Mega Man not "dead" or "dying"

Kaihedgie October 1, 2011 User blog:Kaihedgie

I know this is rather late and I feel that I shouldn't be reigniting any old flames, but I need to get this off my chest here

Mega Man is not "dead" or dying or whatever paranoia people are flinging all over the place. He's not either of those things. He's just taken a well-needed break after nearly three decades of constant game releases.

I suppose I should start from where this all truly erupted from: the infamous cancellation of two upcoming Mega Man games: Mega Man Legends 3 and Mega Man Universe. Two highly anticipated games, one being the long awaited continuation of a small, but popular series left on a cliffhanger and another being an online multiplayer-driven experience. Seems like everything was going all dandy until Capcom came to the conclusion that both games had to be cancelled after a year of advertising, due to both games lacking a sufficient amount of interest from fans, matters not being improved due to the fact that around the same time, an upgrade was announced for the revival of their crossover fighter, Marvel Vs Capcom 3. Sometime before all that though, the franchise's creator Keiji Inafune left Capcom of his own accord because of his dislike of the current state of the industry.

A lot of fans tend to pass this off as some blatant, stupid lie and anyone who's still behind them is apparently some corporate, mindless and insufficiently evolved individual not fit to be called to be a gamer or whatever dramatic insults that can be brought up and that apparently, without Inafune's genius (or less informed people thinking that No Inafune = No Mega Man), Capcom will rapidly degenerate further into some greedy corporation. But the thing about this is: I do understand what Capcom's doing here and what they're going through, and to clear things up: the time of the announcement of UMVC3 and the cancellation of those games were purely coincidental as they had to have already been working a lot on UMVC3 just to show off even a modicum of what was new. And here's something else: Capcom still possesses all rights to the Mega Man franchise. While he did create the franchise and was behind the driving force behind most of it, his rights with the franchise did not go with him since the franchise is obviously specifically copyrighted to Capcom and not Inafune himself.

I am not by any means, bagging on the Legends series. When I was a kid, I did possess an interest in getting Legends for the N64 when I saw it on an ad, already having interest garnered from the TV show and playing X1 and X3. But here's the thing that I don't think a lot of these naysayers remembered: Legends was not exactly well-received in its first outing and I cannot say much for the second game. I can't say much for the story though apparently it's been praised as being really good, but honestly, Capcom hasn't been known for maintaining cohesive stories when making sequels. The thing of it is though, people didn't apparently like when Mega Man made the jump to 3D. And it's not so much of a simple 3D version of the traditional formula, but an entire rehaul of the whole game, where as this Mega Man didn't go around a highly elaborate stage design just to fight a boss and then steal their best and most quirky attack afterwards and use it in a risky rock-paper-scissors game, but instead, he was more akin to an Armored Core unit, simply using traditional weaponry and equipping himself with different armor pieces. From the reviews and reactions I garnered, some people didn't like these drastic changes all too well and the game didn't sell a lot, nor did the succeeding games did, stuck in the ten thousands whereas other games, both previous and succeeding would either barely or drastically sell more. On top of that, I just don't hear a lot of talk about the Legends games compared to X or even the trading card-esque iterations.

So in the end, you can't really use the "sales don't equal quality" thing, because I'm pretty sure in this day and age, if this version of Mega Man was the most recent one, I'm pretty sure Legends wouldn't have been well-received anyway, given the nature of fans these days. A lot of people just didn't like it compared to other iterations. It really just teeters more on vocal minority territory than a respectably-sized fanbase. It even barely sold less than ZX. In order for a series to thrive and succeed, it needs to...well, sell really well enough and well, one can't exactly spend so many resources on a game series, however popular it may have been, didn't really sell a lot compared to others, especially when they have new, and equally big, if not, bigger projects going on. Some of the blame can also be placed on some of us fans ranting about games like MVC3, RE4/5 and DMC4, ranting about them and driving away potential supporters.

A bit of a tangent to go on here: why is it that people blame and harp on Capcom for "milking" the heck out of their big-sellers, they get mad when a WIP which is essentially another milking for said big-seller, it's put on halt for other games? It seems kind of silly that people were praising what was essentially another milking of an already incredibly huge franchise then get mad when it's canceled and somehow forget that Capcom is doing what people apparently claims them to be scared of: doing entirely new IPs from the ground up? Yeah, I can sympathize with people waiting ten years for a continuation of a long-abandoned (?) series, but approaching the situation with an attitude like that is just puzzling. Also silly considering the fact that some people apparently were tired of the Mega Man game being "tainted" by all of these spinoffs adding new gimmicks and whatnot, and when Capcom was generous enough to make two new games that went back to its roots (so far as to going back to the familiar NES 16-bit artstyle to enhance novelty), people whined some more about it for reasons that will escape the rational mind.

About Universe, yeah, it looked quite interesting, but honestly, I didn't even hear a lot of that either, and I believed a good amount of people whined about that one, too.

Case and point, with everything that's happened within the span of a month, I honestly don't think that Mega Man is "dying" or "dead". Capcom has stated a billion times over that they consider it an important franchise, and it is, wanting to keep him alive and well and not trying to "kill him" but really, with all that's happened in the past decades, being run with so many sequels and new spinoffs all at once, all it really tells us is that the Blue Bomber needs a long-deserved break and in my opinion, as a fan, this is a decision that's to be respected and understood, not met with scorn and drag Mega Man through the next decade by his torso. There will undoubtedly be new games in the future, but for now, just let him go and give him and his successors the rest they in their own world have so longed for.

Let the Blue Bomber rest easy for a while, kay?

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