Mega Man reboot was scrapped after just six months of development

By on April 10, 2013, 8:30 AM

It’s not often that we get to take a look at a potential game that ultimately wound up on the cutting room floor. What’s more, when the game in question was to be a reboot of an iconic franchise from 25 years ago, it makes the experience that much more special.

Unfortunately that’s exactly what happened just a few years ago with a project codenamed Maverick Hunter. The game was supposed to be a reboot of the classic Mega Man series, backed by the team that created Metroid Prime.

The same artist that created Iron Man’s armor in the successful film franchise was tasked with designing the new Mega Man. The game, under development at Austin-based Armature Studio, was to follow the mythology of Mega Man X meaning it would be much darker and sinister than the original Nintendo classics. Mega Man was to be transformed into a first person shooter.

As you can imagine, the project had the making to be something special but after just six months of development, the game was scrapped. Sources at Capcom said there was a playable prototype which showed promise but the game was seen as a gamble after Keiji Inafune (the person behind the original series) left the company.

Maverick Hunter now joins Mega Man Online, Mega Man Universe and Mega Man Legends 3 as a game that will never see the light of day. If nothing else, we have a series of renderings and a video that give a glimpse of what could have been.




User Comments: 27

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1 person liked this | ghasmanjr ghasmanjr said:

I love the Mega Man franchise. I have every game for the NES, SNES, N64, PS1 and a few from the PS2. Mega Man Legends was a helluva lot of fun. The series lost its way once it went to the PS1 with X4. I was really hoping for this reboot but now I feel left out to dry.

Good work Capcom. Let's make 20 Street Fighter reboots and a TON of Resident Evil sequels but scrap a potentially awesome Mega Man reboot.

ghasmanjr ghasmanjr said:

What Capcom should do is release the prototype and at least let the public experience what will never come to fruition. Who knows? Maybe if the fans like the prototype enough Capcom might decide to give the game another shot.

Guest said:

This is a tragedy! March on Capcom headquarters with banners of protest unfurled!

TS-56336 TS-56336 said:

The sad part is that Capcom probably cancelled it because they didn?t believe in MM and not because they realized it was a stupid idea.

1 person liked this | spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

Mega man is like the original Iron Man but with cooler bad guys. I would love to see a Tomb Raider style "coming-to" story about Mega man and Dr. Wiley.

oberonqa oberonqa said:

What a shame... this could have revitalized the Mega Man series... and considering the effect Metroid Prime had on the Metroid series (say what you will about it's pacing, the Metroid Prime games showed that it was possible to take a 2D-rooted franchise and successfully mold it into a 3D game).

Ah well... Capcom shows yet again that they have no faith in their brands and instead would rather "play it safe" with established and "modern" proven franchises. No wonder Kenji left the company. The company that gambled and brought us the original Resident Evil (arguably the first of it's kind and quite a gamble back in the day) appears to be nothing more than a memory.... replaced by a corporation that continues to show through bad decisions that they have lost the ability to make games that are commercially successful. Look no further than the company's own interviews recently regarding the mis-step that is Resident Evil 6 to see the proof of how far the company has fallen from it's once mighty tree.

2 people like this | Lurker101 said:

Or maybe they did realise it was a stupid idea. Just maybe they've learned from EAs horrendous Syndicate mistake. There could be a chance that one of the people responsible for this mistake stopped huffing lead based paint for a few minutes and realised that if you take a piece of intellectual property from so long ago that the only people who remember it do so with rose-tinted spectacles on and turn it into a "dark" and "sinister" rail-shooter, then all of the old fanboys will line up outside of your house and take turns piddling through your letterbox.

If you're going to give an antiquated game a HD reboot, it has to be done well because all of those people who remember the old stuff will hate you and those who don't remember the old games won't care about your nostalgic cash-in, if it's done badly.

oberonqa oberonqa said:

@Lurker:

The same was said about Metroid Prime when it was first shown off at E3 by Metroid purists who felt that the series reached it's pinnacle with Super Metroid... and yet that game was a success and, as I pointed out, showed that it was possible to take a 2D franchise and convert it to 3D.

While we'll never know what would have happened with this game, it had the potential to do the same thing.... especially since it was being created by the same team that created Metroid Prime. That team passed the crucible and proved they know how to handle the job.

Lurker101 said:

I just knew that somebody would try to use Metroid as a counter-argument. A game whose big, pivotal plot point was "she's a woman and she's single-handedly thoroughly kicking bottom in a way that most men could only ever dream of so shut up and deal with it.". Now we move on over to the wonderful world of 3D with completely obtuse controls, a woman who's armour is held together with blu-tack so it falls off if she so much as coughs, a desperate need to be surrounded by big, burly men, thumb sucking trauma from fighting an enemy she's bounced around over a dozen times already and a complete inability to do anything unless her surrogate daddy figure tells her that he's okay with it.

Now let's take a deep, calming breath and remember that the last game was nothing more than a movie with a few token gamey bits thrown in, but still giving you the option to ignore the gamey bits and plot writers who were clearly in the process of a divorce and so the actual plot is about as sensible and coherent as a puss and pineapple sandwich.

