In the early part of 2006, some members of The Mega Man Network gathered and looked into the possibility of a specialized petition, one to try and convince Capcom to create a MegaMan Legends 3.
One of our staff, who had been in contact with a member of Capcom had reportedly been told that the series could be in trouble in regards to further sequels being produced, due in part to lackluster sales of the Rockman DASH counterparts on the Sony PlayStation Portable in Japan. However, it was believed that if sufficient demand were shown by those in America and Europe, that a continuation may yet happen, and the two agreed that a petition might be the best way to reflect this and see the series live on.
It may surprise some to find out, however, that I opposed this course of action, and did not believe it would work. As a result, I took advantage of some contacts and sources of mine whom I knew were going to E3 that year, and did all I could to see to it that the following wound up in the hands of someone from Capcom, which it did, thanks to Lord Phoenix of Planet Mega Man.
The following proposal was delivered to Mr. Todd Thorson at E3, who unfortunately had departed the company since receiving it. As a result, I do not know how far my letter might have gotten, and a follow-up e-mail to Capcom saw no reply.
As much time has passed with no indication of any movement on the idea, and as a matter of general interest, I present to you in full (save for personal information) the MegaMan Legends Collection proposal letter which was delivered to the member of Capcom’s management at E3 of 2006.
To Whom It May Concern:
My name is David Oxford, known online in fan-circles as LBD “Nytetrayn”. I work for The Mega Man Network, with which you?ve affiliated unofficially in the past for input regarding the Mega Man series of games which Capcom produces.
Since the release of Mega Man X Collection, there has been some talk within the community about the possibility of the next natural step in Capcom?s collections, that being a MegaMan Legends Collection.
But before I get into that, my colleague Jaxel, with whom I believe you are already quite familiar with, passed word along to our staff that it was said that the continuation of the MegaMan Legends series of games might be in trouble, due to the lackluster sales of the PSP versions of the games in Japan. To that end, he was cited as having said that if demand were high enough from the American and European audiences, that a continuation might be possible. Jaxel had suggested some sort of petition, which (was) said would be the best way to collect everyone?s wishes.
Now, while I consider myself an optimist, I also consider myself a realist. I do not believe that such a project is ready at this point in time, because I believe that there is still ground to be gained before the sufficient support can be gained for a third chapter in the series.
It is with this in mind that I return you to the idea of a MegaMan Legends Collection, and why it would be a better venture to pursue now.
For starters, (it had been) said that it is unlikely that the studios in Japan who work on the Rockman games would be able to take on a sequel at this time.
Second, I don?t believe the Japanese market was fairly represented with the PSP releases of the games. The games were sold individually as almost straight ports, emulated I hear, on a next-generation piece of hardware. Even Super Mario 64 DS saw a facelift and new content and features added. Without having played them myself, I have heard that the PSP ports were not very well emulated or otherwise run. So in short, from what I know of these games, it sounds as though they were destined to fail there. They would fail just about anywhere under all those circumstances.
Fortunately, the US has a rather different market, including the fact that games which Capcom sells individually in Japan wind up in US-exclusive Collections here.
Before a MegaMan Legends 3 can gain proper support, I believe that momentum needs to be rebuilt for the series. It has been several years since the last release of a Legends title, and the presence of the characters elsewhere has been quite limited, thanks in part to the lack of a US-version of Namco x Capcom, in which several Legends characters featured prominently.
To build support for a sequel, I believe that a release of a Collection is key. To this end, I ask you to consider the following facts:
– MegaMan Legends is not the most widely-played series in the franchise. In its day, the original Legends games were up against the likes of Metal Gear Solid, Crash Bandicoot, Tomb Raider, Capcom?s own Resident Evil titles, and even against other more traditional Mega Man titles such as Mega Man 8 and Mega Man X4. Those are tough acts to follow for any game.
– The above does not simply include casual gamers; there are many Mega Man fans who have not played the Legends series of games. Part of the problem in this was that, at the time, the series was simply too different, and no one really knew where it stood. Was it an alternate universe, as MegaMan Battle Network is? The far-flung future? How could things possibly get to where they are in Legends from how they were in X4?
But thanks to time and the internet, we now know much more than we did, including the fact that Legends takes place thousands of years after the events seen in the X series of games. What?s more, titles which have come later seem to gradually be building towards the world we see in Legends, starting in Mega Man Zero and seemingly continuing through the upcoming Mega Man ZX. Years after the fact, people have become more educated and potentially more interested in seeing what is in store for the future of the Mega Man world.
– Capcom?s Collections seem to sell well, and for what I?d imagine to be a solid return on less investment than an original title built from the ground up. Capcom still has a rather powerful name when it comes to gaming, and are often regarded as being quality works, especially its older games.
– Mega Man Collections seem to do well for themselves. People, casual gamers even, see the Mega Man name and associate it with quality, while seeing Collection and associate it with value. I do not see why a MegaMan Legends Collection would be any different. I hang out at several different non-Mega Man forums which discuss games, and many people did not play a number of titles in either of the past Collections, who got excited at their release. I believe that a release of a MegaMan Legends Collection would stir the same excitement.
