In spite of all the problems they have, fans love crossovers, and I’m no different. I conveniently ignore the fact that crossovers often contain cheesy catchphrases, obvious confrontations, and a cliche team-up plot, usually about saving the world — all in the name of making fans giddy with excitement. The stakes might not be that high in Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney, but that doesn’t make the crossover any less enticing for fans of the two cult DS series.
In an interview with Famitsu, Ace Attorney creator Shu Takumi states that development on the 3DS game is almost finished. Progress has been moving along smoothly, with Takumi focusing on the finishing touches, but he can’t say much more. Of course, all Western fans want to know is when, or more likely if, this game is getting localized for North America and Europe. After all, there’s always a chance that the game will never get the translation it deserves.
The Ace Attorney series has been slowly declining in America, with the most recently released game, Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth, not selling amazingly well. A sequel, also featuring Edgeworth, was passed over for localization by Capcom due to the lack of projected return. Part of it might be the close similarities between the games — and it’s not the first time that Capcom has run a franchise into the ground — and part of it might be the loss of casual players to smartphone gaming. But whatever the reason, the Ace Attorney series seems to be on life support in America.
Furthermore, there are many crossover games that never get released in America due to licensing rights, perceived lack of interest, or whatever reason Japanese companies can think up. Some fans are still pining over the fact that Namco x Capcom never came out on PS2 in English.
However, Level-5 has made a point to have Nintendo localize every game in the Professor Layton series, even if they take forever to be released. It is Level-5 that is developing this crossover game with assistance from Capcom, so hopefully their commitment to the series means that there is still a chance that Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney will get a US release. I’m extremely skeptical, but at this point fans can do nothing but hope Level-5 cares enough about their Western customers. It’s possible that we’ll hear more about a localization decision after the game’s Japanese release.