Re-releases? Why not new products?

A nice thing with PSN is that you can carry your games across PS3 and PSV.  This is something all of the companies should aim to realize in further extent; an account system that allows you to carry your games across different systems. This would encourage production of new games, but of course game industry doesn’t want that, and it seems loads of hardcore gamers hate this idea too.

In a recent CAPCOM Ask, the issue of Mega Man Collections was brought up. How many times have these same games been released? You have the NES games on all sixth generation consoles, on the 3DS and on PS3. Wii and Wii U is seeing SNES game releases as it is. You have the Legends games on PSP as well, but only in Japan.

To cut the fat off straight away, vast majority of the people who want Mega Man Collections already have bought them many times over. There are those who own pretty much every released version of each Mega Man, and these people would be the main group this collection would be aimed at. People requesting HD collections of these games is something that is  bit amazing, as CAPCOM most likely doesn’t have resources, tools or will to do HD remakes, especially when it comes to games they would have to reverse engineer.

Let’s be frank about this. Any modern gamer who wants to play any of the Mega Man games will be emulating it.

Just as you can’t keep making the same game over and over again, you can’t keep releasing the same over and over again. Mega Man 1 and 2 were fresh, 3 started showing phases of standstill, and while 4 will always have a special place in my memories that game needed to be far more than what it was. Same applies to every Classic Mega Man in the series. The true sequel to Mega Man 2 is Mega Man X, and Mega Man X 2 fell back into the ditch.

What the fans need to demand is not re-releases of old games we all have played multiple times over. What the fans need to demand is new games that would bring the Mega Man franchise back to its former glory and status in the cultural mind. Mega Man was synonymous with quality and quantity meeting with each other, then it all went into trash.

It is very disappointing that a fandom doesn’t want their favourite series to be revived and advance. What else would re-releasing the Collections do in the end? Show that Mega Man is still relevant? Show that Mega Man games are still high quality products? No, what re-releasing would do is that fans would get another reason to buy these games and nothing more. That isn’t enough dammit, not by a far shot.

What made Mega Man 2 and 3 superior to 1? They took a tested and true side scrolling mechanics, gave it something new and overdid themselves in crafting the game. Stage selection, colours, music, difficulty level, controls and design were superb and they still stand up to the modern side scrolling games. Good games are like whiskey that doesn’t go bad with age, while bad games age like milk.

While I am to the one argues for games to be released in rather tidy pace, this does not exclude the fact that games still need to be crafted with care. There is EA way of making milk games, and then there’s the Old Nintendo way of making games, where every release was an event and mattered… and made a difference for what it was. Re-releasing another Collection set would send a message that CAPCOM is not able to bring out quality any more and that they just ride on the past success of Mega Man rather than making it a new shining series.

Well, this is completely true, if we’re serious for a moment. They’ve been pushing in Mega Man characters into Sound Rangers to the extent of using characters from unreleased Legends 3. This is, above all else, extremely pathetic. While it does make sense to reuse unused assets elsewhere, CAPCOM has managed to destroy their company image as well as their monetary assets. The small amount of fans still clinging to CAPCOM’s empty bosom, and in the case the tit gives out any milk, it’s sour and rotten.

If CAPCOM would have any eyes and ears what the fans want, they’d see that all the 2D Mega Man games and their imitations produced by the fandom, they would have a strong basis what to make next. Next to this they could do some serious customer research and voilá. The problem here would be that CAPCOM most likely would ask the fandom again what they want and this is never a good idea. Mega Man used to be enjoyed by people who aren’t fans of the series, and asking the modern fandom what they want would just exclude everyone else. Well, they did this at one point and that didn’t work out at all.

The thing is that the brains lie 95% of the time what the heart wants. A good customer research never goes in asks questions and be done with it. What is needed is observation and analysis of what the customers do, what they do and how they do. This leads into not just into the best product, but into best products. There isn’t one best product out there, but a whole slew of them. In this sense Mega Man used to be able to cater rather large crowd with its different iterations, but the numbers show that there has always been one way to make Mega Man to make the most of it.

Mega Man has never been work of one man. The fandom worshipping Inafune and his creations as the Second Coming. I admit that I used to see him in similar light, but years have taught me to see beyond one man when it come to anything. Inafune had less and less to do with the games as time progressed, and it can be argued that it was Minakuchi Engineering that made the last truly outstanding Mega Man game in form of Mega Man (World) V. Your mileage may vary of course, and we can always argue about that.

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