In fact, to this very day I still see people asking about the indefinitely-delayed Mega Man Mania for the Game Boy Advance.
– MegaMan Legends is a series where, unlike Mega Man X Collection, nothing needs to be done to it. The voices are of the best from the time for Capcom?s games, the translations are superb(short of perhaps matching the story to Japan?s, with things such as how MegaMan was named, or Eden). There is very little to do to these games except add to what?s already there. Unlike X and its awkward localization, doing anything to the Legends titles would only detract from them in the eyes of those who have played them.
Some say that there aren?t enough titles to be considered for a Collection, but I beg to differ. With the inclusion of Misadventures of Tron Bonne, there are three lengthy titles to be included, as many as in Capcom?s Street Fighter Alpha Anthology, and more than in Street Fighter Anniversary Collection or Square?s Final Fantasy compilations.
However, for an added value in gameplay in a similar vein to the inclusion of Mega Man Battle & Chase in the X Collection, there are two remaining titles which I?m sure a number of fans would love to see: the now hard-to-find Mega Man Soccer and the never-released-in-the-US Rockboard.
Adding to the titles would be a simple matter, there is a nice selection of material that would please many Mega Man fans. Easier bonuses would be things like the inclusion of exclusive art and production sketches, or translated information about the games from Japan. The addition of Japanese Rockman commercials, with their splendid animation, would also work well. The original MegaMan Legends also had a commercial in the US, one which I personally regard as better than those we have today.
Other possibilities include perhaps a widescreen format based on the PSP resolution, and more importantly, the inclusion of the Japanese-exclusive Rockman DASH 2 preview, which differed from the US preview and is included on the PSP release of the title, featuring some scenes and other content that didn?t make it into the final version of the title. Other suggestions I?ve heard have included things such as developer interviews, character profiles, or a Legends enemy database.
If there was still room, I?m sure fans would love some of the encyclopedia-like information that was cut from the Mega Man Anniversary Collection. Perhaps the Wily Tower segment from Mega Man: The Wily Wars?
As it is, though, the MegaMan Legends games are known to be good enough to stand on their own in a Collection with no changes, unlike the other series.
All of the above, however, would make the total package very enticing to three groups:
1) People who already own the Legends games. Bonus material, information and art which they haven?t seen before would give them a reason to come back, as well as the convenience of having all the titles available in one spot. As a fan, I can say that this was the X Collection?s biggest failing. After all the promise the title held, there was absolutely no reason for me to want to spend the money asked on it. I already owned the games, save for Battle & Chase, had seen the art years ago, and there wasn?t very much else. The promise of fixed scripts and better voices had my interest, as I?d get to see and hear things in a new way, things unfamiliar yet welcome. I realize it was beyond Capcom of America?s control for that stuff to be taken out, but all the same, when it was, I simply didn?t need what amounted to a $50 copy of Battle & Chase without the announcers and voices.
2) Fans who have never played the games. I?ve seen people saying that they have not been able to find this Legends title or that, or hadn?t really given it a thought before because it was ?too different,? or whatever reason. Since then, MegaMan Battle Network, Mega Man Zero, and now ZX have shown how different Mega Man can be, and still be good. And as noted before, since the Legends series has been revealed to be a part of the main Mega Man timeline, it seems that interest in the series has built a bit, posthumously, now that the series is actually relevant to what people know.
3) As noted before, the people who equate “Mega Man” with “quality,” and “Collection” with value.
Simply put, the Legends fandom needs to be rebuilt, and now is the perfect opportunity to do it, with the next generation of consoles being just around the corner to take the sequel, but still early enough that people who can?t find a PlayStation 3 or afford a next-generation console, people caught in a drought of games as attention starts to shift, will be able to sit up and take notice.
Trying to push for a Legends 3 right now would probably be futile. Those who would support it would be the diehard Legends fans which remain, and there aren?t many. A lot of people have given up on waiting, have moved on, or just weren?t there to begin with. A Collection would show that there?s still life there, and that there is still something there to support.
The potential is there, we just have to utilize it, to rebuild momentum before trying to move on.
I do believe that timing of this venture to be crucial, however. I don?t see it as unlikely, especially with the rumored pricing for the PlayStation 3, for people to be left behind as the next generation kicks off. The XBox 360 is also a rather pricey package, one that hasn?t quite succeeded in enticing everyone yet, and among those who do own one, there seems to be a bit of dissatisfaction. I believe it is in this transitional period which MegaMan Legends Collection would stand its best chance of paving the way for a sequel in the series on a next-generation console, because once PS3 and 360 momentum starts to pick up, I don?t think people will be looking for a Collection of games two generations old in their library so early on. As noted before, I believe that is part of what worked against the PSP versions in Japan, in addition to being sold individually. However, from the middle to the tail end of the current generation, it seems Collections have quite a bit of support from gamers looking to get more value for their buck, 3 or 6 or 20 games for only 2/3 the price of what developers are asking for their next-generation offerings.
