Following are some excerpts and key points from the interview.
In explaining the scope of the project, Ito notes that the Mega Man series has not been doing as well overseas as it has in the past, though it continues to do well in Japan. With this title, they are no longer focusing on any one territory, and are seeking to link fans from around the world by allowing them to create and share their own Mega Men and custom stages through the internet.
The game's customization of characters comes from Inafune's desire to appeal to people who are in their thirties, those who grew up with Mega Man games and played with action figures, "swapping out hands and weapons" to make them more powerful. The hope is for those who play this game to be able to relive such memories.
On the inclusion of characters such as Ryu, Ito had this to say:
The reason we wanted to start with a character like Ryu is because a lot of people have fun with their imagination and ask, “What if we had Ryu in the game and he did a shoryuken instead of using the Buster?” We want the players to have this avenue to explore within the relatively simplistic rules of the Mega Man universe, which is jump and shoot. But we’re not limiting ourselves to just Capcom characters. Who knows, we may have characters from a TV show or we may surprise you with some very old and classic Capcom characters. We’re really hoping to continue to surprise people with the characters that we include and the choices that we make.
Asked about the game's unique aesthetic, Ito notes that it was inspired by the likes of Japan's Atom Boy and the West's Power Puff Girls, with a hope of stirring a sense of nostalgia within those who play it, while at the same time feeling fresh and new.
The game will indeed come with pre-made stages, but regarding whether or not there would be a narrative for players to follow (or if the justification is "simply fun"), Ito said:
So, we will have some preloaded stages, and what they are going to be are all the levels from Mega Man 2. So the original classic Mega Man 2 will be faithfully replicated in the Mega Man Universe style. Users will be able to play through all of them and defeat the bosses there. As for the story, right now we haven’t worked out all the details, but some of the characters may get some sort of background to explain why they are there or what their purpose is. Some of them may not, and they will just be there for fun. We can’t reveal too much, but eventually we may have downloadable content that explains why Ryu is in the world. We hope that people will look forward to new content that will tie together the world.
Finally, when asked about the future of the Mega Man franchise, Ito refuted the notion of a general direction, stating that their goal was to keep it "fresh and exciting," and that Inafune's goal with Mega Man moving forward is to go in "the most surprising direction possible," and for fans to be as excited as they are.
For the full interview, which has clearly done a great job in explaining more about the game, be sure to head over to Game Informer and check it out.