Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Mega Man Series Producer Kazuhiro Tsuchiya Departs Capcom

Kazuhiro Tsuchiya, the producer of the Mega Man series and, more recently, Street Fighter 6, has left Capcom. The news comes to us through Tsuchiya's Twitter profile, which he recently updated to indicate he has moved on from the company.

Tsuchiya emerged as a key figure during an uncertain period following Keiji Inafune's departure in 2010. Under his tutelage, the Mega Man franchise experienced significant growth, achieving a total sales figure of 38 million units, an impressive increase of 7 million units compared to the stagnant period before Mega Man 11. Tsuchiya played a pivotal role in the development of Mega Man 11Mega Man X DiVE, every individual Legacy Collection, and contributed to the franchise's most remarkable accomplishment yet: Mega Man Battle Network Legacy Collection's shipment of over one million units within two weeks of its launch.

In late 2018, Tsuchiya announced his intention to start working on a new title, with pre-production set for the following year. These plans were formalized by September 2019. Although the project has yet to materialize, all indications point to it being the enigmatic "Taisen" project, which was first mentioned in leaked materials followed by a registry in the Nvidia GeForce database. The title was originally expected to be released in late 2022. 

Given the impact of the pandemic on Capcom's production pipeline at the time and subsequent reshuffling release dates for key titles - not to mention management pulling Tsuchiya onto Street Fighter 6 -- we eagerly await the result of his labor. The sudden reemergence of a 35th anniversary push has no doubt left fans hopeful.

Although we may not currently have a tangible representation of Taisen or any other "major" titles, Tsuchiya has undoubtedly left Mega Man in a significantly improved state than where he found it. I'm very grateful for that.

More news on this topic as it happens.

75 comments:

  1. Wish him good luck in future endeavors and thanks for everything what he did for the IP.

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  2. Mad lad made 1 MegaMan game and said "That's all folks!", wish him the best

    .....should we panic?

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    1. I feel like we should because we don’t know who’s gonna in charge of Mega Man next.

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  3. Here's to another 10 years of no new Mega Man games.

    *sigh*

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    1. I feel like Western developed games would fill the gap nicely.

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    2. No, I don't trust western developers in the slightest, that would ruin the franchise.

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    3. That's good,no more original megamans,now focus on megaman x at least I am hoping

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    4. WayForward, LizardCube, DotEmu, Yacht Club, etc are technically Western but you could never tell. I mean one of those people, not someone like Big Red Button.

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  4. dive getting sunsetted was the first sign something was wrong... RIP ROCKMAN you had a good run with a fantastic new game in 11 before they milked you to death with re-releases up the butt. We'll miss you.

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    1. Probably. The lack of updates is the first sign.

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    2. I really don't know where this idea is coming from since Dive has not even announced end of service.

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    3. Protodude confirmed in twitter its essentially ending and getting sunset, which was obvious since we haven't had any new content in a while.

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    4. DiVE has been sunset, that's the first stage of a game's venture into EoS. The servers will be up for a year, MAYBE 2 (Highly unlikely though I'm guessing it might not even reach a full year...) but with no new content in sight its effectively over. Which is a shame, cause I love this game. We still have an entire row on the final boss event page that's empty. :\

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    5. Link to protodude confirmation tweet? checked and didn't see it

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  5. I get that some people are likely going to be quick to question this man's impact, given that the amount of titles that have released during his time with the IP (11 and XDive, as well as the various legacy collections) was nowhere near as much as the amount of titles that came out in the decades prior (titles which came out quick enough in such a way to have contributed to the sense of 'fatigue' and 'identity crisis' many were facing with the series at large prior to it's hiatus), but I do find it important to say that the increased awareness and profits that have come from said games being released in the fashion they were is no small feat. An incredible amount of interest in the series has been built during this guy's tenure, thanks to the way his releases were handled, and I get the feeling with the renewed push for the 35th anniversary that capcom will likely have ways to capitalize on that interest and deliver more experiences that will stand up strong and continue the blue bomber's legacy.

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  6. lol, bruh. Is Taisen even real?
    Regardless, thanks Kazuhiro for your efforts. I hope we don't enter another decade of darkness...

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    1. I am convinced Taisen was cancelled. Until proven otherwise.

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    2. That's a bit extreme
      But since we also know next-to-nothing about it ever since it leaked, it's not like we could tell if it hasn't been scrapped and restarted the project 100 times before they announce the next Mega Man game (which could not even be Taisen at all)

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    3. It was smart of me to not give into the hype of protodude claiming a 2022 release. No screens prior is also a red flag. Even then, it is doubtful taisen would be what we all want and part of the main timeline games. Normally screenshots or a taisen video are released around one year before a MM game comes out, like what we saw with MM11 previews and more.

