It's been a minute since we talked about Mega Man Universe's meteoric downfall. But the ghost of Keiji Inafune's ill-fated star child has reared its head once more.
As a small continuation to my previous piece, "How Over-Ambition and Mismanagement Killed Mega Man Universe", I'm pleased to present a comprehensive list of the intended downloadable content for Mega Man Universe, accompanied by commentary and insights from individuals involved in the project.
The following list comes to us from an old digital product database. The contents have been verified by former Mega Man Universe associates:
"For PlayStation 3 and 360, the plan was to offer consumers a 'base' version of Universe followed by a string of downloadable content," writes a source speaking under the condition of anonymity. "The base version of Universe contained content based on Mega Man 2. The eight MM2 bosses [Robot Masters] and their respective stages."
"DLC was broken up into two types: Core and Booster Packs," writes a second source. "Core Packs included pre-made levels and bosses based on actual Mega Man games. There were Packs planned for Mega Man 1, Mega Man 3 and Mega Man 4. These would have included pre-made stages that were essentially 'remakes' of those Mega Man games."
As both sources can attest, Core Packs content could be applied to player-made stages. For example, Mega Man 1 Core Pack would provide access to materials from Cut Man's stage, including enemies, platforms, and background objects. The Cut Man content could then be combined with materials from other Core Packs to create unique stages.
"The initial idea was to go up to Mega Man 4 for MMU's first year or so," adds the first source. "The grand scheme was to routinely offer additional Core Packs over several years. The game was intended to be sustained not only from DLC but the user-generated content. It was supposed to go hand in hand, really."
On the subjects of Booster Packs, both sources say these focused less on Mega Man content and more on other Capcom franchises.
"Ghost & Goblins, Street Fighter and Captain Commando. Those were the original Booster Packs," says the first source. "These contained the 'body parts' of those characters - like Ryu and Arthur - to be added to the base game."
"Some of this was shown and hinted at from the reveal trailer... but yeah; you could play as CC [Captain Commando], Ryu, Chun-Li, Blanka (I think) and Arthur," adds the second source. "One could mix their body parts with Mega Man robot parts too. You can imagine the freaky possibilities."
Unfortunately, neither source was able to confirm with certainty whether the Booster Packs contained stages based on other Capcom titles.
"I will say though - and this didn't get very far beyond some napkin scrawl - Inafune was pretty keen on approaching other studios for collaboration Booster Packs," writes the second source. "Halo stuff, like Master Chief. Obviously that would have been limited to the 360 sphere but... pie in the sky ideas like that."
Although a Halo-themed Booster Pack wasn't a sure-fire thing, collaborations with other, non-video game IPs was indeed on the burner. The first of these would have been based on Gachapin. However, according to both sources, the Gachapin Booster Pack did not formally enter production. "The plan was to roll-out the Mega Man and Capcom [downloadable] content first then get this guy out the door. It was part of the licensing agreement with Fuji TV. So naturally the other Packs were in the works first."
Needless to say, downloadable content would have played a significant part in realizing Inafune's vision for Mega Man Universe; less of a traditional game, and more of a platform for users to create and share content.
"It was remarkably ambitious and very, very ahead of its time," recounts one source. "The business model was sound, with players investing in the base game and continuing to purchase DLC Packs based on different Mega Man games and characters, as well as the potential for third-party content."
As the story goes, Mega Man Universe ultimately could not live up to its own aspirations. Nevertheless, its legacy continues to captivate us, much as it once did for Inafune in its infancy. A hub for Mega Man fans to come together, create levels and share memories. A playground, a virtual universe.
Unpopular opinion: They could have waited a bit and then retooled the game into a toys-to-life game, making the DLC easier to swallow (and incorporate, for that matter), and giving the franchise some more life and presence.ReplyDelete
No that would have sucked even more, especially since toys-to-life were a fad. It was not conveniet for consumers to buy a game and have on-disc content locked behind a physical paywall and for publishers having to manufacture toys that are costly to produce and can't get rid of the overstock they couldn't sellDelete
I would have loved a toys to life megaman game honestly megaman is perfect for a toys to life series because there are so many toyetic characters and they would make great collectables and megaman universe had such a solid art style it's a shame it never came to be I mourn this game everydayDelete
skylanders happened. so you are wrong about them not selling.Delete
Sure, and where's Skylanders now, exactly? DeadDelete
It doesn't matter that it was massively successful at one point in the past, they still saw a steep decline in consumer interest and sales due oversaturation that ended up killing the "genre" altogether, and that's the definition of a fad
Case in point, Slylander worked because it was the first. It was the hot new thing. And with a Marketing push that I don't think Capcom would have ever done for Mega Man.Delete
And after a few years it sharply declined in popularity
When other tried doing it, even with franchise much more powerful than Mega Man like Dysney or Lego, it failed (though the quality of these games is in part responsible). the only other success were Amiibo, and it's kind of a different thing.
If anything, Slylander existing prevented other from doing the same thing, because more ttl franchises coexisting would just lead to the customer questioning how impractical it will get if he has to collect and shelve figures for every other game.
And don't get me wrong,i'd love a line of collectibles mini mega Man figures, but a Mega Man Toys to life would have not been a viable idea. (and objectively, a line of collectible mini figures wouldn't either, no matter how much I'd personally like it)
I am glad that it wont happened because Mega Man Universe was ugly.ReplyDelete
No "uglier" than Wind Waker, Mega Man fans just don't like to win.Delete
You think this would have been a win? A rehash of MM2, another Capcom DLC farm and ad campaign?Delete
No wonder the franchise is irreparably broken. Some people just accept anything with Mega Man (tm) on it. Now the franchise has no soul or identity.
