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Mega Man is back — sort of.
Keiji Inafune, creator of the Mega Man series, left Japanese games giant Capcom in 2010 to form his own game studio, Comcept. On Saturday, Inafune and Comcept launched a Kickstarter campaign for Mighty No. 9, a spiritual successor to the famous side-scrolling action franchise.
Mega Man fans responded enthusiastically, catapulting the campaign past its $900,000 goal in just over 24 hours. At the time of writing, it’s garnered more than $1 million in pledges from 17,500 backers.
“This project is on Kickstarter so it can involve you, the fans,” reads the Mighty No. 9 Kickstarter page. “Not only will this make it possible, through crowdfunding, for us to make the game exactly as we envision it, but it also allows us to bring dedicated fans of this genre together to assist the team in shaping aspects of the game’s design.”
The game closely resembles its unofficial source material, from its “classic 2D action” to the protagonist, a little blue fellow named Beck. Inafune promises some design innovations, though, including the ability to transform Beck’s body into new shapes.
Mighty No. 9 is still early on in its development cycle, with gameplay details and art styles subject to change. But Inafune is a seasoned game industry veteran with dozens of hit titles under his belt, inspiring trust in backers.
For $20, the most popular reward tier, backers will receive a digital copy of Mighty No. 9. If they're willing to drop some serious cash, backers can directly influence the game’s development, suggesting a challenge for players to complete ($500) or designing an enemy alongside the development team ($5,000).
Mighty No. 9 is scheduled to launch on PC April 2015. The Kickstarter campaign touts a number of stretch goals, including Mac and Linux versions (at $1.35 million), a making-of documentary ($2 million), and console versions ($2.5 million). Given the crowdfunding campaign’s early traction, it’s very likely to surpass all those benchmarks.
With Mighty No. 9, Inafune joins the ranks veteran game developers like Tim Schafer (Broken Age) and Chris Roberts (Star Citizen) eschewing traditional funding mechanisms in favor of crowdfunding. Noticeably, Mighty No. 9 is one of the more prominent crowdfunding projects to emerge from Japan, which has been slower to embrace crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter than western countries.
To learn more about Keiji Inafune's new project, check out the Mighty No. 9 pitch video below.