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    4. I'm almost convinced that Taisen was never a game but rather the codename for a merchandise project(a figure, a magazine?). I remember reading something about it somewhere arguing everyone got it wrong. However, I don't remember.

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  7. I know Protodude is remaining positive, and I respect that... we all still remember the dark age of MEGAMAN... but I... I can't... its hard to. Yeah the LCs have sold well, especially BN adn that's great but MM11 sold well and what did we get years later? A gatcha game that didn't even make it 3 years before getting sunset and a bunch of collections, along with a leak about Taisen that may or may not exist. We all know how much Capcom loves cancelling shit so forgive me if I'm not optimistic about MEGAMAN's future. I hope you love Collections cause that's alls we are getting for the foreseeable future.

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  8. Since no new actual games came out since MM11, I doubt this makes any difference. If they want to make more, they will do it regardless of who comes and goes and just hire others to do it.

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  9. I hope that there will be a megaman star force legacy collection for Nintendo switch in the near future.

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  10. Well that sucks I was hoping for a Mega Man Legend's Collection to come to PSN next, just to complete my collection. But now it looks like its never going to happen. Sigh đŸ˜•

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  11. My question is what was his relationship with Capcom overall that lead him to leave?

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  12. Oh god..just..why???? Why leave us in another age of darkness????? We Finally FINALLLYYYY were back on the right track..I?can't. Literally, being a Mega Man is too hard at this point..

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  13. I think this is truly the end of Rockman. I am happy that I had the opportunity to buy and play megaman 11. Thanks for everything, Tsuchiya-san.

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  14. This is unfortunate, as I felt he brought a lot of original aspects to MegaMan in 11. That being said, I’m sure prior to leaving, he played a role in the creation of Taisen. I wish him well and appreciate his contributions to our favorite IP.

    I do have a theory on Taisen. I’m feeling that this might be a highly customizable MegaMan game, where you will be able to gather parts around a multiplayer open world and not just weapons from Robot Masters. I don’t believe it will be a fighting game or an RPG. They’ve done those before and they weren’t successful. Either way, I hope it’s not another project Capcom scraps.

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  15. Oh boy. Here we go again.Time for another 10 years. The fact it's been like 4 years already without so much of a hint of a new mainline game, and Taisen, may or may not be vaporware. There hasn't been a peep out of Capcom regarding Mega Man, and now the producer is leaving.

    I can't help but feel I've seen this episode before.

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    1. "The fact that it's been like 4 years already without so much of a hint of a new mainline game [...]"

      Months ago, there was a recently-updated placeholder trademarks for "Mega Man 12-15". That has to count for something.

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    2. More like they are preemptively claiming the trademarks to prevent others from using them even if they don't have plans to making those games at the moment (remember how the fangame Mega Man Unlimited was called Mega Man 10 until the real MM10 game was announced, and Capcom actually used assets from the fangame on their promotional material by mistake, and they settled the confusion by making MegaPhilX change the name of his fangame in exchange of a trip to Hawaii and met Keiji Inafune in person?)

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  16. I don't know why people automatically assume this spells the end of the franchise. Granted, Capcom seems to have a organizational culture where people don't feel comfortable speaking up to their leadership or taking risks, evidenced by some of the producer's comments when Inafune left (and is likely also a Japanese cultural thing), but companies will generally line up the resources needed to keep projects moving along when employees depart.

    For some reason Inafune was revered as a sort of God-like figure for the franchise, when in reality he was a talented artist who got thrown into the leadership role when AK left Capcom after MM3. He did a ton of great work and helped the franchise move forward into a golden age, introducing us to lots of new storylines and characters, but on the flip side of that, Capcom's decision to crank out games like crazy from 2001-2008 was partly a reason why the market got burned-out on MM. If there's anything the last 5 years prove, it's that MM can survive without Inafune as long as the investment from Capcom is there (a big if, I know), and can also do just fine without Tsuchiya as well.

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    1. Because the last time a producer left the company after initiating a bold new era for the Blue Bomber, it ended up being a 10 year drought after a bunch of cancellations, with just a gacha, and a terrible mobile game.

      The only potential upside here, is we don't know the terms under which he left. He might have parted on good terms, unlike Inafune, who had basically trashtalked the entire Japanese industry, and was probably a long time thorn in Capcom's wallet, with the tricks he would use to force production of his projects.

