The Mega Man Legends 3 Project has long been hyped as a collaborative effort, with the community actively participating in the game's development -- an experience that is said to be the first of its kind. However, this isn't exactly true, as Capcom once worked side-by-side with fans to co-develop a Mega Man title -- er, titles in the past. Maybe not as intimately as MML3's development, but the history is there.
As a precursor to not only the feedback-fueled Legends 3 Project, but maybe even the likes of Submission Box and Ask Capcom, the company once sought serious fan input for a potential Mega Man X9 AND Mega Man X Command Mission 2. Yet, neither title came to fruition... we know that. However, there was a time when they were being considered and the fans were in on the experience.
Full story after the break!
Summer 2005; the Mega Man X Collection just wrapped production and X8 and Command Mission had been on store shelves for almost a year... long enough for Capcom to begin discussing the possibility of sequels.
On August 1st, a young incarnation of The Mega Man Network announced that the Mega Man X team would soon be meeting to discuss the series future, with intentions to make Mega Man X9 and Mega Man X Command Mission 2.
"In the next few months, Capcom's X series team will be meeting to discuss the future of the series, and they're giving you, the fans, a tremendous opportunity to have some input. Capcom is looking at making Mega Man X9 and Mega Man X: Command Mission 2, and has asked us to conduct surveys for them."
Although nothing was entirely set in stone, the news was welcomed and the fans were eager to participate.
"First off, nothing is set in stone. Capcom has merely asked us to funnel ideas to them - do not take this for granted that the games are even in production. This is more or less a brainstorming session that they're allowing fan input on, to see if there's enough interest that can be generated to warrant making the games."
The experiment was big enough that the site had to set up a dedicated e-mail account just for feedback submissions. The MMN staff would then act as a facilitator -- filtering out the just plain bad ideas and then shooting the rational ones off to Capcom for consideration.
"Firstly, a couple of you have asked why MMN is collecting the emails and not Capcom. I'll let Tim address that: Simply put, Capcom is requesting that we handle the requests because when they tried to do it for the MMX Collection, they were so inundated with stupid requests, the kind that made it into our mailbag. Capcom threatened to call off the fan input stuff if something wasn't done, so we offered to act as a filter, and that's why we're doing it again."
Ah, Mega Man X Collection; there's a bit of a story behind that one, too. You can read up on that here. Anyway...
"I'd also like to point out this is a rare opportunity. Your comments for the MMXC are over in Japan sitting on the producers desk as they build the game. Think about that. No other video game company listens to the fans like that. If you do not like how Capcom has requested us to gather this feedback, then don't participate. It's that simple."
The Mega Man Network accepted feedback for many weeks via a now defunct e-mail address; very rarely did they publicly share some of the input they were receiving. The WayBack Machine has failed me on this one, but I do recall a topic on the old Mega Man BB in which participants shared some of the ideas they were vocalizing... myself included. It's not archived, but you can find a taste of some of those ideas in this old NeoGaf topic here.
As for me, I still hold onto the e-mail I sent to TMMN with my ideas for X9 and CM2. I was sixteen then:
The feedback session went on for quite a while, and the community waited patiently to hear something, anything, back from Capcom.
X Collection was released in the meantime. For extremely complicated reasons, the many ideas fans sent in for that project weren't present in the final retail build of the game. Nevertheless, we clung to the hope that our voices would still be heard for X9 and XCM2.
September rolled around and instead of X9 or XCM2, Capcom announced Maverick Hunter X at the 2005 Tokyo Game Show. Not that a remake of the original X was a bad thing, but I do recall there were a few people quite disappointed with the notion that Capcom was moving the series backward instead of forward.
Right around MHX's release, talk of X9 and XCM2 pretty much vanished. Here we are in 2010 and many circles are still waiting for both games to come to fruition. However, we've yet to see or hear any indication that either title is coming along.
The last time Mega Man X9 was referenced by Capcom was back in April 2010 when MegaPhilX had an opportunity to speak with Keiji Inafune at Captivate 2010:
"I asked Inafune-san if there are any plans to make a MegaMan X9 soon (Obviously to let him know that was the game I would want made) and he said that there are no plans for a X9 for now. If they make a X game it won’t be X9."
...and that title turned out to be Rockman Online.
As for talk of Command Mission 2 in this day and age, we don't have much to go on aside from multiple requests in the Ask Capcom forum, to which Capcom staff members said there were no plans.
For whatever reason, neither title was meant to be. It remains to be seen if Capcom was actually developing both games back in '05, or if they were nothing more than concepts. Regardless, both games were internally considered and our feedback was being analyzed.
Personally, I feel were on the verge of at least one of these games seeing the light of day: Mega Man X9. The demand for that game in particular largely outweighs that of a second Command Mission; there's even a community based solely on raising awareness for X9.
The demand for it is slowly growing to pre-Mega Man 9 levels...it's only a matter of time, really.
Never before has Capcom been more willing to listen to their fans; the submission box and Ask Capcom are two prime examples of this. If you still want X9 or XCM2, by all means keep those requests coming. Even though Capcom can't fulfill every request plopped into the submission box, they have, on multiple occasions, assured the community they are listening. That's really all we can ask for at this point.
Sources: NeoGaf, Archived Mega Man Network