It was so new players didn’t feel confused
The always rockin’ Rockman Corner managed to snag an interview with Mega Man 11 producer Kazuhiro Tsuchiya, which contains all sorts of juicy tidbits regarding the creation of the revival and why the team made the choices they did.
While he isn’t trumpeting its sales from a mountaintop Tsuchiya does say that the response is “overwhelmingly encouraging,” and that he has noticed “many new Mega Man fans” as a result of the launch that will help cement a “more supportive community.” He also goes on to say that he’d love for “even more players” to give the game a try, but stops short of confirming any sort of DLC at the moment.
My favorite bit from the interview though has to be the explanation for why major fan-favorite characters (like Proto Man or Bass) weren’t present. Tsuchiya exhumes the sentiment we’ve seen time and time again in that it was basically a soft reboot: “What we struggled with the most was how to develop a clear and engaging story that builds upon the previous installments while appealing to a wide range of players; new players picking up a Mega Man game for the first time, those who may have forgotten the series’ backstory, and the hardcore fans who remember the events of 9 and 10 as though they happened yesterday. After the long gap between 10 and 11, we decided to focus on sharing an untold story that touches on the past of Dr. Light and Dr. Wily.”
It makes sense. Stuffing a ton of fanservice into a revival is a quick way to alienate a generation of players who are completely new to the Mega Man universe. The original team even followed this slow-moving approach, gently adding Rush into Mega Man 3, then Proto Man, then Beat, and so on: it wasn’t even until the seventh main entry a generation later that they added Bass.
Whatever the case may be it seems like the development team is very happy with the end result: I just hope Capcom was at the corporate level.
Mega Man 11 Post-Launch Interview with Producer Kazuhiro Tsuchiya [Rockman Corner]