Following Capcom's shocking announcement of Mega Man Universe being discontinued, there has been quite a deal of speculation concerning just what went wrong. Many have attributed it to a distaste of the game's visual style, and others cite concerns from playable events that the mechanics didn't feel worked out well. Yet more maintain that this was an inevitably following Keiji Inafune's departure from Capcom. After tensely discussing it with the staff, however, I feel that it's best the truth comes out sooner rather than later. The discontinuation of Mega Man Universe is, simply put, due to ongoing litigation. You see, Mega Man Universe belongs to us.
Of course, what I mean specifically is the name, "Mega Man Universe." If you visit this site often, and many of you do as this is clearly one of the greatest websites in the entire solar system (including the Oort cloud, most people disregard that), you'll know that "The Mega Man Universe" is the name of our extensive information wiki.
Once Capcom announced Mega Man Universe, we were a bit miffed about the whole deal, as we felt naming a game after our wiki misrepresented our work and caused incalculable damage. Completely incalculable. Certainly we did consider that, as a website covering Mega Man games, it might go against our efforts to interfere with Mega Man Universe's (from here on out referred to as "retired game") development. Ultimately, though, we felt our cause justified the actions. We are, after all, big fans of Mega Man.
You'll note that, after Capcom's claim for the copyright of the title "Mega Man Universe," it entered a Notice of Publication on September 21st, 2010 (seen here). This is when we filed our grievances with Capcom over retired game. Here is an excerpt of our 421 page document:
Hitherto the reclaimance of, within, and about certain nomenclature pertaining absolutely, or indifferently, to various mediatric quasi-types, we resolve unto the disputant ergo proper notice of abscondance. Semper fi, we (being The Mega Man Network (being fans of Mega Man (being individuals of support to a website (being humans)))) shall from this point apropos to all necessary defibrillator charges, parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus.
Sadly, Capcom completely ignored our request, made no attempt to acknowledge our plight, and essentially shut us out until the Notice of Allowance was filed (seen here). Frankly, this blatant disregard for our property and our rights was illegal, inappropriate, and flat out disgusting. I can barely contain the vomit rising in my throat just thinking about it.
So over the next few months, we took the issue to the courts. Great sums of money were spent, and great amounts of blood were let. On the surface, though, you would scant realize such a heated legal battle was taking place. We are, after all, professionals, and if I'll remit any form of respect it's that Capcom knows how to play the game. Capcom was dead set on seeing retired game infringe our rights to the end.
Thankfully, though, things were ruled in our favor at the end. No concrete settlement was reached, but instead Capcom simply exhausted their in the case and ceded to our demands. I'd heard they considered some alternate names like "Mega Man Awesome," "Planet Mega Man," and "Mega Man Not-For-Wii," but frankly I couldn't care less. Our only interest was reserving the integrity and respect of our wiki. After all, just where are you going to find information on Sho from the Mega Man ZX manga? Not in retired game, that's for sure.
So it would seem after the horrific legal disputes, hours of lewd arguing, and POSSIBLY one or two bomb threats, Capcom just ran out of time for retired game and, in fact, made it a retired game. Of course, in the meantime, Capcom has issued numerous cease and desist notices and various counter-suits, and I'm pretty sure Captivate 2011 is an elaborate plot to have me murdered. But we'll just see who comes out on top!
I know this may be a tough story for some of you to digest, but I am sure you will appreciate our efforts so that we may continue to provide you with the great content that we do.
Incidentally, I do want to note we were intending to start a brand new oekaki system called Mega Man Legends 3, but Capcom has decided to use this name as well. While Capcom did technically get to use the name before we could launch our new system, we will still see what we can do about getting that game canceled too. Have faith in us.
Edit (4/2/11): I don't think it really needs to be said, but yes, this was an (obvious) April Fools joke. You knew it was obvious, right? Please tell me it was obvious. Although, realistically speaking, I bet I could get Legends 3 canned. Don't even tempt me!