The Blue Bomber will always be one of gaming’s most iconic characters. It’s hard not to be when your legacy includes over 50 games across 8 different series’ and when one of those games is Mega Man 2, which is one of my all-time favourites. However, the outlook for Mega Man has looked grim since the release of Mega Man 10 last March. Is it possible that Mega Man is dead? I hope not, but here’s a few indications that it might already be too late.
1. Keiji Inafune (the creator of Mega Man) left Capcom
Keiji Inafune was a key member of Capcom for over 20 years. Besides being the creator of Mega Man, he eventually moved all the way to the top of the company. Unfortunately, Keiji left Capcom in October 2010, and the split wasn’t necessarily amicable. Beyond saying some not-so-nice things about Capcom and the Japanese gaming industry as a whole as he left, he then followed that up with even more bitter comments on his own blog. Would Capcom snuff out Mega Man as a means of erasing Inafune from Capcom’s legacy? Or as a means to get back at him? If one of those is the correct theory, #2 and #3 could support that.
2. Two Mega Man games cancelled, with no new ones in sight
Mega Man games usually come out at the same rate as any given sports franchise, if not more frequent. However, Mega Man hasn’t starred in a game since March 2010, where he starred in Mega Man 10. The last two Mega Man games in development, Mega Man Universe and Mega Man Legends 3, have both been cancelled. The latter cancellation in particular was an interesting point of discussion, as Capcom pulled the plug on the free Nintendo 3DS demo of the game a week before it was set to launch. With both of those projects in the can, Capcom currently has nothing planned for Mega Man, at least that we know of.
3. Mega Man was left off the Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 roster
Mega Man used to star in every vs. Capcom game. As one of Capcom’s marquee characters, it’d be crazy to think that they’d make a vs. Capcom game without him. So when Marvel vs. Capcom 3 came out in February 2011 without Mega Man, it struck many as odd and angered quite a few Mega Man fans as well. When Capcom decided to poll fans on who should they wanted to see in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 through DLC, Mega Man X was the top vote-getter overall.
In spite of the fan response, the entire Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 roster has been revealed (intentional or otherwise) and Mega Man is once again, nowhere to be found. There’s no reason why Capcom couldn’t put him in there, as they own the rights to the character. There’s clearly an audience that wants him there, too. They also could have simply ported Mega Man Volnutt from Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, just as they did with Zero. What is it then, that keeps Mega Man off the roster?
It may be too early to pass judgment, but if you add it all up, I think there’s very much reason to be suspicious. Is Mega Man simply on vacation? Or is something fishy going on around here?