Yes, I know that Other M is a pretty easy target and there might even be at least one good 3D Metroid game, but Other M serves as a pretty good example of just how badly a house of cards can be knocked over by putting the house of cards under a meteor shower.

oberonqa oberonqa said:

@Lurker

Metroid: Other M was created by Team Ninja... the same people that make Ninja Gaiden. I think your confusing Other M with Metroid Prime... a mistake that you should really look into correcting....

Lurker101 said:

As far as I'm concerned, both games are mistakes that the developers and publishers should really look into correcting. Perhaps by replacing the game disks with a full refund and an apology.

Tygerstrike said:

@Lurker

Im guessing from the general tone of your posts that you were not a fan of either Metroid or MegaMan. I however loved both titles. MegaMan, at that time, tested your hand/eye coordination nicely, as well as gave you tough bosses that you either beat the old fashion way. Run and gun. Or you had to fight one different boss to get his abilities to beat another boss. At that time a brilliant concept. And Metroid was just fun. Remember fun? That thing we all used to strive for as children but seem to have forgetten as adults. You may not have been a fan but I and many others like me are. Its just a shame that you didnt get the enjoyment out of the Metroid line that others did. I really hope that this MegaMan reboot does eventually get picked back up. It would be nice to see how they would change the characters and powers to more 3D oriented combat. BioShock was pretty close to what I envision this game would have been like, except with cooler weapons!!

Guest said:

What on earth was bad with Metroid Prime? That was a great game, that kept true to Metroid's style in all things except the 2D gameplay. Vastly different both in quality and scope than Other M (poorly executed game with contradictary and flawed themes)

Lurker101 said:

Of course I remember fun. My inner child hit it over the head with a shovel and buried it in a shallow grave. A move my inner child came to regret when I found the shovel.

In all seriousness though, I have to admit that I loved the old Metroid games and cannot be bothered to think back and count the hours that I lost to Super Metroid. Through my rose-tinted glasses, I remember the controls being good and somewhat intuitive with a good game design and a weighty level of progression, mired by constant, arbitrary backtracking to pad out the game length. It was a game that knew its' tone, knew how to pace itself and didn't worry too much about the story aspects because the game had enough strength to hold up by itself. The end story aspect with the baby metroid was a little bit guano and quite contrived, but even the final desperate run back to your ship was nicely done and a good example of weaving narrative into gaming mechanics.

Ever since it went 3D, I've just felt the series has gone on a downward spiral. I did initially have high hopes when I found out that Metroid was going 3D and since then I've heard other people try to explain to me that there's at least one good 3D Metroid game, but with the way the franchise has been mismanaged and abused, I'm just not willing to go on a leap of faith and try anymore. Especially if there's a risk of motion controls, which bring to immersive gaming what STDs bring to sex.

Tygerstrike said:

I liked the 3D aspect of the last Metroid I saw played on the Wii. I loved the "Movie" quality of it. I felt it was refreshing. Previously we had 2D, which was fun, ok lets not lie, it was a blast, but limited to higth and width but was lacking in depth. This was generally overcome with strong story lines and interesting characters. Where I agree there may have been some mismanagment of the franchise as a whole, I always play each game as if it is the first time Ive ever played that style of game. Other M had issues yes, but it didnt detract from the game for me. I always have viewed changes in a game like a Hamburger. There is many types of burgers and you may like Cheese Burgers, but every now and then its nice to try a BBQ Burger or Bacon and Swiss.

As for the motion controls, yes it was like any other game/console setup. You had to get used to it. Once I got used to the Wii controls I really got lost in Metroid. So much so that I didnt even realize that I had been playing standing up for almost 5 hours! So if you have a Wii and have access to either a freind who has Metroid or your lucky enough to find a used copy, try it. It may be a leap of faith for you but I know that leap will pay off for you when you play the game. Now.....to find a Bacon and Swiss burger because Ive made myself hungry.

Ravik Ravik said:

I totally would have played this one...

cmbjive said:

Head over to allgamesbeta.com to check out videos of the game. I'm "meh" on it but you can definitely feel the Metroid Prime presence of the game.

dennis777 dennis777 said:

Good thing this was scrap... megaman platformer please.... although I like megaman legend (3rd person shooter)

Trillionsin Trillionsin said:

I am also disappointed. I was a big fan of the original Nintendo series and some of the Megaman X, too. I liked Megaman Legends even... and I cant remember if I played Legends 2. Either way, disappointed.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

Honestly for a fan of the classical Megaman/X series this game can create some pretty intense mixed feelings. The game was meant to be a "reboot" of the more classical megaman designs (similar to how the Prime series was a reboot of the original Nes/Snes Metroids), however it changed a lot of the elements that made X (and Megaman as a whole). Going by the game videos, character design was changed as a whole; not only X but even the enemy mechanoloids suffered from a massive facelift. The staple of the Megaman hero, the Megabuster was changed to this dinky little machine-gun which fires missiles as a sort of charged shot. Platforming feels like it could be awkward at times, and it feels like they tried a bit too hard to add a scope of "realism" to a series about a hyper-advanced robot who's a few levels short from going Deus Ex Machina. That's not to say the game was outright bad; the abilities to engage enemies in melee, and even take over their weapons are fresh additions that would with a little polish make the game far more enjoyable. The addition of the human element (something that was strangely missing in the X series outside of Proffesor Cain) would help to cement the story of the X series even more. The game honestly had a lot of potential, but it's biggest flaw would have probably been tampering too much with the Iconic elements that make the Blue Bomber.

