I'm certainly not denying that a cartoon has far greater potential than a comic, relatively speaking. I'm just saying that I don't see the comic as a complete write-off either.
It is a complete write-off because as I stated, if the goal is to get new fans to buy your franchise product, comic books are absolutely 100% NOT the way to go. Trust me, I've seen what has happened and what is currently happening to the industry. DC pissed off a lot of people with their "New 52" revamp because it was once again going to change everything, to alter their entire universe for one, sole, unifying purpose: to get new readers to pick the comic books up. It's an absolutely risky maneuver and one that can and probably did cost them some fans, but the hope was that it was attract new readers into the fray. So far it's working, but we will see how long it lasts, but here's the thing. Even though it is working, comic sales are still not good on either side of the spectrum. The #1 selling comic will only sell about 100,000+ a month. About 15-20 years ago, a comic selling that low would have be cancelled. Mega Man currently hovers around the 10,000-20,000 range in the 200 seller range. Comic books are a dying art form and unless the system drastically changes, it's only going to get worse. If DC's gambit fails then all of comics might suffer because there's not much that can be done.
That being said, a QUALITY cartoon is still a significant investment, and I think that if they can't make that investment with games, they're probably not going to make it outside of such. It's not just the money, either, it's also the talent and the time. The drive to remain faithful to the character's image. The games failing are a symptom of Capcom's lackluster efforts, and until their attitude changes, they're more likely to sell a Mega Man cartoon to whoever tickles their wallet and leave it at that.
It's definitely an investment, but sometimes you have to take a risk in order to make money. If it doesn't work, then you only do one season and cancel it before its time. If it does, you finish one series and move onto the next, like Avatar: The Legend of Korra. I'll continue upon this in my closing statement.
Whether or not it holds any value as a potential expansion, do you know why I personally like the Archie comic? Because they "get" Mega Man. As I understand it they're not fans themselves, they've studied up, and obviously done a much better job of it than a lot of the people that Capcom hires. The woes of Mega Man games aren't solely the fault of advertising; there have been serious issues with the creative talent behind their making and localization over the last five or six years. Every Mega Man game that came out over this console generation was "so-so", enjoyable to us, but definitely not up to the quality standards of Mega Man's "golden years". MHX's character models look like they belonged in Sonic Rush. ZX and Powered Up were both horrendously badly localized, and the latter was further badly balanced and the textbook definition of a failed attempt at nostalgia (the game is a good game in itself, but a terrible remake). ZX Advent was too many bells and whistles and not enough core, largely failing to capture the "growing stronger" theme due to its watered down arsenal and its booby-prize of a hidden form. MM9 applied a nostalgic coat of paint to a level design clearly not measuring up (Egoraptor's
is the perfect example of what 9 lacked), and further had the gall to charge its players for difficulty levels. MM10...surprisngly well improved, but still had a few more kinks (regardless it seems the public made up its mind already). Universe, while we know little of it, already was seen to control poorly and de-emphasize the weapon mechanics. It may have surprised me had it been released, but all signs pointed to it sharing many common strengths and flaws with Powered Up.
The last time Mega Man was truly firing on all cylinders was the Zero series. God knows I can complain about it enough on the grounds of artistic preferences and shifting the arsenal focus from weaknesses to a wider array of primary weapons, but it was the last time I truly felt that the games successfully accomplished what they had set out to accomplish (maybe ZX1 as well, but again, badly localized).
I like the comic book series too for the reasons you mentioned. As for everything you mentioned with the games themselves, I really don't disagree with anything you said. I haven't played all of them so I cannot offer up any real opinions on the games itself. However, all of what you mentioned is essentially irrelevant. The main point & problem is that despite everything you mentioned about the games, the only ones buying them are Mega Man fans. Most of the gaming world has moved on from it whether the game is enjoyable or not. Like we mentioned before, the only one that got noticeable attention was MM9 and that was due to nostalgia.
A Korean-only game garnered more excitement from most fans than Universe, that says something. It says that Capcom truly has no idea what they're doing. I don't doubt your premise on the cartoon, but for the level of quality and investment that is necessary for the desired effect, it would take a freaking miracle. What I doubt is that the video games, being the current problem, cannot be attacked directly instead of circumvented. If Capcom could get their [parasitic bomb] together, they could make it work. I'm fairly confident, as you could gather above, that they weren't on that road with Universe. Did they have their [parasitic bomb] together with Legends 3? We'll never know. THAT'S what ticks me off. Yes, Legends is a cult classic, but it's a cult classic that hasn't even attempted to find an audience over the last decade. Times change, preferences change, technologies change, the inherent rules of game design change (point of interest: the latter two are not addressed by porting the PS1 games). I am not willing to write off the series based on a precedent that has not been tested since the year after the general public got over their fear that the Dreamcast's launch date was going to reset every computer in the world.
