In Keiji Inafune's GDC talk, titled "Meanwhile, In Japan...," he recalled that the feeling around the first Mega Man game was comparable to that of indie game making today.
"Mega Man was the first original total that came out of our team in those days," Inafune recalled.
"In a way, if we're talking about what's big budget or not, in a way I would say that was our indie movement. We were not really doing what was asked by us; we were not necessarily adhering to what was requested to our team."
"The heart of indie lies in those days," he added. "We're still connected with fans in those ways."
He says that they're not concerned with labels so much, and that their spirit is fully indie now, regardless.
Inafune feels that they've come full circle now. Those team members that had that indie feeling so many years back are making Mighty No. 9 now. He said that the original Mega Man team was made of only six people, and three of them were new hires, with no previous game making experience. Those three members are still with Inafune today, and are currently working on Mighty No. 9.