Keiji Inafune, the iconic Japanese games developer credited with the creation of Mega Man, and Dead Rising among others during his many years of service at Capcom, has tasked his independent studio on a new crowd funded project, a Mega Man spiritual successor titled Mighty Number 9.
A quick glance at the project's Kickstarter page
is enough to assure that the hopeful game is tapped deep into the DNA of the beloved Capcom franchise, but unique enough to keep the lawyers away:
Mighty No. 9 is an all-new Japanese side-scrolling action game that takes the best aspects of the 8- and 16-bit era classics you know and love, and transforms them with modern tech, fresh mechanics, and fan input into something fresh and amazing!
You play as Beck, the 9th in a line of powerful robots, and the only one not infected by a mysterious computer virus that has caused mechanized creatures the world over to go berserk. Run, jump, blast, and transform your way through six stages (or more, via stretch goals) you can tackle in any order you choose, using weapons and abilities stolen from your enemies to take down your fellow Mighty Number robots and confront the final evil that threatens the planet!
The Tokyo-based team at Comcept boasts a number of high profile developers from the Japanese games industry, including prominent ex-capcom designer Naoya Tomita, and the composer of the original iconic Mega Man soundtrack Manami Matsumae
The team used the PAX Prime 2013 festival in Seattle this past weekend to launch the project, where Inafune spoke with Polygon
on the topic, describing their approach to crowdfunding as a Japanese studio:
"Crowdfunding is something that gives Japanese creators new freedoms, sometimes to the point where they don't even realize it," he said. "Until now, there's been a company between the end user and the creator. The company has both obscured what maybe the end user wants, saying that, for example 2D games don't sell. But it also protects the creator. Having that company now out of the equation and allowing the creator to directly interface with the end user is something that could help generate new freedoms but also issues in Japan.
"Japan as a country isn't one that is into donating money to the arts, especially games. And they don't spend a lot of money with their credit cards. Getting the concept of crowdfunding to resonate with your average Tanaka on the street is going to take some time, because it's not in the culture yet."
Mighty Number 9 is already well on its way toward hitting its initial US$900,000 goal for a PC version of the game, and stretch goals have been outlined up to US$2.5 million, which would add Mac and Linux versions, and various additional content, and finally PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii U versions if it makes it all the way.
Check out the pitch video below, and head over to the Kickstarter page
to chip in.