Or should we really just call this Mega Man 11?
Free-spirited Keiji Inafune, creator of Mega Man and ex-Capcom developer, has done it again. He’s slated a new “Megaman-esque” game on the horizon and has 1.8 million USD behind it… All from Kickstarter. Why is everyone so on-fire?
For the longest time, since Inafune’s leave, Capcom has been all-thumbs on what to do with Mega Man. Between many cancelled projects and debatable “revivals”, Mega Man has been languishing on Capcom’s floor, with the rights still in their hands. Since Inafune cannot simply call his next hero “Rockman”/”Mega Man”, he decided to name him Beck, the Mighty No. 9 who must defeat the Mighty Robots Numbers 1 through 8 who have gone renegade, just like the Robot Masters. With that concept in hand, the Kickstarter met well over its goal in one night. Let’s look into the Kickstarter aspect a little bit further.
As the recent Mecha Monday’s post has evidenced, fans have collectively bet well over 1 million dollars on a Mega Man game. Essentially, this puts serious dent into claims that there was non-profitable interest in Mega Man like Megaman Legends 3. Though this is Keiji Inafune we are talking about, who can drum up a hype machine like it’s nobody’s business. Also, his natural drama with Capcom has so many people intrigued.
In a way, Kickstarter has that safe, low commitment model that runs differently from the usual corporate model. The corporate model needs lots of money from investors staking money on the line and bank either on a big success or run a risk of failure. However, with Kickstarter, the commitment to the game hinges on the game’s ability to meet goals and stretch goals. Therefore, with little-by-little goals, not every game has to be a multi-million dollar production but can be gauged piece by piece. If the project fails, then the “shareholders” don’t suffer any loss, unlike with the typical model.
Kickstarter also gives lots of agency to donors, such as “your name here” or “make a challenge.” Many would laud the teamwork between consumer and developer, but of course these things must be within reason. (e.g. Fans barely know jack squat about good game design.) Yes, it might be cheesy, but unlike most suits, laymen need to see something a bit more tangible when they put their hat in the financial ring. All in all, it’s still a great communication between the fans and developers.
However, there are limits to a Kickstarter model; it is far more difficult to make a AAA graphics Crysis 2 caliber game with your primary investors being fans. Though in this case, Inafune has his own funding machine; his personality has called the masses directly, turning a humble grassroots into a wildfire. I don’t think every game has to run on some high definition grade and scale of graphical prowess. Besides, the human eye cannot really tell the difference in frame rates past 60 after all.
So for a “low key” graphical game (aka not HD hyper realistic 120fps) that promises A+ gameplay, I’d say Mighty No. 9 is gonna be a smash, so much so that I wonder how Capcom is going to respond. Capcom is known for not taking their lumps quietly. Either way, I couldn’t be more excited so welcome back, Mega–I mean, Beck. Join me next time when I tell exaggerated tales of my romantic life.
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