Jaiguru said:

Metroid Prime wasn't a reboot. It was filler material that took place between the classic games.

Honestly for a fan of the classical Megaman/X series this game can create some pretty intense mixed feelings. The game was meant to be a "reboot" of the more classical megaman designs (similar to how the Prime series was a reboot of the original Nes/Snes Metroids), however it changed a lot of the elements that made X (and Megaman as a whole). Going by the game videos, character design was changed as a whole; not only X but even the enemy mechanoloids suffered from a massive facelift. The staple of the Megaman hero, the Megabuster was changed to this dinky little machine-gun which fires missiles as a sort of charged shot. Platforming feels like it could be awkward at times, and it feels like they tried a bit too hard to add a scope of "realism" to a series about a hyper-advanced robot who's a few levels short from going Deus Ex Machina. That's not to say the game was outright bad; the abilities to engage enemies in melee, and even take over their weapons are fresh additions that would with a little polish make the game far more enjoyable. The addition of the human element (something that was strangely missing in the X series outside of Proffesor Cain) would help to cement the story of the X series even more. The game honestly had a lot of potential, but it's biggest flaw would have probably been tampering too much with the Iconic elements that make the Blue Bomber.

Jaiguru said:

Thank god this was scrapped! This prototype threw away everything that made Megaman fun, from the cartoony style to the platforming elements. The last thing we need is another shit shooter, especially in an age when shooter fatigue is starting to set in in a big way. Megaman's style is universal and should not be messed with. I would rather they retire the franchise entirely than run a race to the bottom with a "herp a derp gritty reboot shooter for teh kiddies herp a derp".

Jaiguru said:

Mega man is like the original Iron Man but with cooler bad guys. I would love to see a Tomb Raider style "coming-to" story about Mega man and Dr. Wiley.

I sincerely hope this never happens. Megaman is not about a "story". It is about great platformer physics. The game is a virtual obstacle course, not a delivery system for mellow drama.

Jaiguru said:

@Lurker:

The same was said about Metroid Prime when it was first shown off at E3 by Metroid purists who felt that the series reached it's pinnacle with Super Metroid... and yet that game was a success and, as I pointed out, showed that it was possible to take a 2D franchise and convert it to 3D.

While we'll never know what would have happened with this game, it had the potential to do the same thing.... especially since it was being created by the same team that created Metroid Prime. That team passed the crucible and proved they know how to handle the job.

It's also worth mentioning that no one brings up the prime games in a best of Metroid conversation as well as the fact that even Nintendo reverted to the side scrolling style in the most recent outing. We don't need gritty dark reboots of old franchises. #edgy

Jaiguru said:

Especially if there's a risk of motion controls, which bring to immersive gaming what STDs bring to sex.

THIS is the single biggest cancer in all of gaming: This notion that peripherals are somehow magically "immersive". I was immersed in games that had characters who were little more than glorified digital squares. Immersion comes from expertly crafted game physics, clever use of mechanics, and potentially good story. It does not come from swinging your hands around like a ***** or touch pads or screens in your controller or vr headsets with teh supor kul treedeez.

But this day in age, people are too worried about superficial things to be bothered with good game design. They'd rather take the cheap and easy road by making ridiculous novelty controllers. The worst part is, the consumer eats it up. It's hard to blame the game companies for making money hand over fist with junk food games when classy, well crafted cuisine is so expensive.

Lurker101 said:

And just like that, my faith in humanity has been restored by a decimal of a point. It turns out that there are a few people left who still believe that good characterisation, clever use of dialogue, narrative weaved into the game mechanics and a well structured level design are better for immersion than flailing about like an air traffic controller with photosensitive epilepsy in a roller-disco.

Jaiguru said:

And just like that, my faith in humanity has been restored by a decimal of a point. It turns out that there are a few people left who still believe that good characterisation, clever use of dialogue, narrative weaved into the game mechanics and a well structured level design are better for immersion than flailing about like an air traffic controller with photosensitive epilepsy in a roller-disco.

I would even approach story telling with caution. Video games are not analogous to movies or books. -ALL- things in a game are secondary to mechanics. A game with no story, like virtually every NES game aside from maybe a sentence in the often unread instruction manual, is just as capable of being genre defining as a game with novel-esque qualities.

Theme. Mood. Story telling. Graphics. Novelty Controllers. All of these may have their respective place in a well rounded game. But not a one of these should EVER be the core of the game. Unfortunately, we now have an industry who has this equation ass backwards. And again, hard to blame them. All of these things are easier and cheaper than being creative and using in game mechanics in novel ways. If we keep buying them, why should they care? This is not a top down problem, it's a bottom up one. It begins and ends with our wallets.

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