Getting to be kind of a Street Fighter x Tekken weekend here on TMMN. We've been downing donuts and pizza the whole time, getting into the "Mega Man" spirit.
Above's a COIN-OP interview with Yoshinori Ono and Seth Killian. Around the 3:40 mark, Ono begins to talk about Pac-Man and Mega Man. This time, he alleges that he originally intended to use the classic style Mega Man, but when trying to clear it, Keiji Inafune challenged him to do something new. It's also nice that Ono refers to Mega Man as Capcom's mascot character.
Admittedly, as sincere as Ono is, I can't help but feel there's a lot of effort to defer "Bad Box Art" onto Inafune, who is no longer with Capcom. Even as the truth, it reads like passing the buck for the fans who are angry about the decision. Might just be me though!
Thanks to Magnet_Man and Clown Prince of Crime for the tip!