Recently CAPCOM was granted trademark for MEGA MAN in New Zealand. While companies like HASBRO constantly re-trademark their old IPs to protect them and to sustain their rights to them, this seems to be completely new trademark.
Then, what does this mean? Well, there’s that new Mega Man TV-cartoon coming up alongside the rumoured FOX movie. This trademark covers anything from digital browser games to musical performances, from mahjong parlors to exposed slide films and so and so on. The last time CAPCOM registered Mega Man in New Zealand, the list was just mainly toys, arcade games and similar that we saw after 1996. It would be logical to assume that all this seems to point at CAPCOM wanting for re-launch Mega Man and franchise it further.
The new producer seems to be kicking things up a bit.
This is most likely a completely new IP. That might be a weird thing to say, especially with Mega Man, but remember that Mega Man Battle Network was a new IP as well, one of the most successful ones in the whole franchise. CAPCOM killed Mega Man for a time after all but Battle Network basically failed to catch on.
Mega Man used to be a franchise that tried to catch up on what was popular at the time, Classic series being a classic action game with Mega Man X mimicking stat upgrades and armours from popular RPGs of its time, Legends jumping to 3D when other 2D games were transferred to the third dimension, and Battle Network going full out with the card battling and collecting. Mega Man Zero bought the hype that Mega Man games were hard, and ZX rode the waves of people finding console action adventures again. I don’t know what the hell Starforce was trying to do. Mega Man 9 and 10 were made when retro resurgence was a big thing, but only 9 was moderately successful, 10 was mediocre at best.
From these examples, the game that was the most drastic departure from its brethren is Battle Network. It ditched everything to do its own thing. While the old saying is People are afraid of new things, people also love new things a lot. In every era where there has been an immense amount of new IPs, like with the Atari and the NES, the sales of the products have been higher and the market has been able to expand.
As such, it would also be logical to assume that whatever new Mega Man will end up being will be something new, unrelated to the older materials outside spirit. Mega Man, at its core, really is simple; a blue technological main character siding with good and fighting against an evil mastermind bend on world conquest or destruction, sometimes both. In addition, Mega Man was not just for kids, but for all ages.
Old Mega Man won’t go away, I bet your ass that we’ll still see the same game re-released time and time again just to service the old fans. Whatever CAPCOM’s plans is with this new trademark, I hope it’s a fresh start and changes things up drastically. Old fans will accept it like any other new Mega Man IP as long as the heart has not been changed, but simply remaking what has already been is the wrong path to take. It’s been tried few times around, and those times didn’t do all that well. Actually, if the new Mega Man franchise will become successful, CAPCOM may finally stop re-releasing old games all the time and concentrate on making new ones at last.
You cannot force a product unto a customer if they don’t want it. They won’t buy it.
The last new mainline Mega Man game released was in 2010, and that was MM10. That wasn’t exactly new, if we’re completely fair. That has been both a strong and weak point with Mega Man in that it is a very predictable franchise, and yet have seen things been changed around significantly now and then.
There is a new generation out there, ready to see a new Mega Man the way we did when the franchise was just starting. We have our own thing, let’s not force it on the younger generation. They are able to find it with time, if they want to.