This week Keiji Inafune announced a Kickstarter for his new project. For those that do not know who Inafune is, he joined Capcom in 1987 as a graphic designer on Street Fighter. He was then given a new project to work on, Mega Man. Inafune developed all the art and design for the characters. Due to the small task force, he also constructed the characters into pixel form, as well as the games logo, package design, and instruction booklet. This is why that, although he did not create the Mega Man character, he is known as the father of Mega Man.
His time at Capcom saw Inafune work on many other titles including the Resident Evil, Onimusha, and Dead Rising series. His departure from Capcom sparked the cancellation of a number of future titles as well. Despite leaving to found his own independent company, Inafune offered to make a contract so that he could finish work on the projects he started with Capcom, including Mega Man Legends 3. Sadly, his offer was turned down and Inafune went quiet while his new company, Comcept, worked on their first project.
So, what is this new IP that Comcept plans on bringing us? Mighty No. 9 is the title of the game, staring Beck. Beck is the ninth in a line of powerful robots, as suggested by the games title, and is the only one who has not succumbed to a mysterious computer virus. The other eight robots will show up as bosses whose abilities can be used by Beck when they have been defeated. Beck is able to reconfigure his body to use the powers he acquires, potentially allowing him to turn his limbs into magnets so he can walk up walls. Maybe he can have spring loaded hands that can be used as a grappling hook. Ideas are still being bandied about while the game is still in its design phase.
Yes, Inafune has taken basics of Mega Man and built his own vision around it. The internet had a minor meltdown when people realised just how similar his project is to those that he is famous for. It was pointed out to him that there have been occasions in the past where similar products from ex-staff of major companies have been challenged, yet Inafune has made it clear during an interview with USGamer that he will not let that stop him from making his own game:
Mega Man is Mega Man because it’s my style. It’s my artistic style that created that character. Beck, in Mighty No. 9, is also a character that I’ve created. If the idea is that I should try to stop creating characters via my style and try to create a different style that totally doesn’t fit with me, that doesn’t seem to make a lot of logical sense. Certainly I’m not going to do that just to make Capcom happy. I am who I am. My artistic style is what it is. We’re all going to naturally gravitate toward what fits us naturally as an artist or a creator or a designer or whatever. That’s all I’m doing in this case as well.
Inafune has admitted he did not spend much time thinking about the legal side so that he can focus on making a game that the fans will want. This is reflected in the kickstarter, as higher tiers of funding allow backers to put their own creativity into the project in the form of achievements and designing enemy characters. There will not be a monetary hurdle to provide though, as the team plans on talking to the community through dedicated forums as well. Inafune hopes that polling the community in this way will help fans engage with new characters, such as by helping to chose the design of Beck’s partner, Call (yes, Beck & Call).
On Monday the Kickstarter achieved its goal of $900,000 after being active for just three days. Today (Tuesday) the first stretch goal of $1.2million was attained, promising fans that all eight haywire Mighty Numbers will receive their own unique levels, rather than the six that were initially planned. If the project can reach the lofty final goal of $2.5million, then the title will see release on all the seventh generation consoles. A pledge of $20 or more pays for the game, but it is not expected until April 2015.
Would you buy Mighty No. 9 when it is released? Do you plan on supporting the Kickstarter? What are you thoughts on companies turning to Kickstarter for for multi-million dollar projects? Let me know in the comments!