Thinking about it--Capcom didn't specify that they had no real mascot until AFTER Megaman got pulled through the wringer, right?
I dont think him or Ryu were ever "OFFICIAL" mascots, just that they were the two biggest franchises Capcom had at the time, and thus their 2 staple characters became the characters that unofficially represented Capcom. The first ones that would pop into your head.
Nowadays, on the other hand...
not outside of the video game circle.
Isnt that really the only circle that matters in this case?
Mario Link and Pokemon, are Nintendo properties which have had massive marketing, massive appeal, massive success. They are the characters which belong to the House of NES. (and Gameboy) Mario, LoZ, and Pokemon even had cartoons, and movies, (including that ONE movie...) and have become part of pop culture. mario at least, a Household name. Theres a ton of factors.
Mega Man however, while he had his glory days, is best remembered for his NES games, and not really what came after them. So he sort of faded into a sort of niche thing post NES. Even the X series, (at least post X1, maybe X2) seems more aimed at the fans of the franchise than just the general audience. The Mega Man franchise has also never been known for it's stellar marketing. Not outside Japan anyway.
Also, Mario and LoZ have rarely changed. Their plots are inconsequential to each other and can stand alone for the most part, (kind of like early Castlevanias, before they really became story driven) their gameplay has been all over the place for sure, but its always the same characters, while the Mega Man franchise carries a bit more baggage, with 5 distinct series spanning a timeline, and 2 series in an alternate universe reboot. Anyone can just jump into a Mario or a LoZ with little prior knowledge. Hell, Pokemon is practically the same game over and over.
But God help you if you drop into... like.., X6- without knowing specific details behind the characters. ("Where's Dr. Wily?" "Is that Protoman with the saber?" "Who's Sigma") You can still enjoy the gameplay, but if you like story, you are a bit lost. And not everyone has the quality of looking up information when they play a game they dont know the story to. They just dont get it, and drop it, and move onto something else. So compared with it's fellow franchises, Mega Man just hasnt really stayed in public consciousness past the NES, despite really retaining the same gameplay across almost the entirety of the franchise. (which is also another problem, Past the initial innovation of choosing your own stage order, Mega Man really never innovated much outside of Legends, and an unsuccessful Kart game which while fun, really could not trump Mario Kart.)
If you're going to bother replying, next time at the very least could you come up with something better than the kind of comeback every child uses?
I'll think about it.