On Saturday, former Capcom producer Keiji Inafune started a Kickstarter campaign for a bold action shooter in the mold of Mega Man. Inafune, after all, was an illustrator for the Rockman project and is credited as the co-designer of Capcom’s legendary Blue Bomber. He had his hands in every major Mega Man project spanning 1987 through 2008 and worked as a producer for the Resident Evil, Onimusha, Lost Planet and Dead Rising series’. When it comes to games, Inafune is clearly dedicated to his craft.
Its fair to assess Capcom’s treatment of the Mega Man/Rockman franchise as disappointing and underwhelming. What emerged as one of the penultimate franchises in the late 80s and 90s became Capcom’s go-to to pad their sales figures and churn out mediocre action/rpg hybrids aimed at younger, less discerning audiences. While the Blue Bomber still had a bit of magic left in core series spin-offs like X in the 90s, and later in the Zero and ZX series’, gamers pined for a bit of love in the form of classic Mega Man gameplay, brought up to speed with modern hardware.
But when gamers clamored for a game to fill their empty E-Tanks with, Capcom sat on the franchise and churned out retro styled iterations of Mega Man 9 and Mega Man 10 and cancelled the long desired Mega Man Legends 3. While Inafune was no longer with Capcom at the time of MML3’s demise, the cancellation sent significant ripples throughout the Mega-Man fan community with fans forming petitions and even Inafune expressing regret over never being able to see the project through.
Mighty No. 9 appears to be the spiritual successor to Mega Man and the natural evolution to the Blue Bomber that fans have been waiting to catch a glimpse of. The Kickstarter campaign has already surpassed its initial goal of $900,000 in a mere two days. Fans are clearly excited at Inafune and his company’s, Comcept, vision.
The Kickstarter page is home to a very captivating short documentary that follows Inafune as he discusses the visions he sees as a creator and designer. From listening to the input of fans to the inspirations he draws from the real world. If you have any love for Mega Man, you will instantly recognize the way Inafune sees things. From the Mega-Man II intro to simple things like construction helmets, Mega Man is in everything that Inafune sees, and Mighty No. 9 looks to be no different.
The team that Inafune has surrounded himself is seeping with ex-Capcom talent. Members of Comcept include original Mega Man level designer Naoya Tomita, Mega Man franchise music composer Manami Matsumae, and Mega Man Legends character designer Shinsuke Komaki. If there were ever a chance to create a Mega-Man inspired game and do it right, Comcept clearly has the vision, experience and talent to do so.
Kickstarter has rapidly become one of the best ways for communities to become involved in the development of fantastically creative, independent games. But for the first time in all the Kickstarter projects I’ve followed, Mighty No. 9 has my full interest and support without an ounce of hesitation.