      Also, Tsuchiya leaves the franchise in a far better state than when Inafune left, with the collections selling like hotcakes, and even 11 becoming the best selling Mega Man game in the series history, vs when all there was to see was two small retro titles, preceded by a decade of franchise stagnation and sales decline. (and we never did get sales numbers for 9 and 10 either. COA stated that Capcom was definitely pleased with 9's sales, but that doesn't mean much when we don't know what the target was, and what they even expected. 10 meanwhile came and went with nothing ever said about it's sales)

      So there's cause to be cautiously optimistic for sure vs the last time, but Capcom has a track record that a MegaMan fan can't really just let go of.

      There's also something to be said for Tsuchiya had managed to nail a modern 2D Megaman game. There's no telling how his successor might fare in that regard. Or how any new direction charted by Capcom for MegaMan might do. The last time they tried to gamble on a leap of faith was X7 to transition to 3D. So they don't exactly have a good track record of innovation with the series either.

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    2. "with the tricks he would use to force production of his projects"

      ?

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  17. Who and how will they come up with the megaman series? Wonder if they open up for ideas

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  18. Well, this is the straw that broke the camel's back. I have oficially lost my patience with Capcom. I guess things were just going too well for me.

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  19. For all that people bitch about the Legacy Collections, that's still far better than basically any other company's attempt at game preservation (by which I mean, almost no one even bothers to try), and the BN Collection is not only selling like hotcakes but Capcom has gone all in on their marketing for it and doing all the planned anniversary celebrations that they directly told us they regret missing. It doesn't take too much copium to believe we're not about to enter a second age of darkness.

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    1. Cool story. But since everything X and onward has modified content, that has absolutely nothing to do with preservation.

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    2. You know you don’t have to be super hostile and negative in the comments of every post right? The collections are an effort to make old games available on newer consoles. They aren’t a 1 to 1 straight port /copy of the original release but that doesn’t mean the have “absolutely nothing” to do with preservation. To state as such is 100% incorrect.

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    3. Only the first LC was an attempt at game preservation, the other LCs all have modified content so you're wrong.

      People bitching at nothing but collections: 1.
      Anon with bad opinion: 0

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    4. ^ this is a crazy self-own. But then again this is the internet so I guess it’s reasonable to believe making old games available to play in the modern day in any form is somehow not at all adjacent to the concept of game preservation and to say it is is somehow just an “opinion”

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    5. ^The roms/isos starting with the second collection(with 7) were modified which is the opposite of game preservation. Game preservation would be if the rom was dumped and there was any way, shape or form to play the game. They were already able to be emulated just not officially. The collections are just an excuse to cling to the IP and gain enough data to see if there's enough interest in it to justify a new game or another collection if they even want to make another one. It has nothing to do with making the games available to play in modern hardware so no it's not adjacent. The Japanese in general believe that if you weren't at the exact moment an event happened then it shouldn't be preserved, you'll have to take my word for it but those were things they said coming through years of observation. That's why except for M2 there are no other companies that bother with preservation. The funny thing is M2 was partially involved with the X legacy collection and they dropped the ball when it comes to emulating those games but who knows which part they were specifically involved with. Capcom doesn't care about preservation, it's very naive to think otherwise specially these days.

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    6. Forgot to mention when it comes to the Japanese there are exceptions but then again there's a reason why they are the exception and not the rule.

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    7. @AnonymousJune 1, 2023 at 10:53 AM
      "^ this is a crazy self-own. But then again this is the internet so I guess it’s reasonable to believe making old games available to play in the modern day in any form is somehow not at all adjacent to the concept of game preservation and to say it is is somehow just an “opinion”"
      For someone claiming someone else got self-owned. You got both owned and self-owned by the later comments. 2-0 GG.

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  20. I don't get why people keep chanting for Dive's EoS like.. if the game's still doing well its not gonna die yet since there's no doubt profit in the game still.

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    1. A large portion of fans hate X DiVE because its a mobile game. No matter how good of a game it is, they were going to hate it regardless. A smaller portion hate it because of some of the OCs not really fitting in with the look and tone of the X series, that's a more fair gripe that I actually agree with as a big DiVE player myself.

      The game is ending though. Protodude has confirmed on Twitter its getting "sunset" which means its servers will be up for a year or two, but there will be no new content, its effectively dead and we can tell, the content drought is real. We haven't had new characters or content in a while.

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    2. Where’s the the proof? Stop spreading misinformation. Although I can’t wait for DiVE to end it has sullied the franchise with its inappropriate use of female characters Smfh

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    3. The biggest issue of XDive is being a predatory gacha just like all other gachas

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    4. @Anonymous June 2, 2023 at 10:46 PM
      "Although I can’t wait for DiVE to end it has sullied the franchise with its inappropriate use of female characters Smfh"
      Dude your delusion is not reality. Nothing has been sullied. They're digital drawings and there's nothing inappropriate about them. Grow a pair and stop protecting fictional characters.

