Let’s take a stroll down memory lane and try to get a picture as to how Mighty No. 9 has turned into the biggest crowdfunding disappointment of the year, shall we?
In 2010, Kenji Inafune, the (half?) creator of Mega Man, became head of global production at Capcom. But 6 months later he left the company after 23 years of service to “start his life over”. He founded his own game company Comcept, and began work on new gaming franchises since Capcom still owned the rights to the games he worked on in the past. Inafune launched a Kickstarter in August of 2013 for a spiritual successor to Mega Man called Mighty No. 9. The project did very well, to say the least, by more than quadrupling their $900,000 USD goal to a staggering $3,845,170 with at least another $186,380 coming from a side PayPal campaign.
Much hype and coverage continued to follow Mighty No. 9 through its production, even as the reaction from fans slowly decomposed into bitterness and resentment. This fall from grace can be attributed to a consistent neglect of promises, deadlines and expectations such as: begging for backer upgrades in order to bring voice acting to the game; shoving back the April 2015 release after claiming development had completed on the core game; starting another Kickstarter for Red Ash before finishing up their obligations to M9; wearing way too much gel in Kenji Inafune’s Straight Outta 1999 hair style; announcing both an animated and live action production for M9 that seem like they could have waited, and makes one wonder how that 4 mil in backer money was really spent; and finally, quietly pushing back the September 2015 release date and trying to cover by promising a “special demo” instead.
So what happened now that it’s September? Well, the special demo did come out. Except only because it was leaked a few days early, and then quickly shut back down. Only a few people were able to get the game but several of them put videos up on YouTube showing what was inside. And their reactions were almost unanimously negative. Many players noted a general lifelessness to the game and an underwhelming play experience overall.
So what was the reaction by Comcept? They have once again broken their promise and have pushed back the official release of this “Special Demo” which even in itself was a replacement for their twice delayed full game release. They have claimed it has something to do with wanting it to be DRM-free, but you know that’s a load of bullshit. They likely leaked the demo purposefully to a few people to try and read their reaction, and when it was largely negative, they pulled up the anchor and took off once more into the deep ocean where they can hide behind technical difficulties and other nonsense.
Hey, but good news! The developers have graciously decided to allow people to start pre-ordering the game through Steam! Because they might as well try to rope in as many people as they can before things just continue to get worse, I suppose. Considering even their much delayed offerings are getting panned, their only options now are to either delay even further to improve quality, or just dump the thing onto the market and move on. Either way Inafune is going to need to do some serious repair to his name before he’s continue forward in the gaming industry alone.