was withheld to space out releases and bridge the gap for new fans by releasing the Apollo Justice Trilogy first. We’d probably get an announcement later in 2024 or the next year in that case.

Possibility #2: It was cancelled

The worst possibility, of course, is that Ace Attorney 7 was cancelled. Many fans seem to subscribe to this theory, believing the pandemic, Yamazaki’s departure from Capcom in 2020, or general development troubles led to Ace Attorney 7 being scrapped completely.

Obviously, since I’m an Ace Attorney optimist, I don’t believe this – or at the very least, I believe Capcom would un-cancel it after seeing the success of Chronicles. It is a possibility worth keeping in mind, though, because that would account for such a big delay. In this scenario, the Apollo Justice Trilogy could be seen as either a way to fill the gap while restarting development or an alternative release.

Let’s hope it wasn’t cancelled, though.

Possibility #3: It was rebooted or revamped

While this might sound very close to the previous possibility, this is actually the one I think is the most optimistic: the possibility that the in-development Ace Attorney 7 was playing it safe, but the success of Chronicles convinced them to overhaul the project to make it a more ambitious game.

For example, they could have seen how the two Great Ace Attorney games telling a single story allowed for its story and world to be built up so well and decided to give Ace Attorney 7 more than the usual 5 cases. Or they could have realized Ace Attorney doesn’t need Phoenix as the lead character to be a success (the recent poll focusing on the Ace Attorney characters with their own games fits in with that) and retooled Ace Attorney 7 to have a different lead.

This possibility would mean Ace Attorney 7 is potentially still a ways off, with the Apollo Justice Trilogy filling the gap in the meantime, but it could be the best-case scenario. I’d like to see what they could do if they were willing to take some risks.

Conclusion

Right now, there’s no way of knowing what the current status of Ace Attorney 7 is, but I think these are the most likely possibilities. What do you think happened to Ace Attorney 7?

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  4 Responses to “Why is Ace Attorney 7 Taking So Long?”

  1. I do think Ace Attorney will return in the future, but I’m crossing my fingers that Investigations 1 and 2 Collection will be in the future as I find that the most likely.

    Shu Takumi still seems to be at Capcom and hasn’t had a major new game release in years, from what I can tell, though he seems to have been involved in the Ghost Trick remaster. I wonder if his relative silence could be due to work on Ace Attorney… or maybe a 3rd Great Ace Attorney, if I really want to speculate?

    • I feel like Investigations 1 & 2 would be better to come out after AA7, since the Apollo Justice Trilogy will bridge the gap nicely to 7, so it would be good to follow that.

      Hah, I keep asking that, too! What has Shu Takumi been working on for so long? It seems unlikely that he’d be working on AA7 since Yamazaki would have still been with Capcom when development started (then again, they could have decided they wanted Takumi in charge if he was willing to return)… and since Great Ace Attorney sold poorly on the 3DS, I’d be surprised if Capcom would have greenlit a third game before the success of Chronicles.

  2. I think possibility #1 is the most likely and it’s been done but they’re just holding onto it until the time is right.

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