The Mega Man Network Turns Ten

After ten years, The Mega Man Network finally turns ten.

Okay, so it's clear that killing Obvious Man and stealing his power has done little to make me a better writer. Let's try this again...

Ten years ago today, The Mega Man Network was begun by a man with a vision. What that vision was, no one but he and the empty case of E-tanks he left behind the following morning can say, but it led to the creation of a site called "Mega Man X Online."

Since then, the site grew and changed, encompassing other Mega Man series, other sites, and even other people who would run it. For the full detailed analysis of the site's history, you're free to peruse our "About" page, but on this day, we're taking a few moments to look back, reflect, and hear the thoughts of previous curators of Mega Man mythology.

First, we will hear from the man who began it all with his moogle of darkness, Steve "Reeve" Watts:

This is a request that definitely made me feel old. My baby is turning ten? Mega Man Network hasn't really been mine for a long time, but I still feel a sense of pride when I see it mentioned on the Capcom blog as I flip through my daily news feeds.

The site went through a lot of stages when I was at the helm. It began its life devoted only to the Mega Man X series, because I had some insane notion that the plot warranted further examination. That concept ran out of steam fairly quickly, so I expanded into the other series. At the time, that only meant the Classic and Legends series, but before I left it had ballooned into Battle Network and Zero as well.

Most of my ownership is hazy now. I only remember the broad strokes: a friendly rivalry with other sites, working game transcription into a busy college schedule, building up a community of friends on the forums and in the IRC chat, Bryan's irreverent (and often overdue) humor columns.

When I stepped away from the site and handed it off to Tim, it was another step in my life. I really loved the time I had spent, but I was moving onto a career and eventual marriage. MMN sort of bookended a time in my life, and I'm glad I left it there. I've moved into other forms of game writing, and the new format and ownership of the site looks like it's doing great for itself.

I called the site my baby, but it looks pretty grown-up now. I'm so proud of what it's become and I feel fortunate to have helped create this little corner of the Internet that some Mega Man fans call home. I know the other managers and contributors, past and present, feel the same way.

*meow*

Those who wish to follow the further adventures of the man once known as "Reeve" may do so at 1UP, where he contributes news and continues to fight to bring down the man and the machine which have held the video game industry in its iron grip for too long.

He also managed to get while the getting was good, prior to us having two more Mega Man series to deal with (and a possible third on the way, which he speaks of briefly here.

No, as ZX and Star Force began to rear their heads, the task of covering them-- along with all the other flashes of blue Capcom has thrown our way-- fell to one man. A man known simply as "Tim."

These are his words:

Mega Man Network is ten years old? Wow... what a long, strange trip it's been. For a great deal of the last decade, Mega Man Network has been a part of my life, whether or not I was helming it.

I wasn't around at the creation of the site, but I came around after it was about a year old, when it was transitioning from its original Mega Man X focus to the broad-spectrum concept of everything Mega Man. I took over at a time when college for me was nearing an end, so I found balancing work and play was a challenge unlike I had seen before. But I had fun doing it, and in the process amassed a collection of models, figures, and games that my wife has threatened to have me committed for.

After I took over from Steve, I turned to tweaking the little odds and ends of the website, attempting in various mediums to make it "perfect". Although these ventures panned out with varying degrees of success (or failure), I'm still proud of what MMN became during my tenure - it evolved from simply covering the games to being a much larger entity.

We did numerous deals with companies who licensed part of the Mega Man brand, and in doing so drew a larger fanbase. I expanded coverage that included ZX and Star Force, and brought in more contributors to help with our overall goal of providing the most comprehensive coverage for the Mega Man series. At the end of the day, Mega Man Network is something I can look back on and say I was glad to be a part of it.

But as they say, all good things come to an end. My career path and my marriage drew me away from being a site manager, and so I decided to hand control over to the staff, so that they could decide on the site's future. LBD "Nytetrayn" emerged as the new manager, and greatly expanded upon ideas that I had tossed about, in the process converting the site into what you see today. But alas, nothing I can write here can adequately express how impressed I am with what he and the staff have done. Steve's "baby", as he put it, has truly matured and grown into something more than either he or I could have envisioned.

Tim still does what he can to contribute to the site, such as trying to set the record straight about such notions as "continuity" and "canon." When he's not doing that, he can often be found fighting for freedom wherever there is trouble, thus allowing us to continue to praise and gripe about Capcom's latest exploits.

And then we come... to me.

I've been puzzling over what to say here for weeks now, knowing that this day was coming. Much has happened since I took over the reins of The Mega Man Network.

Shortly after revamping and relaunching the website, Heat Man approached under what some might call a flag of truce. Of course, such a notion was silly, to some degree. Though visitors and members of The Mega Man Network's community did not always get along with those from other sites, such as his own Atomic Fire, there was no such animosity between us. What good was a fanbase divided, anyway?

And so when he had decided he'd had his fill of running a website and proposed a merger which would provide us AF's music and art archives, as well as the services of Tabby and himself, I leapt at the opportunity. Just as the fusion of the original Mega Man Network and Mega Man Outpost resulted in a stronger site, so too did the combination of MMN and Atomic Fire.

Since then, the main objective has been growth, to turn The Mega Man Network into the best website we can make it. And while there have been people who have come and gone since, it is our hope to continue growing. What you see on the site before you is but part of the vision for the future. And once these parts have been strengthened, we hope to grow further and stronger.

And while the going has sometimes been slow and has necessitated change (such as changing The Mega Man Universe wiki from a means for staff to be able to easily update by themselves to an actual wiki, or giving news its own blog-styled front page), Tim has been kind enough to remind me that what has been done here is not insubstantial. Over the past few years, we've formed some strong bonds with Capcom and UDON Entertainment, as well as helping present a fairly popular yearly panel about the Blue Bomber at Otakon.

What will the future bring? No one knows for sure, though we hope that history might repeat itself in a good way, and we will continue to grow and bring you more Mega Man news, information, and resources in the years to come.

--Lord Black "Nytetrayn" Draco