So I backed Mighty No. 9. For some of you that probably comes as no surprise as I think everyone did. For some of you who know me better you might realize it as a surprise since I only own Mega Man 5 and even then I’ve never beaten it. I’ve beaten Mega Man X (after a lot of work) as well as X2 and X3 thanks to friends (and their infinite patience).
There’s been some recent news that Capcom, after seeing the success of Mighty No. 9 might either sue the developers Comcept or that they (Comcept) were open to a deal where Capcom would publish the title for them as a Mega Man game.
Because there has been so much back and forth about this I’m going to hit the rewind button on you all and talk about why and how this all began.
This all technically started when Keiji Inafune left Capcom. Keiji Inafune is often credited as the creator of the franchise as he designed the original robots, story and overall concept of Mega Man. Inafune left the company in 2010 and created the company Comcept. By that time Capcom had released three physical titles for Mega Man on the DS which is the last system a physical title was released for the franchise in at least three years. Mega Man ZX, ZX Advent and the Mega Man Zero collection. As of this writing if you took the sales of all three titles together you would not break one million units sold. I can’t speak for the sales figures of Mega Man 9 and 10 so I won’t.
So you can get an idea that Capcom might not see Mega Man as a great commercial success. Even titles like Mega Man Universe were getting the axe after Inafune left.
Then came the Mega Man Legends 3 debacle.
This all started when Inafune during an interview stated that he’d love to work on a sequel to Mega Man Legends 2 back in 2007 but admitted that there wasn’t a large likelihood of that. Fan demand rose during this period and news on the project swayed back and forth. Presumably in the wake of the other Mega Man titles and their respective sales figures. During this time there was a massive collective between Capcom and the fan base trying to produce it. If legend is to be believed there was a period where fans were actually offering and producing source code for Legends 3. I believe a prototype version was slated for release as well. However Capcom dropped the cancellation notice (long after the prototype’s release date) and rumors exist that certain assets were used in other games.
Then Keiji Inafune had a plan. For the man had left the company by the time the cancellation notice hit and had developed his own studio; Comcept, consisting mostly of ex Capcom employees, many of whom worked on the classic Mega Man games.
And then Inafune decided to create a new blue robot that fought evil robots and stole their powers. This one was Mighty No. 9 otherwise known as Beck.
Aww… he’s cute!
So Inafune had a plan but needed an audience, buyers if you will. And there, waiting in the wings were the lines of classic Mega Man fans and people irked by the Mega Man Legends 3 project. And Inafune put the sucker on Kickstarter.
Requesting 900,000 dollars for its funding it would go on to hit each of its stretch goals to the 4 million mark between Kickstarter and paypal donations. It supposedly got its full funding within one day.
As such Inafune has toured the media circuit answering any and all questions. Most of the rumours flying around, such as that Inafune was in talks with Capcom (which he isn’t though he’s open to talks) and that Capcom was suing him (which they aren’t) are mostly the result of speculative questions on the part of journalists.
In truth Mighty No. 9 isn’t going anywhere save to every damn console you can imagine. If Inafune took it to Capcom it would probably be to take advantage of the publication and distribution options which is valid. Also there would be a possibility that it could be made into a Mega Man title which might have been Inafune’s original intention.
But, as I said, that’s in the realm of speculative questions and not reality.
So why did I back it?
Well, perhaps for the innovation. In all my talk of Mighty No. 9 I’ve told you the history and nothing of what it might be. The idea is that Mighty No. 9, much like the original Mega Man has you as a robot battling eight other robots and taking their powers. However, in this game Mighty No. 9 is rebuilt and his form changes with each power up meaning the way he interacts with the environment and theoretically the way he controls changed with each boss defeat.
That means that each stage in Mighty No. 9 can have features for each weapon to uncover and use. This means that there are multiple options and areas to explore in each stage depending on the weapons you’ve uncovered. And that I want to see. I’ve wanted to see it for a long time in a Mega Man game and if Mighty No. 9 has the pedigree it does, then the odds are good that it will be done well.
And so too does this work exist.