Back in August, a new project called Mighty No. 9 was announced on Kickstarter, with Comcept, the game’s developers, hoping to have raised at least $900,000 before October 1st, and aiming to release the actual game in April 2015. To everyone’s surprise, the game’s Kickstarter campaign managed to achieve its target just two days after the campaign started. When the campaign ended, it made over $4 million (if you count PayPal donations), which means all the stretch goals have been attained.
Almost immediately, the game seems like its another Mega Man. In fact, that’s the whole point. With Mighty No. 9, Comcept aims to bring classic Mega Man gameplay back into fashion, but I think there’s more to it than that.
As much as I hate to admit it, the Mega Man franchise is dead in the water, mainly because Capcom has become very negligent towards the franchise since series creator Keiji Inafune left the company. The last major game ever made for the Mega Man franchise was Mega Man 10, which was released four years ago, and that game was, at worst, a rehash of Mega Man 9 (but still an enjoyable game at best). What about the Mega Man X series? There hasn’t been a Mega Man X game since 2005. Maybe Keiji Inafune was done with the X series.
All Capcom-related malaise aside, I think that Mighty No. 9 is basically the new Mega Man – a way for the old Mega Man to finally pass the torch to a new generation. Though it’s not 100% confirmed, Keiji Inafune has expressed an interest in expanding Mighty No. 9 into a larger franchise. This would effectively establish Mighty No. 9 as a franchise in its own right, except Keiji Inafune would have complete control.
I think that this would give Capcom a real wakeup call. There are a number of possibilities for Mighty No. 9. If Mighty No. 9 becomes successful enough to inspire Capcom to get off their asses, we could see a rivalry between Mega Man and Mighty No. 9, which I think would be very interesting, especially if we see a crossover between the two.
Mighty No. 9 might just be the game that brings classic 2D design back to the games industry, if it can prove that it can be enjoyable for gamers of all ages, which I think it will. As a Mega Man fan, I have a lot of faith in it, so I hope it succeeds, especially with the amount of effort put into the Kickstarter campaign.