Let me go on record here and say that this is more of a rant than anything else. I’ve been a fan of Mega Man since I was a kid, growing up with him battling the nefarious Dr. Wily and those metal robots starting in the NES era. The games were hard as nails, but were extremely fun, especially trying to figure out the specific boss order. I even followed him into the future for the Mega Man X series and I surfed the web with him during his Battle Network phase. I was even probably one of the few who actually was really looking forward to the LittleBigPlanet style Mega Man game. So seeing what Capcom has been doing to the little blue guy recently is just about heartbreaking, especially for the fans. What a mess.
It seems like ever since Keiji Inafune left Capcom, they’ve been taking out their anger on Mega Man. I’m not trying to link the fact that Mega Man was basically Inafune’s creation and his less than amicable last few months with Capcom, but it’s something that does raise an eyebrow. It does seem like they’re kind of snuffing out his last works with the company. Why? No idea, but it is common knowledge that the two sides weren’t exactly seeing eye to eye during the last year he was employed. Lets look at the facts here.
Inafune’s last project with the company was Mega Man Universe, a kind of do it yourself Mega Man downloadable game. You could create your own Mega Man type character and even build and share levels. You’d even be able to use characters from other Capcom franchises like Ryu from Street Fighter and Arthur from Ghosts ‘n’ Goblins. It sounded like a cool project. It had already been in development for a good 6 months prior and was set to release this year on XBLA and PSN. It was quietly and unceremoniously canceled only a few months ago for undefined “various reasons”.
Next up was the infamous case of Mega Man Legends 3. Fans have been craving this game for a long, long time. Capcom stated that they were going to release a sort of “prototype version” before it’s actual release so fans could download it and even contribute feedback for the developers. Last week, Capcom pulled the plug on the game and the prototype version saying that fans didn’t do enough to help develop the game. Apparently, Capcom kind of expected fans to develop the game using their “Devroom” website. Thing is, they didn’t really get that message out on how much they wanted fans to do. When not enough people participated to what they wanted, Capcom jump to the conclusion that people weren’t interested and cancelled the game. Communication was clearly lacking from Capcom in what they were looking for from the fans. Maybe they never really cared in the first place and only feigned interest.
An activist group called “100,000 Strong for Bringing Back Mega Man Legends 3” formed to show Capcom that MML3 has real fan support. Personally, I hope it works out. I doubt Capcom will listen in the end, but hopefully it will at least open their eyes. They have nothing to lose and it will bring awareness, so they have my support.
Strangely enough Universe was cancelled a few months prior to this getting the axe as well. It’s sad when Capcom cancels the only two Mega Man projects in the works, especially for those millions of fans around the world. It kind of shakes your confidence as well. At least it did to me. They’ve also come on record stating that they do not have any Mega Man projects in the works. I grew up with the blue bomber and I certainly hope we haven’t seen the last of him. He helped make Capcom what it is today and for that care and respect to suddenly disappear is not right. To me, Capcom is slowly turning into a company that really only puts out updates to current games. I mean, look at their fighting games for example. They put out a new product almost on a yearly basis. Street Fighter 4 has already had 3 different versions of itself in a short span of time. To completely ignore one of their staple franchises would be a terrible and regrettable move. I’m hoping that they don’t go down that path. Prove me wrong Capcom.