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  21. Big thanks to Tsuchiya for all the success he brought to the franchise. I wish him well in whatever endeavor he pursues from here on. I wonder what awaits our little blue robo bro now.

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  22. Honestly I'm not too worry about this, for two simple reasons:

    First and foremost, the Mega Man Battle Network Legacy Collection has sold like crazy so Capcom already understands the business potential the franchise still has, they aren't just going to let it go away.

    And second, is that tbh even with Tsuchiya in charge the franchise was already in auto-pilot: only 1 new game and a bunch of collections in 5 years. Really even if the franchise doesn't has a dedicated series producer, it would still operate the same as it does for now if the plan is to only make 1-2 new games for the entire decade.

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    1. I'm sorry but 1-2 new games every 10 years is absolute garbage lmao. I don't think 8-15 games every decade is the answer, because that's what caused casuals to tire out from the series in the first place, but 1-2? At that point the series is pretty much dead.

      3-5 every 10 years is what we should be getting. If you space out releases you'll only get the hardcore in. Capcom should have struck when the iron was hot with 11 and the XLCs both selling a million. At this point though, I don't even think 1-2 games every decade is feasable. Taisen is prolly cancelled, and unless you're one of Capcom's golden kids, aka Resident Evil or Monster Hunter, you're not guarenteed a new installment.

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    2. Yeah no, not defending that scheme at all lol. Quite frankly I detest it.
      Some people might want to spin the situation as if "it's only a good thing they are spacing out releases, oversaturation killed the franchise" (even though right now MonHun and RE get to churn annual releases no problem) but having to wait 5 years for another game, when Mega Man 11 was completed in only 2.5 years of development with a team of 40 people, and call say it's "healthy" is really psychotic

      The absolutely worst-case scenario for this is that any kid that tries to get into this franchise with a new entry it's going to had become a teenager by the next one arrives, and an adult by the time one after that releases, and nearing their 30s just to play the 4th new Mega Man game (and the games haven't evolved much between entries on the other hand).
      That's just deadful.

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    3. MH and RE have the luxury of annual releases because they sell millions of units without diminishing returns. They are the bread and butter of the company. Both IPs appeal to a very broad audience.

      Before the 2010s, Capcom mandated that every major IP in their portfolio had to receive at least one new title/sequel each fiscal year. Those titles had to sell a minimum of 200,000 units with a 15% profit to be considered a success and warrant a continuation. Mega Man titles were lumped together during this period as they met this criteria for a while. Capcom hanged this strategy changed roughly around the time SF and ZX showed signs of slowing down YoY. This is the era where titles were cancelled or struggled to be green lit. It literally took Digital Eclipse, a Western developer, to convince Capcom that despite low Mega Man sales, there was demand for the IP. Capcom would grant them the O. K to develop Mega Man Legacy Collection. And the rest is history, where we are now.

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    4. https://twitter.com/Protodude/status/1355963857685110784?t=AxikdlYR8dYU4GcmxEuMJw&s=19

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    5. From a business perspective, which ultimately holds the most significance, the IP was not in a healthy state in the 2010s. But from MMLC1 and on, we're doing numbers again. We're seeing games meeting or exceeding internal criteria for the first time in a long time. While MMBNLC stands out as an exception, having sold over a million units almost immediately, the strategy of spacing out releases and employing subtle tactics like discount sales or bundles has proven effective.

      Taking a closer look at Taisen, it carries an ambitious forecast of 3 million units, with a hefty budget to bear. The confidence to green light something like that cannot be missed. Whatever Taisen is (or was), it would not have been greenlit ten or five years ago. And that speaks to the growth and recovery we've seen.

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    6. That's a massive fallacy: only a very small percentage of newcomers made it through these collections and in reality the greater majority of people buying these collections are people who probably already played those games back in the day but know they gotta buy those games again if they ever want to see a new one (which was only ever the case for Mega Man 11 with LC1, it's also a big fallacy to think that supporting these will result in a new entry at this point, especially when something like ZZXLC clearly flopped if Capcom never cared to disclose any sales milestone)

      It's literally Darkstalkers all over again: they do nothing but to reprint the same game under the promise of gauging interest to revive the franchise, but the most we get is actually just more collections because it's easy money for Capcom.

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    7. bruh you literally just copypasted the same comment, lmao

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  23. Thanks for his work and good continuation to him.