Yeah, I get the impression a lot these days that Mega Man fans are really starved for any sort of content that they would latch onto anything Mega Man-theme regardless of the quality (like, there's a subset of people making eyes at Rockman Ability, the pachinko game, and dreaming of seeing it come to the west and repurpose the designs for a different type of game when those characters only exist for pachinko slots which are only popular in Japan and are generally loathed outside of Japan for demoting beloved IPs into gambling machines???)Delete
Idk about you, but I consider actually releasing a Mega Man equivalent of Super Mario Maker a win, yes. Granted, the paid DLC would have been less than ideal.
Wind Waker is still ugly and I haven't changed my mind since before it came out.Delete
Agreed, it was ugly. It looks outright corny in the art. I won't cry about this being canned, or that 1st person MMX shooter that was also canned (they made X have no face). Even X Over did not look interesting to me. MM Online had a neat Korean trailer, but I doubt I would care about that canned game either. I don't like they canned Legends 3, but I'm happy it was not released on a hand held (making it a console or PC release even back then would have been nice).Delete
Yes. The only reason Fully Charged is moderately less tolerated is because it happens to be largely western-made. Otherwise more people would clamor for a Fully Charged game.
@Tag I find games those kind of games pointless, but thats my preference. Never liked sandbox games.Delete
But that aside every single design choice made was a mistake. So frankly, don't care one bit the game was cancelled. Kinda relieved, actually. Same for everything else cancelled at the time.
Kinda like Fully Charged. Every decision that went into that was mistake. Every. Single. One.
I would say we barely got to see enough of the game to criticize much outside of an initial first impression. All I can say is I enjoyed the bit that I played and wanted to see more, though obviously it's been forever since that one taste so I'm only going off foggy memory here.
I'd like to point out that if Universe had gone ahead as planned… we probably wouldn't have gotten Mega (Man) Maker.ReplyDelete
Given the current state of the game*, however, maybe that would've been a fair trade-off…
* Game's "fine". I just think it was better under Wrecking Programs' watchful eye.
I don't know, the two would have co-existed. Although the fanboys would be like "Mega Man Maker is better because it was made by the fans." or something along the lines.Delete
Unlikely. Not impossible, but unlikely. The reason fans makes stuff like MMMaker in the first place is a lack of official version.Delete
Yeah, I never cared about this even back in 2011. More sequels to the 5 major main timeline series, please. Wake up, Capcom. It can't be hard to see what most of us want. If they released a MM12, X9, ZX3, or Legends, it would sell like hot cakes at this point. I would buy it in a flash, I guarantee you that.ReplyDelete
It seems like a real missed opportunity to me. The idea of making your own levels on a system people actually have is great. Using parts from other robots to make your own weird versions is great too. But the game itself also has to be good on its own. It's a real shame they lost sight of that and focused on online multiplayer.ReplyDelete
The artsyle was fine to me, but I never heard anyone say anything good about it. I guess it's just too different. But, then again, I like the Powerpuff Girls, Teen Titans, and Transformers Animated.
Reading of this being killed by overambition reminds me of Mighty Number 9. And, now that I think of it, so does the artstyle. They don't share the same flatness, but look at the eyes. Guess he finally saw sense after Universe failed.
They look similar because the art director for Universe, Takenori Kimoto (aka KIMOKIMO) went off alongside Inafune to work on Comcept. In fact, one of the tentative designs for the character Call during the backer poll was straight-up recycled from Universe's redesign for Roll.Delete
Jeez, the sheer amount of negativity in the comments section. Amirite?ReplyDelete
This would have been really cool to see, and MM Universe had the potential of being the Mario Maker of Mega Man long before there was even a Mario Maker. lol
It's a shame, really. Thanks for preserving this stuff, Proto. You rock, man!
Mega Man WAS the Maker before Mario. It's called Powered Up. It flopped.Delete
This game never, ever had the potential Mario Maker has. Capcom is not Nintendo. The audience just isn't there. That's all there is to it.
You must be new here, Megamix!Delete
Yeah, I would've loved an official Mega Man maker and I mourn this game's cancellation every time I read one of these articles, lol. screw the h8rsDelete
It seems to me that a lot of those ideas (sans user created content) where somehow incorporated into X Dive to some degree. Maybe Universe was supposed to be a better supported and realized X Dive, but I just don't know if it could have really worked like that.ReplyDelete
Hacerlo como lo isieron con Skylanders y el uso de juguetes. Pero insisto como en otros post que pongo quiero ver a MegaMan con gráficos de Vanquish que salió en PS3. SpaceMarines 1 y 2 ahora que saldrá a la ps5. Titán Fall 1 y 2. Que difícil le a sido a Capcom hacer juegos de MegaMan con estos gráficos tan reales pero siempre terminan sacando juegos de 2 D y gráficos de 8bit o menos de 32 bit.ReplyDelete
Si de verdad e visto sus rivales crecer en los años como Mario Bros. Sonic, Pacman. Y muchos otros que hoy día lucen con gráficos increíbles como Horizon.
En fin insisto en ver a MegaMan en un mundo apocalíptico con ciudades reales y no futuristas al estilo MotorStorm Apocalypse. Que hay destrucción y también Split Second otro juego de mucha destrucción. Quizás hayan mejores pero esos recuerdo.
I wasn't devastated by this games cancellation the same way I was with Legends 3. Regardless, it's always a shame to hearReplyDelete
what could have been. I don't think I personally would've played this game, but I could see a lot of fans posting unique design levels with funky characters on youtube. It truly would've been the Mario maker before, well, Mario Maker.