It's not going to take a miracle, just competent business strategy, which again I'll discuss in my closing statement. I just went with the most logical way to build a franchise, make it popular, and attract a new fanbase. A Korean MMO most likely won't do that because from what I've seen they eat up any MMO, and over here it wouldn't have done well because it'd be competing against WoW and Star Wars: The Old Republic, and no one is playing a Mega Man MMO over here over those two or any of the other semi-popular ones here, except for MM fans who would buy it. Hell, they totally [tornado fang]ing missed the boat on an MMO series here. They should have done one when EXE was still popular, as it was pretty much the perfect [tornado fang]ing platform for one. As for Capcom getting their [parasitic bomb] together, to be quite honest, they know exactly what they're doing. You say how Legends 3 hasn't even attempted to find an audience over the last decade. Neither has the Power Stone series, and the reason why is because they are cult classics and there's much more profit to be made in other areas of their company that are not cult classics. Why make a new Legends 3 game when they can [parasitic bomb] out a Marvel vs. Capcom 3, make customers pay $60 for it, then make that $60 purchase absolutely useless by releasing a new $40 expansion pack titled Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3? With little to no effort, they've just made their fighting game franchise fans pay $100 for being [parasitic bomb] on and they know wholeheartedly that their fans will eat that [parasitic bomb] because they are addicts and will buy a plate of [parasitic bomb] if it has a MvC title on it. It's the same reason why at the end of the VGA's, a trailer for Metal Gear Rising was shown and not a trailer for Zone of the Enders 3, because a Metal Gear title will sell immensely more than a ZOE3.
You're taking the target of the retail game and applying it to the timeframe of the Prototype, and they are two different things. "Early" is a relative term. No way was the final retail version of the game poised to arrive before 2012. And nobody worth their own brain stem would have believed that the combination of Christmas (which isn't even here yet), nostalgia-addict Mario platforming, and Mario Kart wasn't going to push the hardware.
Not the point. My point was that nobody outside of Mega Man fans were buying the Prototype to begin with, especially one they would have to pay for.
I think this is a bit of a tangent, but I find 50,000 joins on what is effectively an internet petition, which the majority of the world dismisses as a complete waste of time by its very definition, to be fairly impressive.
The number "100,000" is meaningless. Somebody probably just attached that to the group because it came up way back when we were all worried about the ZX franchise. And frankly, they were better off setting their sights high than low, because the last thing the fans need right now is to be content. 100,000 is a long-term goal, which is what they need because God knows nothing's going to come of Legends in the short-term. If/when they hit that number, it's not going to mean anything to Capcom. It's admirable, to be sure. But nobody in their right mind believes that a Facebook page, whether popular or not, translates directly to sales.
The actual value to the Facebook page is merely that it serves as a rallying cry; it provides a single point for the otherwise fragmented fanbase to focus, and a means to organize them when the need arises. In and of itself it is unlikely to have any direct impact, and most of the people who join it know that.
If the Facebook page and rallying cry is useless, then that essentially proves Capcom's point to begin with. No one is interested in Mega Man currently, even after they just publicly humiliated themselves with the PR debacle. As mentioned before, people can rally all they want, but as long as they continue to support & buy Capcom products, like they will because gamers are addicts, then any rallying cry is useless and it only goes to show that Capcom knew exactly what they were doing. Pissed off fans or not, they are still buying their products.
Not buying that. Not when Dr. Wily's Revenge was one of the first/only titles to give Link's Awakening a run for its money on the e-Shop's charts, and not when the Legends 3 "prologue" was set to sell at the same price that Nintendo charges for a goddamn clock skin.
Again, nostalgia sells. It's the only thing about Mega Man that sells currently.
While the 3DS's performance/target audience may have been a contributing factor over at Capcom, it was at best an extremely short-sighted one, and I absolutely refuse to accept that it is valid as the primary reason for the game's cancellation. The fact that the Prototype was effectively finished yet went unreleased is key here, as that says Capcom wasn't even willing to try and offset their loss. Further, you can attack the premise of the Prototype Version all you want, and make an excellent point of it. But WHEN THE WORK HAS ALREADY BEEN DONE, the loss of taking that last step out the door is negligible. That's why the security of Mega Man's Virtual Console ports is not in doubt. You may be right, Capcom's intent with Prototype may have been badly conceived and illogical on all levels, but sales potential is a matter of probability, not of fact. Nobody has a crystal ball (hey, Nintendo didn't think Smash Bros. or Pokemon would sell in the U.S.), and the time for the "probability" argument of the Prototype already came and long since went. Prior to the Prototype's cancellation, the project had nothing to lose, and so attacking the concept after it was already finished as a reason to not release it is not a valid argument. Not when it comes from Capcom, and not when it comes from the fellow fans.
