Hi! If you missed the last part, you can check it out here. On with the article!
We left off at Keiji Inafune’s departure from Capcom, and we pick up in February of 2011, where Mega Man Legends 3 game director Masakazu Eguchi releases a blog post entitled “A Declaration of Resolve.” In it, he expresses disappointment with himself and his team, and their lack of transparency, despite attempting to heavily involve the fans. In this post, Eguchi drops a major bombshell: Mega Man Legends 3 has not yet been greenlit. This news cast a shadow of doubt over the fanbase, and while many remained hopeful for the greenlight meeting, due for next week, it was difficult.
And then, the results of said meeting came out. The project was not approved. However, it received an extension on its trial period. Everyone was nervous, but things were starting to look up when, on March 4th, it was announced that Mega Man Legends 3 would be on demo at the “Nintendo 3DS x Capcom Premium Demonstration Event” in Akihabara, Tokyo, Japan, on March 29th. Then, disaster struck. Japan was hit with the devastating Tohoku earthquake/tsunami, cancelling the event and the public’s opportunity to see Mega Man Legends 3.
After this event, the team took a 3 week break from updating the devroom blog. During this hiatus, fan attention turned towards Mega Man Universe. News about the game had slowed down to a halt since it’s announcement the year prior, and on March 25th, 2011, it was delisted from Capcom’s website. Six days later, on March 31st, the game was officially announced to be cancelled, due to “various circumstances.” This did nothing to improve the morale of the Mega Man fanbase.
The hiatus ended on April 9th with a blog post titled “Declaration of Recommencement,” and devroom activity returned to normal. Huge news broke on April 21st with their unveiling of the Mega Man Legends 3 Prototype Version, a prologue to the main game which would launch alongside the Nintendo 3DS eShop. If it sold well, it would also serve as a gauge for interest in the full game. Fans were excited, and the devroom was at its peak. I mean, it’s not like Capcom would cancel two Mega Man games, right?
Time passed, the devroom updated, the Nintendo 3DS eShop launched, and Mega Man Legends 3 Prototype Version was nowhere to be found. It had reportedly been delayed, but concrete details on it’s release were scarce. Things seemed to be fine though, as the devroom was still very active, with new contests, concept artwork, and screenshots releasing regularly. However, time passed, and updates to the blog became increasingly focused on things related to the people behind the game, rather than the game itself. It wasn’t hard to see why; in their hearts, many fans knew.
Refusing to give up hope, however, 3 fansites, The Mega Man Network, Protodude’s Rockman Corner, and Legends Station, teamed up in mid-July to start a mail-in campaign called “Legends Never Die” to encourage the development team. These efforts were short-lived, however, as on July 18th, the news fans had been dreading came out: Mega Man Legends 3 was cancelled, along with the Prototype Version, citing that “it was not felt that the Mega Man Legends 3 Project met the required criteria.” Fans were outraged, and Capcom PR did a horrible job of handling said outrage, with tweets worded seemingly to suggest that it was the fanbase’s fault for the project’s failure.
I won’t go any further into the aftermath, as it falls outside of what I’m trying to accomplish with this series, but if you’d like to learn more, I suggest watching the excellent Mega Man Legends 3 documentary, which goes more in-depth and was a very helpful source of information for this article.