As it has been reported, the crowd funded Mighty No. 9 has been delayed….again. This marks the 3rd overall time that this crowdfunded project has been delayed, and obviously its backers are, shall we say “a little miffed”. This is money fans invested into this title on nothing more than good faith, so the last thing they want it to be is for nothing.
While the news is about as public as it can be, let’s focus on a different issue. Is Keiji Inafune, a man who has been so involved with so many great Capcom titles, in over his head? Think about it for a second. This man was involved with virtually all of the Mega Man titles, Dead Rising, Resident Evil, Asura’s Wrath (which is an underappreciated gem), and even freaking Duck Tales! And yet, once he left Capcom to create his own content and studio, Comcept, all of the promise that initially came with him feels like it is going to go unfulfilled. Not only has his baby Mighty No. 9 been experiencing difficulties since its Comception (puns!) in 2013, but Inafune’s other project Red Ash fell extremely short of its fundraising goal and while it seems to have a backer for the moment, who knows what its true fate will end up being.
This is also a good argument as to why I have never personally backed anything on Kickstarter. Sure, it has given us great titles like Chroma Squad and Shovel Knight. But just like any investment, it’s a gamble. You will either lose big, win big, or maybe break even, and the first option tends to happen quite often. Sure it can seem like a viable platform for someone like Inafune to use. However, it seems that even someone with a track record such as his can struggle with it. But what if that isn’t the real heart of the issue?
There is something very obvious about Mighty No. 9 that virtually any gamer worth his salt could tell you about as soon it was announced: This game looks like a direct clone of Mega Man. It’s almost impossible not to make comparisons between the two. And while I won’t get into the semantics of why, I want to talk about how that simple fact is important. You see, this kind of feels like a big middle finger to Capcom. Like he’s saying “Screw you guys, I’ll go make my own Mega Man….with blackjack, and hookers! In fact, forget about the Mega Man!” (I miss Futurama sometimes).
Now to be fair, Capcom has done what amounts to Jack and Squat with the franchise since Star Force back in the late 2000’s. Which is a true shame since I was such a huge fan of X and even the Zero series and would have loved to have seen more from either of those timelines. So on the surface it may seem like Inafune wanted to put love and life into a franchise that was no longer getting any. Yet as a fellow writer for this site pointed out to me earlier today, what if the issues between Capcom and Inafune weren’t over what do to with a franchise, but were instead simply caused by Inafune’s stubbornness and greed?
This is all mere speculation of course and only those two parties will ever know the full truth, but given the shortcomings that we are seeing now it would seem that the writing is on the wall.
Time will tell where this venture of Keiji Inafune will ultimately end up. For right now, I would say it’s safe to assume that his entire future is now fully in his hands and built on the slowly crumbling hopes of one title. It almost feels like a full circle for him. So will he be crushed by his own greed and over ambition, or will he show how mighty he truly is? One thing is for sure, we will all find out their true destinies in April of this year.