Mighty No. 9 Kickstarter Campaign/Release of Mighty No. 9

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A trademark example of how not to crowdfund a game.

In 2013, Comcept announced the creation of Mighty No. 9, a platforming game based off the original Mega Man games. It was to be considered its spiritual successor. Many were highly anticipating the release of the game, but when it was released in 2016, it was panned by many critics and reviewers alike who played it.

If you want to know more about the retail game itself, see the main article. This article is only about the troubled development.

Kickstarter Campaign

The game was highly anticipated when it was announced. The game was crowdfunded via Kickstarter, where it raised $3,845,170 pledged by 67,226 backers, surpassing its original goal and becoming the site's third highest funded console game project.  A big part of its success came from Capcom's negligence of Mega Man with up to 4 canceled projects like the highly anticipated Mega Man Legends 3 and that Inafune was working on the project. It should be noted that Inafune isn't really Mega Man's original creator (in fact, it was Akira Kitamura) yet they were treating him like he was.

However, as the Kickstarter got more money, the project continued to become more and more over-ambitious with numerous yet absurd stretch goals like a documentary, multiplayer, new game plus, ports for every single platform from console to handheld to PC. Something that no other sensible developer would ever actually promise. Inafune was also already planning to make Mighty No.9 a franchise before the game was even released starting with an animated TV series which got a trailer on July 14th of 2014 and has never gotten any new news since the game's release. This quickly caused skepticism to raise among backers, as well as others: one of the most famous voices to speak up was the legendary Hideki Kamiya of Platinum Games, who, on being asked about Inafune, said "He's a businessman, not a creator." He would later describe the game as an insult to Capcom.

Following lengthy delays, graphical downgrades, and Comcept's decision to fund another project, Red Ash: The Indelible Legend, through Kickstarter AND a Red Ash anime series while Mighty No. 9 was still being delayed were met with accusations of mismanagement, fortunately that game didn't get near its funding goal and Inafune had to find a Chinese investment company to fund the project, this alongside the poor communication between Comcept and Kickstarter backers (a problem only made worse when GamerGate hit and a politically-motivated community manager on the official forums, Dina Karam, who already had a reputation for sketchy behavior, started blocking pro-GamerGate forum members and backers, causing a PR nightmare which ultimately led to Comcept firing her) along with the constant delays caused many people to lose faith in the project and envision the game's demise. Even the game's demo meant to apologize for the delays was delayed. Following the announcement of Red Ash, it became clear that Inafune wanted a big multi-media franchise more than anything and he wasn't focusing on just making a game.

Release

Eventually, the game was finally released, but even the release itself was a disaster. Many Kickstarter backers were receiving broken DLC codes for the game, several backers who made large donations didn't get the bigger rewards, some received the game for the wrong platform, others didn't get the game at all, Xbox One copies were hard to find, and several ports were delayed (AGAIN) at the last minute, and the backers who requested the Xbox 360 version were receiving Steam codes for the game instead. AlphaOmegaSin even admitted that he pirated the game because the backer copy he was supposed to get never arrived. The game was also promised to be in 3DS and PS Vita, but those versions were never released even though the donations have reached the goal.

The game received generally mixed-to-negative reception from critics, fans and Kickstarter backers alike upon launch. The game's design, graphics, content, voice acting, and technical issues were criticized, and critics agreed that the game had utterly failed to live up to expectations. People frequently remind the 4 million dollars that went into the game as well as the 3 years of development and compare it to Dust: An Elysian Tail, a much superior game made by only one guy with a small budget of $40,000and was sold digitally for 15 dollars on Xbox Live, Steam and PSN. The game currently has a user rating of “Mixed” on its Steam store page and has a rating of 54% and a user score of 3.8 on Metacritic.

Web Reviewer ProJared did a 7 part Let's Play of the game stating that he wanted to give the game the benefit of the doubt and because he was one of the backers. Over the course of the 7 videos, Jared gradually grew angrier and angrier, eventually descending into full-blown, genuine rage. Jared also constantly had to deal with framerate drops and the game nearly crashing his computer in every game session. He then ranked it as the worst game of 2016, not just because of the game itself, but also because of how much went wrong during its development, the arrogance of the developers and the number of fans angered and disappointed by it over the 3 years of development.

Aftermath

Because of the game's negative reception, people started to cast a shadow of doubt on other crowdfunded and "Spiritual Successor" games like Overload, Yooka-Laylee and Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night because one of them have to be excellent enough to undo Comcept's damage. Even though Yooka-Laylee and Overload got better reception then Mighty No. 9 they did not get a strong enough reception to undo the negative damage of the former. Kickstarter has created many great games like Wasteland 2, Shovel Knight, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night (though with a bad Switch port) and Pillars of Eternity, and to see such a horrible game come out of Kickstarter is really sad.

A somber livestream of the game during the launch day was done featuring Inafune along with his translator named Ben Judd who acted as a host to the whole show, Ben accused angry fans and backers of being "salty" and when translating for Inafune during a Q&A, he said that "Even if the game is not perfect, it's better than nothing", implying that despite the game's problems, Comcept wanted to launch the game anyway. Inafune was mistakenly believed to be the one who said that. But regardless, this phrase was an awful thing for anybody associated with the game to say regardless of who really said it.

Since the announcement of Mega Man 11, Mighty No.9 was considered to be obsolete by many, as the Mega Man franchise isn’t dead anymore (for now, at least) and Mega Man 11 was positively received.

Videos

Comments


avatar

LimeMetz

11 months ago
Score 2
It was sad to see that so much effort was sadly wasted, heck I remember seeing this and being very interested in this project in 2013, back when I was 9 years old.

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