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  24. Mr. Famous Eguchi should take over. Let him finish Legends 3 since he was the director. Something tells me he doesn't want the job though. Being a rockman fan sucks ass. Hooray BNLC sold like hotcakes, enjoy nothing but merch and more LCs!!!!

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  25. Collections are not a bad thing, people bitching about them are missing the point. They have made MM arguably more popular to casuals.

    The LCs have all sold over a million (minus the Zero/ZX one poor IntiCreates its rumored to not even have hit 300k sold lmao)

    Before the LCs a Mega Man game hitting a million sold was UNHEARD of. There was only 4 that have hit that (MM2, MMX1, BN4 and MM3). Tsuchiya's efforts to make Mega Man more accessable and well known to the public have paid off. Not to mention BNLC hitting a million in less than 2 WEEKS. If anything I think BN is guarenteed a future because of its massive success alone.

    ...

    It's the other Mega Man series that are pretty much dead and buried with him gone. Remember that MM11 interview where he straight up said no one else at Capcom wanted to take on the pressure of making a new MM after Inafune left and Legends was cancelled? Tsuchiya was MM's most vocal champion within Capcom and the only one who stepped up to the mantle after Inafune's departure -- and even that took a decade to happen and a whole lot of convincing on his part to the execs at Capcom.

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    1. That's a massive fallacy: only a very small percentage of newcomers are made through these collections and in reality the greater majority of people buying these collections are people who probably already played those games back in the day but know they gotta buy those games again if they ever want to see a new one (which was only ever the case for Mega Man 11 with LC1, it's also a big fallacy to think that supporting these will result in a new entry at this point, especially when something like ZZXLC clearly flopped if Capcom never cared to disclose any sales milestone)

      It's literally Darkstalkers all over again: they do nothing but to reprint the same game under the promise of gauging interest to revive the franchise, but the most we get is actually just more collections because it's easy money for Capcom

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  26. Thanks for the compliations, apologize for 11 on the way out tho plz and ty

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    1. Why should they apologize for 11? It's a solid game that sold well. Please tell me you aren't "Mega Man in 8-bit only" fleabrains. = /

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    2. *Please tell me you aren't one of those "Mega Man in 8-bit only" fleabrains.

      There, fixed it for you.

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    3. Nothing against 11, it's just unfinished. I mean no Wily Castle 3? Nor a single secret, really? I'm not OP or the other 2 anons by the way. I can kinda understand some thinking it was a bit of a scam like they couldn't even be bothered to make the game have the jump transition between doors and the unbelievable excuse for it is that it's the "engine's fault".

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  27. Put this guy as the producer:
    https://megaman.fandom.com/wiki/Ucchy

    So that he can continue all the pending sequels.

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  28. Sad to hear he's leaving, but I wish him the best and hope whatever he plans on doing next, it goes well for him. I'm grateful for what he was able to do for the series.

    Otherwise, Yeahhh, I'm pretty sure it's going to be another long drought for megamam stuff here on out.
    Despite the sales on the collection, Capcom is Capcom. They are not going to toss money into a new megaman game that may only give a fraction of what they could get by bolstering SF6 with better DLC or a new expac for MH, or a new RE, etc.
    Capcom wants the green, and shelling out collections is what gives them the money with little effort vs. making a whole new game that half the fans will like, half will hate and confuse or drive off anyone new.
    Taisen's been hinted out for a while now, and I haven't heard anything new regarding it for forever, so it's probably trashed or shelved, whatever it was.

    I'm hoping that maybe they'll put a new producer over Megaman and start making some new games, but I'm not banking on it. Back to waiting again, but at least this time, I do have the BN collection to help me out, I guess.

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    1. They could at least include the Mega Man characters in SF6 to test the waters (The Metalls and Dr. Light already appear).

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  29. I'm still hopeful that we'll at least get some kind of announcement this year, what with Summer Games Fest being around the corner and Tokyo Games Show further down the line. And even if Rockman Taisen ends up being shelved or cancelled it's pretty much guaranteed we'll be getting another collection (As it would just make sense to follow up Battle Network with Star Force.)

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    1. How does it make sense? How would 3DS title translate into switch? Some of y’all just be saying anything lol. SF was not all that great to begin with and it’s part of the reason Megaman got shelved as a whole series.

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    2. Ryusei no Rockman = 593,675 units for Japan alone

      Mega Man Zx and ZX advent combined total = 94,341 units and 63,977 respectively.

      Make your logic make sense.

      Also SF is not a 3DS game series, it is a DS game series which already has been represent on Switch (Zero ZX collection).

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  30. Meh. I’m on Global, and we never had a lead director.

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  31. I have a feeling Tsuchiya will move to Sapporo, Hokkaido and start a ramen shop.

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