To put it another way, I think there is going to be a period of time where gamers are going to be left in the dark, parents who aren?t willing to drop half a grand on little Johnny?s gaming habits, and those would be some of the ideal customers to go after. In addition, I imagine there are a number of those who won?t be early adopters for other reasons, waiting to see how things play out once Sony and Nintendo enter the playing field for the next generation.
In addition, it has not been unlike Mega Man to be the last one out of a generation?s party; he?s so often the one turning out the lights. Mega Man 6 was one of the last NES games released, Rockman & Forte was one of(if not the) last games released on the Japanese Super Famicom, Mega Man X6 was one of the last PS1 games, Mega Man Xtreme 2 the last Game Boy Color, and it seems MegaMan Battle Network 6 will be one of the final Game Boy Advance titles now.
I also feel that in rebuilding the momentum for Legends, that it is key to ride off of the momentum established by the past two Mega Man Collections, which I feel would be broken if this were to be released at a later time or on another system.
Another factor to consider is that as developers prepare for war on the next generation of consoles, there will no doubt be less competition on the current generation of hardware. Combined with the above factors, I believe that MegaMan Legends Collection would be in a prime position to take advantage of this. It would be a quick gaming fix for those who don?t know where their money is going yet. I don?t believe the presence of a MegaMan Legends Collection would affect where they go yet, or whether or not they wait, but, it will give them something to do in the meantime.
In conclusion, I don?t believe that the world is ready for MegaMan Legends 3 just yet, but I think that it is ready for a MegaMan Legends Collection to help it get there. As the saying goes, “the seeds of the future lie buried in the past,” and I believe that?s where we need to dig if we want to see Capcom of Japan further the series. The core games are practically flawless as they are, nothing would need to be changed to improve on the games. Anything extra to attract those who already own the three games, such as myself, would simply be gravy, albeit very important gravy if one wishes to maximize the number of customers purchasing the product. I feel this may work to the advantage of the developers, however, as perhaps more time could be spent on the fringes as the core is fundamentally complete, especially as all three are PS1 games and one would assume easier to integrate into a collection for a PS2 release than the cross-system series which filled the prior Collections.
The other factor that would help guarantee the success of this kind of release vs. the Japanese PSP releases is the fact that the Collection targets, usually GameCube and PlayStation 2 owners, make up a much larger, much more significant portion of the market than PSP owners in Japan alone.
But timing is critical for this to work. Hesitate for too long, and things will start to fall apart. To put it another way, this would be a very calculated move that is working off of an alignment of factors which we may not see again for many years. It may very well be now or never for this project to be successful. It could work at a later time, perhaps, but it would not have the hurricane-like force of positive factors standing behind it to make the title a success.
I would be very interested in hearing what you think, and you can get ahold of me at almost any time. My e-mail is (E-mail omitted), and I can even be reached by phone at (omitted)(it?s a cellular number, but I?ll gladly take the charges for this. If there is no answer, please leave a message and I will definitely return your call).
Thanks for your time, if you have indeed read this far. I apologize for how long this has run, but I feel that everything I?ve said holds an important in regards to this project. The near future of the Legends series could depend on this, and I also feel that it would go a long way towards repairing the faith which some fans had lost after the release of the Mega Man X Collection. Weight
David R. Oxford
Aka LBD ?Nytetrayn?
The Mega Man Network
(phone number omitted)
As I write this, however, some things have changed.
It is the end of January of 2007, and the Wii and PlayStation 3 have joined the market, the former very difficult to find, with Sony citing the success of the PlayStation 2 when asked about unsold PS3 quantities.
Which in this case is good, as the PlayStation 2 is still seeing some releases of a grander scale, such as Rockstar’s Bully, God of War 2, Burnout Dominator, and more.
Alongside the Virtual Console, there are other titles that were released for last generation’s hardware reaching the Wii console, such as Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2, Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, and Super Paper Mario.
Perhaps the release most noteworthy and relevant to the topic at hand is Metal Slug Anthology, released for the PSP, the PS2, and the Wii, featuring numerous older games collected and various control schemes implemented, many of which taking advantage of the unique functions of the Wii remote, although reportedly to varying degrees of success.
Facts like these lead me to believe that maybe it’s not too late, that perhaps a MegaMan Legends Collection could still be released into the marketplace and still work. A PlayStation 2 release could still be possible, perhaps even welcomed, while elsewhere, a Wii version could be released which could implement additional control schemes, perhaps allowing players the ability to aim with the Wii remote. Just to name one such possibility.
Whatever possibilities there are, however, are meaningless unless Capcom is persuaded to take action. And it is for this reason that I urge anyone who would like to see the return of the MegaMan Legends games to let Capcom know that you would like to see a MegaMan Legends Collection, and yes, maybe even a MegaMan Legends 3! Call them, e-mail them, snail-mail them, or even speak out on their forums!
After all, this is a case of everything to gain, and nothing to lose. The effort required of you is so little, but the potential payoff can be grand. So why not say something, and make it count?