Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Eat Juice Bars, Become a Game Designer

Now here’s another blast from the Blue Bomber’s past, dating back to a time when the franchise was bursting with vitality. Ever wanted to become a game designer for a day and tell those Mega Man game designers what you think? Well, that's exactly the offer Capcom and Minute Maid gave children in 2003.

On the verge of the franchise's 15th anniversary, Capcom partnered with a number of corporations to spread the good word, and promote the then-latest batch of games. The joint venture between Capcom and Minute Maid, in particular, would mark one of the largest (North American) Mega Man promotions in the brand's history.

Select boxes of Juice Bars would contain a URL to a special website: this one here. There, young fans were encouraged to participate in a truly historic contest. Filling out this form, you'd be eligible to win a trip Capcom's US headquarters in Sunnyvale, California to become a game designer for a day. Runner-up prizes included:
  • A $5,000 scholarship (1 winner)
  • A Nintendo GameCube w/Mega Man Network Transmission (5 winners)
  • A copy of Mega Man X7 (120 winners)
    And who was the lucky youngster to win? Why that'd be this lad, Warren, whose last name I won't even attempt to decrypt. A belated congratulations to you, sir. I wonder, did Warren actually have an impact on a product that now rests in our hands today? I won't be attempting to hunt the man down to ask, but it's fun to imagine what that experience must've been like. Best day ever? Uh, yeah.

    In hindsight, this is one neat sweepstakes. No developer (that I'm aware of) does this sort of thing today. Lack of interest, or too much of an investment? Could be a little of both, but I belive this is definitely something companies should look into again. Giving kids a chance to immerse themselves in the developer environment is an awesome prize. You're pretty much cementing the youngster's dream to pursue a career in the industry.

    For you archivers out there, I'm publicly releasing a small batch of promotional assets from the contest I've collected over the years. Yeah, I'm kind of a pack rat. You can download the file here! On a related note, can you believe the archive logged the actual contest entry form? I know, right?! Wonder what would happen if you sent one in today? Hmm...


    1. Holy mother.. I remember this.

    2. So do I, Anon the First.

      Also, I think his name is 'Warren Bronson' or something like that.

    3. Oh man. So jealous.

      I remember seeing an ad for something similar on a pack of Big Red. Since Battle Network was my favorite series ever (at least at the time--supplanted by Zelda now), it was so BEAUTIFUL. I wanted to win.

      Oh well. Time heals all heart-crushing wounds.

    4. Hey sweet! I've been looking for a complete version of that artwork of Mega Man (it's one of my favorites) ever since I played Network Transmission. Thanks Protodude!

    5. I like juice bars...

    6. *morgan freeman's voice*

      and so, they were hired on full time at capcom, and over the years, come to find out, he actually hated mega man. he'd only used this contest as a way in to begin the blue hero's demise.

      *morgan freeman has left the room*

      seriously though, you gotta wonder...

    7. Actually, Capcom did revisit this. Devroom, anyone? It was were WE and THEM were the game developers. But no.... They turned their backs on us, and now we must revolt!

      Nah, I kid. I'm in a state of a Robin Hood thing (books and all) and the phrase struck me. But yeah, we need to show them that WE were SOME of the game developers, and that counts as something against their decision.

      And that's a big something.

    8. errr? Megaman X7 cover? lol but the pic looks X4 to me...

    9. I think the devs don't do it now is because of the growth of social networking sites and the internet as a whole. Too easy for something to get leaked if a kid comes in.... Plus you can't really sue a kid for something....

    10. I doubt the kid ever saw any sensitive stuff.

      "Developer for a day" probably meant a tour of the facilities.

    11. Oh man, throwback...

      Argh, like I needed to miss MMBN any more than I already do...

    12. @HyperSonicEXE: Join the fun? :D

    13. Wow, I still remember those fruit thingies from like 6th grade. I could never figured out how to eat them. Teeth on that surface was the equivalent of nails on a chalkboard.


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