The producer for the upcoming Mega Man XI has given fans some insight into why it took a whole seven years for a new game in the series to come out, with the blame being pinned on the departure of Keiji Inafune for the neglect of such an impactful franchise.
The latest issue of Game Informer revealed a brief interview with Mega Man XI producer Kazuhiro Tsuchiya on the matter:
“To be honest with you, when Inafune left it was a difficult atmosphere with the company. It was difficult for somebody to step up and say, ‘I really want to work on Mega Man.’
Inafune-san was definitely a brand leader for the franchise. He helped pave the way for its success, and he had a lot of brilliant ideas. That’s an absolute truth.
So when he left, there was a sense of emptiness, and a sense that no one was appropriate to pick up the mantle and pave a new vision for Mega Man.”
Director Koji Oda also spoke his mind on the topic:
“I still feel like Mega Man is one of the most important pillars of the company.
At the end of the day, we asked ourselves, ‘What does Capcom need to do for its fans? Should we act like Mega Man is a thing of the past? Should we toss him aside?’ I felt like that would be a foolish gesture.
Mega Man is such a treasure to the company that it would be a waste to let him go because someone left.”
Kazuhiro Tsuchiya recollected the wise words of Inafune for his closing statement:
“When Inafune-san was still our boss he said, ‘Don’t let brands stagnate. Always keep moving forward.’ Yes, we did have a seven-year absence, but it doesn’t mean that we stayed still. We were always moving forward and try to figure out what to do next.”
Mega Man XI is slated for release on the Nintendo Switch sometime in 2018.