An uncertain future lies ahead for Rockman.
Rockman 9 has finally come, leaving a trail of rampant acclaim and financial success. Shooting Star Rockman 3 released with less than stellar sales and a story that implies the end of the series.
Just where will Capcom take the franchise from here? For the first time in a very long time, we have no clue as to what comes next.
Undoubtedly, we will most likely see a Rockman 10 or a new game from an elder series, but how? In what shape or form? Downloadable? Disc based? 8-bit? 16-bit? HD?
SSR3's release implies the fall of the "hobby style" Rockman games; the financial backbone of the franchise since 2001. Without the annual hobby games and subsequent merchandise, just how well will the franchise perform?
What happens next?
As I see it, Capcom has been playing a game of basketball with us.
For years, Capcom wooed the crowd (the Rockman fans) with repetitious techniques to score. But after years of seeing the same plays over and over again, the crowd eventually stopped cheering. Boredom had settled in. They grew tired of seeing the same thing over and over.
^This basketball game represent our growing boredom of the hobby style games: After being served the same game for seven years, we have grown bored and boy, does it ever show.
Back to the basketball metaphor, Capcom takes note of the crowd's growing boredom. What do they do? How can they win the crowd back over? Taking a risk, they try out a new play. Capcom shoots....they score. The crowd goes wild.
^This is what happened with Rockman 9: Capcom took a risk and released an 8-bit styled game in a "next gen" era receiving unexpected acclaim and praise. Their risk paid off.
With the ball in their court once again, they face the question: "what can we do next?"
Will they repeat that previous risky play to win us over, knowing that we may eventually grow bored of it? (8-bit/retro styled rehashes)
How about a new play? Something we've never see before? (a new series)
Or will they revive an old play that hasn't been seen in many years? (revival of older series)
The ball's in your court Capcom. We're eager to see what you have in store for us next.