PAX Prime 2013: Keiji Inafune Talks About His Past and Announces Mighty No. 9!
Keiji Inafune, the man known as "the father of Mega Man," held a panel at PAX Prime this past weekend. During the panel he discussed many things about his past, such as why he chose to work at Capcom (it was closer to his home than Konami, his first choice), how he went from character artist to being the producer of the Mega Man series, as well as what he thought when he first saw the Western art that was produced in the early days of the Mega Man legacy (at the time he thought "Westerners really don't get art").
He started work at Capcom as an artist for the Street Fighter series and after about one to two months, he started working on Mega Man. One interesting fact that popped up is the reasoning behind why the Mega Man team decided to make Mega Man blue: the color palette for blue on the NES and Famicom had the largest variety of any color, thus making it easier to be more descriptive with the character design.
Another interesting fact is when he became the head of Mega Man X, he initially wanted Zero to be the main character but still call it a Mega Man game. However, internally they wouldn't allow that to happen, so he added in Mega Man as the main character but he left the coolest parts to be played as Zero.
While it was very interesting to hear about his past, Mr. Inafune had a huge surprise for every old school gaming fan. About halfway into the panel he played a video which announced the new title his studio Comcept has been working on: Mighty No. 9.
Everyone in the audience was very excited to hear about this latest project and rightfully so. It looks like Mr. Inafune's love letter to all Mega Man fans considering the staff is composed of people who have all worked on past Mega Man titles.
Expressing how he wants to give back to the fans he decided to create a Kickstarter to fund Mighty No. 9, thus making it all dependant upon them. He and his team will listen to fan feedback and implement ideas into the game, thus truly making it something everyone interested can enjoy. Some donation rewards include helping create a challenge, helping create an enemy, and you can also have your face or voice in the game.
Before the panel came to a conclusion, Mr. Inafune had one last announcement which actually turned out to be a gift to everyone in the audience. Those who attended the panel were given a special Mighty No. 9 t-shirt, each with an individual Mighty Number, as well as a registration form that linked the number they received to the Mighty No. 9 forums making that number truly their own. Those who pledge $9,999 or more on their Kickstarter campaign can also receive a shirt, but they are Mighty Numbers 1 through 8 making them extremely rare.
Within thirty minutes the Kickstarter campaign reached $10,000 of its $900,000 goal and not even 48 hours after it was announced it has already been fully funded. Comcept plans on bringing the game initially to PC with Mac and Linux versions available if they reach a stretch goal of $1,350,000. Also, if they happen to reach $2,500,000 in donations they will also release a version for the PS3, Xbox 360, and Wii U.
They have partnered up with the fine folks at The Humble Bundle and Fangamer to distribute the game and game-related goods for those who have backed the project. As of now, Mr. Inafune has stated that Capcom have yet to say anything about the project, so things look to be in the clear...for now.
Being a huge Mega Man fan myself, I really hope this project gets released. It looks absolutely amazing and I wish I had at least $250 to donate to the project so I could get the signed hardcover artbook/strategy guide. Once thing is for certain, as evidenced by the swift funding of this project, people still want to play these kinds of games and if given the chance, they will put up the money for it.
What are your thoughts? Do you want the signed hardcover artbook/strategy guide as much as I do? Or do you want to go all the way and have dinner with the man himself? Let me know in the comments below!