Today, let’s talk about the gigantic blue elephant in the room: Megaman, who is pretty much the unofficial mascot of the entire company. Yes, Keiji Inafune may be batshit crazy. Yes, he may be the videogame industry’s equivalent of Bob Kane. Yes, his constant clashing with corporate and blatant disregard for the wishes of the company may put him in a bad light, but he’s the guy responsible for Megaman. Stuffing the Blue Bomber in a box and locking him in the basement, causing him to miss his 25th birthday, was a BAD MOVE. Especially because it was fueled by a pissing contest with the character’s “creator”. Most gamers of the current generation got their start in videogames with this franchise. Therefore something like the Megaman series is too important to let pride dictate it’s future.
For a lot of fans, cancelling Megaman Legends 3 was the final nail in the coffin. If you want to get back in the good graces of the Megaman community (why wouldn’t you?), it would be prudent to actually finish the game. If financial viability was actually the problem, why not consider doing something completely unheard of: release your completed resources online for the fans to finish themselves. You already have a bunch of stuff completed that you are sitting on and never plan to do anyhting with, so what do you have to lose? Money? Well you aren’t exactly making any of that currently anyway. This could be a huge PR stunt with positive impact, that you could use for momentum in your goal of getting people to stop treating you like Umbrella. It would work precisely because it’s such a bold move, coming from Capcom. After doing this, people will have no idea what to expect, and will be a little more hesitant to write off anything the company has to say as bullshit.
Quality control for your mascot shouldn’t be an issue here, either. Megaman fans are rabid loyalists who would crucify anyone who would tarnish the name of their beloved hero (you will never have another hero! You will never have another chance!). Some of the most talented programmers and artists are freelancers with tons of time on their hands to follow a dream. These are people who would jump for the opportunity to have something like “helped Capcom revive Megaman” on their resume. These people WOULD NOT fuck this up. If people can band together to make a tournament viable My Little Pony fighting game that respects the canon, anything is possible.
Wanna feed your company’s need for Downloadable Content? Release a Free-To-Play Smash Bros. styled game featuring Megaman characters on X-Box Live and PSN. After that, periodically release characters and stages that players can buy for a modest price. The “modest price” part is incredibly important to the success of this idea. Castlevania HD tried this, and would have succeeded, if the DLC wasn’t absurdly overpriced. Just counting the Robot Masters and the Mavericks from the main series and the X games, you have 144 characters. That’s not even getting into guys that aren’t bosses, the Zero series, Legends, Starforce, or Rockman.EXE. At a dollar a character, you are making hundreds of dollars off of a single, Free-To-Play game, PER PLAYER. These are Smash characters, too, so it’s not like a ton of time and effort is going to have to go into creating them. Just be consistent. This also hops on the current “only buy what you want, build your own game!” bandwagon that games like Killer Instinct and Tekken Revolution are trying, which people seem to be all about lately.
Finally, I agree with scrapping Megaman Universe. That shit would have been retarded with the direction it was headed. However, releasing some sort of an 8-bit game with a focus on creating content would be fantastic for the mobile gaming crowd. Giving people a simple suite of tools, a-la Megaman Powered up, allowing them to create and share stages with time trial and leaderboard support, and maybe even allowing something like simple user created weapons and Robot Masters (old wrestling game CAW style, yo), would be an instant success.
After you do all of this to please the fans, how to you build upon your momentum to turn a profit? How about releasing some actual, sidescrolling, gimmick free Megaman games? No, not like the last-ditch appeasement attempts that were MM9 and MM10. Remember how Capcom wanted to reboot the Classic and X series, but scrapped the plan after seeing abysmal sales for Powered Up and Maverick Hunter X? Well that happened for a pretty simple and silly reason: the games were on the PSP. The only people that cared about the PSP were rich black people who probably dipped it in Rose gold and hung it from a chain around their neck, and people like me, who hacked it, filled it with emulators, and pirated the shit out of it. Re-release these two games for the 3DS, wait a year to see how it sells, then pull a “LOL Resident Evil Revelations” and release them on XBL and PSN for people like me who don’t want a 3DS. Don’t worry, we’ll be patient. After that, continue with the original plans to remake all of the old games in this style. It’ll be a fine opportunity to make X6,X7,and X8 into actual playable games, at the least.