The only other explanation for the game's cancellation, outside of the 3DS' early performance, is that Capcom are absolute, total [tornado fang]ing dicks and this was indeed trolling on a scale never before seen in gaming history, to fans and possibly Inafune. Logically, that makes absolutely no sense. I refuse to believe that any company like that intentionally makes complete public asses of themselves for the sole purpose of douchebaggery. I agree that not releasing the Prototype was a stupid move, especially when you've already let it be publicly known that the actual game will sink or swim based on sales. And yeah, they had to do it even though they knew, just as I did, that the game was sunk already when they made that announcement. Again, I'm not disputing that this was a disaster in terms of both PR and intelligence all together, but the game was never making a profit from Day 1. It was essentially a "Thank You" for being such loyal fans, cause before this debacle Capcom was considered one of the better companies in terms of their relationship with fans via Capcom Unity. You know why they didn't release the Prototype? Because they knew that it was not making a profit at all and they weighed the option of #1. releasing it just to save face and take the financial loss OR #2. not release it, deal with the backlash, and know that eventually the people pissed at them would still continue to buy their products like the little addicts that they are. That's how business works. They weigh their options and go with the one which ultimately works out better for the company, and public humiliation was less costly than saving face with their fans.
You don't need a crystal ball to predict the future, just logic and common sense to give you the best estimate of what's going to happen. You have to know your market. Nintendo might not have known that Pokemon was going to sell well in the US, but as soon as I saw what the game entailed in a Japanese magazine my dad brought home from Japan, I went over and showed it to him and told him, "Dad, you are looking at the next, big craze here in the US. This game will be immensely huge!" because I could see it appealing to absolutely every type of gamer here in the US at the time. Sometimes sales potential is indeed a fact. Here, watch this: "NINTENDO ANNOUNCES NEW GAME COMBINING THEIR POPULAR FRANCHISES INTO ONE MASSIVE RPG SERIES ENTITLED Nth UNIVERSE!!!!" The game doesn't even have to be all that good, and I can 100% guarantee it would be a huge success. Or hell, when Nintendo decides to break down and finally make a Pokemon MMO game with their new Wii U platform, we can pretty much just start taking bets on how long it will take to become the #1 selling game of all time. It's no different than how Capcom knew exactly what was going to happen with the Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 situation. People would be pissed that they just spent $60 on the previous, now useless game, but they wouldn't be SO pissed as to not buy the new one. It's the same with the movie industry. Take Transformers 2 & 3, for example. Transformers 2 and 3 are quite possibly two of the worst movies I've ever seen, but they are 100% guaranteed to make a huge profit, which is why they don't have to try with the script or plot or character development, or really anything that goes into making a movie good. It's a movie that is literally "critic" proof.
Finally getting back to your point about a quality cartoon being a significant investment, it most certainly is but it still has the best chance of succeeding if done right. First of all, like I said, it either has to be an entirely new series or based off the Legends series, which still has amazing potential for growth in regards to it's lore. It won't just re-tell the same story over again, like the Mega Man comic. Business wise, the investment would also be a joint venture, a partnership, with another company, which is why I suggested getting the team that did Avatar to do it. Both sides already have a loyal fanbase, and a cartoon could combine both fanbases in order to make a profit. If both sides see it as a profitable venture, then talent, time, effort, and being loyal to the character's image can all be accomplished by both sides, working together, working off of each other to create a quality product. Not only that, but you build a business partnership in regards to merchandising as well, like say when said cartoon company wants to make a video game out of said popular cartoon. A lot of them are just okay, but working together you have a greater chance of creating a quality game as well, especially with a company like Capcom who, despite dislike for some of their practices, can still make quality games here and there. You said it's going to take a miracle for that kind of quality and investment to be put into a cartoon and while that might be true to a certain degree, I can promise you that it's going to take an even greater miracle to put that much quality and investment into making a new video game and having it attract fans without it going off what the characters & series are all about in the first place.
When you have a limited fanbase, you cannot just half-ass it like Capcom did with the MvC3 franchise which was a guaranteed seller no matter what. It needs full assing, and at this juncture in time I think it's much more worthwhile for them to go with a cartoon rather than a new game. A Legends 3 cartoon would work on so many levels, if it's good, and it would make Capcom actually look good and save face, as this would be their "apology" for what they did regarding the game cancellation. Again, it doesn't take a crystal ball to know how the people they wronged would react to this, rather it's all about knowing your market. The fans would not only accept this apology but be giddy with excitement over the prospect of a new Mega Man Legends animated series, ESPECIALLY if it's done by the creators of Avatar. It's an idea that benefits everyone.
Hahaha, I'm far from saying it's possible or only just a Protoman Bluesian pipe-dream, but I'm actually gonna E-Mail & call people and see if it's possible cause in the long run, as a Mega Man fan and as a fan of animation, I've really got nothing to lose. LoL, if they tell me no, then I'm no worse off than I was before I looked into it.