Feature

Answering Five Big Questions About The Future Of Mega Man

by Ben Reeves on Dec 15, 2017 at 02:00 PM

After a seven-year hiatus, Mega Man is finally back with a new experience on modern consoles. However, is Capcom’s adorable blue robot here to stay or is Capcom just testing the waters? We talked with the development team at Capcom to get a better sense for if fans can expect more Mega Man projects coming down the line anytime soon.

Why Was There Such A Long Break After Mega Man 10?
In less than a quarter century, Man Man had appeared in over 100 titles, but after the release of Mega Man 10, and creative leader Keiji Inafune announced he was leaving the company to begin work on new projects like Recore and Mighty No. 9. Capcom then canceled its existing Mega Man projects, and the blue bomber began to fade into the background. Fans began to wonder if Capcom had forgotten about this classic gaming icon.

“To be honest with you, when Inafune left it was a difficult atmosphere within the company,” says Mega Man 11 producer Kazuhiro Tsuchiya. “It was difficult for somebody to step up and say, ‘I really want to work on Mega Man.’ Inafune-san was definitely a brand leader for the franchise. He helped pave the way for its success, and he had a lot of brilliant ideas. That’s an absolute truth. So when he left, there was a sense of emptiness, and a sense that no one was appropriate to pick up the mantle and pave a new vision for Mega Man.”

Does Mega Man Still Matter to Capcom?
Mega Man used to be Capcom’s biggest brand, but since the creation of Resident Evil and Monster Hunter, that is no longer the case. However, Mega Man is still important to Capcom.

“I still feel like Mega Man is one of the important pillars of the company,” says Mega Man 11 director Koji Oda. “At the end of the day, we asked ourselves, ‘What does Capcom need to do for its fans? Should we act like Mega Man is a thing of the past? Should we toss him aside?’ I felt like that would be a foolish gesture. Inafune-san was a very important component to making Mega Man a success, but Mega Man is such a treasure to the company that it would be a waste to let him go because someone left.”

Would Capcom Consider Making another 3D Mega Man?
Mega Man 11 is sticking close to the series’ roots, but that doesn’t mean Capcom wouldn’t consider taking the series in a bold new direction. In fact, early on in the development of Mega Man 11, Capcom considered doing something different with a new Mega Man game.

“You could build a mountain with all the different concepts we came up with, but we want to make sure that whatever we implemented would maintain that simplicity and durability of gameplay,” says Oda. “It’s called Mega Man 11, but there was actually a heavy amount of discussion to get us to that point. A lot of us asked, ‘What do we want to call this? Do we want to take it in a brand-new direction and call it something totally different?’ At the end of the day we decided we wanted to be as straightforward as possible and tell people this is what you’ve been waiting for.”

Can We Expect A Mega Man 12?
Sequels are usually dependent on the success of the game that came before them, so the fate of a Mega Man 12 will largely depend on the success of Mega Man 11. However, Capcom is hoping that Mega Man will come back in a big way.

“This is definitely not just a trial balloon, we’re definitely not experimenting,” says Mega Man 11 producer Kazuhiro Tsuchiya. “We don’t even have the bandwidth to experiment. This is all about pouring everything we have and everything we know into one project and making it happen. We’re using our prior experience and knowledge to strengthen ourselves and reach the next level. From the start of the project I’ve been saying, ‘Mega Man 11 needs to be a true resurrection of the franchise.’ I really want this title to be something that veterans can pick up and say, ‘Yes, Mega Man is finally back.’”

What about The Mega Man X And Legends Series?
Obviously, Capcom isn’t ready to announce any new games outside of Mega Man 11, but if this game does well it could lead to a revival across the brand. In fact, we specifically asked members of the team if they were interested in also working on any of Mega Man’s other side franchises.

“I’m one of those people who thinks that actions speak louder than words,” says Oda. “I could say all kinds of things, but at the end of the day, I’d like fans to see that we’re taking it seriously by starting to resurrect the brand in the way that we are and to continue to prove ourselves moving forward. I love reading survey data. It’s a great pastime, and I’m well aware that there is a voice out there that wants something new for games like Mega Man Legends and Battle Network.”

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