Since 1987, Capcom’s blue bomber has taken on many adventures to save the day from the clutches of evil. In the span of 25 years, Mega Man has branched off into seven different series and sold over 29 million copies worldwide. Like Mario and Sonic are to Nintendo and Sega respectively, Mega Man is easily considered Capcom’s mascot. As it’s Mega Man’s 25th anniversary, it’d be expected that Capcom would do something to celebrate. Maybe a new series, a new game or even just an anniversary pack. With E3 behind us and no mention of Mega Man, you can’t help but wonder if Capcom has forgotten about the blue bomber. But why? Mega Man is the flagship character of Capcom and has made millions of sales around the world. Why have they pushed him off to the side as of late?
When looking at the circumstances around Mega Man, it’s really no surprise as to why we haven’t heard of anything as of late. Back in 2010, Mega Man creator Keiji Inafune said some controversial things about Japanese game developers and how Capcom is behind Western developers. These comments were met with heavy criticism and later that year, Inafune resigned from Capcom and created his own game company. Coincidentally, the latest Mega Man game was released in 2010. But would Capcom have such a deep grudge against Inafune that they’d completely ignore Mega Man?
It’s impossible to say that Capcom has it out for Inafune, but his leaving has affected the Mega Man franchise for the worse. While other franchises like Resident Evil and Street Fighter have received a lot of support from Capcom, Mega Man finds itself pushed off to the side. Take Mega Man Legends 3 for instance. Announced back in 2010 for the 3DS, fans have been anticipating this game for over 10 years. Later that year, Inafune leaves Capcom but the team still says they are working on Mega Man Legends 3. Not only that, but they also planned on releasing a downloadable game on the Nintendo eShop to serve as the prologue. Things are looking good until July 2011 when the entire project was scrapped and Capcom stated there were no plans to resume production. It’s an insult to completely throw out a game that fans have been waiting years for. I guess Capcom wanted to focus more efforts on Street Fighter IV: Whatever Edition.
Speaking of fighting games, whatever happened to Marvel vs. Capcom 3? Sure you got Tron Boone and Zero, but where’s Mega Man? It’s great that Tron and Zero made it in, but why would you leave out the namesake of the series? That’s like putting Street Fighter characters but not Ryu or X-Men characters but not Wolverine. Ok, so maybe Capcom waited to put Mega Man as a DLC character. A character like him would generate some serious revenue through DLC. Well, not a year after MVC3 comes out, Capcom announces Ultimate. While I applaud Capcom for including characters like Phoenix Wright and Strider Hiryu, where’s the love for the blue bomber? In the same polls that voted Wright and Strider as the second and third most requested characters respectively, Mega Man placed first.
Mega Man was included as a guest character in Street Fighter X Tekken, but that is a horrible joke. Let’s move on.
It’s quite obvious by now that Capcom is ignoring Mega Man. Sure, they may have halted video game productions and shunned him from crossover fighting games, but Capcom went one step further in Wreck-It Ralph. Wreck-It Ralph is an upcoming Disney movie about a video game villain who doesn’t want to be the bad guy anymore. Many characters such as Bowser and Dr. Eggman make a cameo appearance, and originally Dr. Wily was also going to appear. A promotional picture from the Mega Man Network shows Dr. Wily in the movie sitting alongside Bowser and Zangief. When the actual trailer was released, Dr. Wily was nowhere to be found. It’s not like Capcom decided that Disney couldn’t use their characters. Zangief and Bison both make an appearance and Zangief even has a speaking role. There’s no denying that Capcom is pushing Mega Man to the side with this move.
It might be only two years since the last Mega Man game, but it’s a mystery why Capcom is keeping quiet during the blue bomber’s 25th anniversary. Street Fighter has a big celebration to commemorate its 25th anniversary, so it’s obvious Capcom doesn’t shy away from celebrating milestones. From an optimistic stand point, Capcom could be giving the franchise a small break so they can focus on other projects. But it’s hard to stay optimistic with the cancellation of Mega Man Legends 3 and the omission of Mega Man in MVC3. Regardless of the reason, Mega Man is the flagship character for Capcom. It’d be foolish to throw out a character who has done so much for this company and the gaming industry.
-Stephen “Smiles” Ramirtha