Marvel vs Capcom 4
Artwork for a previous Marvel vs Capcom entryCapcom

Ryu, Ken and Chun-Li may be set to battle the likes of Spider-Man, Captain America and The Hulk once more, with reports indicating that Marvel vs Capcom 4 is set to be announced imminently ahead of a release next year.

Polygon cites multiple sources that have told them Capcom is currently at work on the next iteration of the hit crossover series, and that an announcement will be made this coming weekend (2-4 December) at Sony's PlayStation Experience fan event in California.

During that event, the Capcom Cup 2016 Street Fighter 5 tournament will be taking place, as well as a Sony keynote Saturday evening (UK time) at which other announcements are expected.

Unlike previous entries, Marvel vs Capcom 4 will reportedly not include members of the X-Men universe, as Marvel wishes to focus on characters that form part of its Cinematic Universe.

This means Avengers members like Iron Man and Ant-Man could appear alongside Groot and Rocket from Guardians of the Galaxy, but not X-Men like Wolverine, Deadpool or Storm. Characters included in the Fantastic Four series, such as The Human Torch, Reed Richards or the group's arch-nemesis Doctor Doom may also miss out.

This is because the rights to X-Men and Fantastic Four movies are tied up with 20th Century Fox, and so are not part of Marvel Studios' Cinematic Universe. In the world of comic books, Marvel has also taken the focus off these groups as to weaken their appeal and put a greater focus on series that can make them more money through Hollywood outings.

The last game in the Marvel vs Capcom series was 2011's Fate of Two Worlds for Xbox 360 and PS3, which was followed by Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 later that same year. Marvel's deal with Capcom expired in 2013, but the popularity of the series has endured.

Polygon spoke to Marvel Games vice president Jay Ong back in June about fan pleas the series to be brought back. "There's nothing we can say at this time," he said. "Let's just say that we hear that a lot. We love our fans and we certainly want to please them. Beyond that we can't say anything at this time. But who knows what the future holds?"

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