Should Capcom Kill Mega Man?
They tried to make him go to rehab and he said no, no, no.
Mega Man's had a rough year, sort of like Vince from Entourage. One minute, he's on pace to star in some potential hits. The next, he does some coke, beds a porn star and hits rock bottom. At least that's what we heard.
Suffice to say, Capcom doesn't have any answers, and the fans, well, they've all received a few gray hairs over recent events, starting with the cancellation of Mega Man Universe and most recently, the death of the highly ambitious (but ultimately doomed) Mega Man Legends 3.
Why was it doomed? Oh, we don't know. Probably had something to do with Capcom giving fans a huge collective hand in the creation process instead of hiring skilled professionals to get the job done in a timely fashion.
As for Universe, it was a LittleBigPlanet clone. Not a bad concept per se, but come on. Letting fans create cookie cutter Mega Man Levels? No.
This all boils down to one disappointing realization: Capcom had and still has no clue what to do with Mega Man, so it said to the fans, "here, you take him", like he's some kid two bumbling parents no longer want. Come on, Mega. Get on this plane and go back to Russia.
It's sad, because here you have a character with over 100 starring roles and a history that goes all the way back to the NES. Mega Man didn't stand in Mario and Sonic's shadow. They all stood side by side at one point; somehow, Sonic survived.
Bottom line, the Blue Bomber's run his course, at least for now. We thought he was on the up and up with Mega Man 9, the official reboot, but Mega Man 10 wasn't nearly as successful as the company had hoped.
Of course, Keiji Inafune's (Mega Man's creator) abrupt departure from Capcom didn't help.
Ultimately, two things can happen. Either Mega Man goes away for a little while, only to re-emerge in a high definition adventure, or Capcom kills the character entirely.
Doing so would be easier said than done. We can't think of a mascot that has achieved so much success dying, so to speak. If anything, publishers go back to the proverbial drawing board and re-emerge with another reboot, ala Crystal Dynamics and Lara Croft.
At the same time, burying Mega Man could also be a potentially smart move, since there's little else to do with the character. Regardless of which direction Capcom goes, it will more or less involve defeating Robot Masters and then acquiring their abilities. That's the Mega Man staple. He doesn't have Mario's versatility. He's Astro Boy with clothes. Where do you go from that? The fans want the same old Mega Man, but that doesn't necessarily justify spending millions of dollars in a game that'll barely break even.
If we had to bet on his future, we'd put money on Capcom reinventing the character and giving it another shot, this time with no fan involvement.
That said, and at this point, it wouldn't surprise us if Mega Man met a timely demise.