2017 will mark the 30th anniversary of Mega Man, and while there has been no official word yet on a new game (the mysterious mobile title aside, that is), that's not stopped Capcom from making plans to celebrate with licensing partners.
According to Capcom's Japan's licensee relations page (via Protodude's Rockman Corner), they are seeking out partners to help produce a variety of products for titles with upcoming anniversaries, including Mega Man Classic, Mega Man Legends, and Mega Man Zero, whose respective "multiple of five year" anniversaries will occur in 2017, while Mega Man X has to wait just a little longer for 2018 to get his.
So where's Mega Man Battle Network, Mega Man ZX, and Mega Man Star Force?", you may be asking. As a reminder, Lan and MegaMan.EXE got to celebrate their 15th anniversary this year, and if the output of figures, soundtracks, and books is any indication, good times are ahead for the aforementioned series.
For ZX and Star Force, however, it's a different story. Capcom apparently won't allow licensing grants for those two until they each turn 15 years old, respectively. Kind of funny in retrospect, since they were the ones who most loudly trumpeted the 10th anniversary of the original game, but I guess that doesn't count, since that was pretty much all in-house.
If nothing else, the big takeaway from this seems to be that Capcom is no longer celebrating the franchise as a whole, instead giving each series its due respect with individual anniversaries. Which makes sense... and dollars, and plenty of yen, of course.
Incidentally, one has to presume that this only accounts for the Japanese side of things. Whether Capcom USA has their own anniversary plans is anyone's guess right now.
In the meantime, none of this has stopped anyone from releasing the following merchandise:
- Mega Man and Proto Man-styled shirts from CafeReo.
- Silver "Bubble Lead" versions of the Mega Man headphones from EMIO (only 500 to be produced).
- Blind-boxed figures from Bandai's 66 Action line, including Mega Man with E Tank, red Mega Man with Rush, Mega Man X with effect parts, MegaMan Volnutt with Servbot, and MegaMan.EXE with optional Sword part.
- And of course, the recently-funded Mega Man Pixel Tactics tabletop card game, which has unlocked the upper row of characters above through stretch goals, and the lower row through Likes on their Facebook page.
Sources: Protodude's Rockman Corner, via Roberto Zampari Caldas (with an assist from David Minter on the Action 66 figures), and Jasco Games.