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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

When Kickstarters Get Kicked In The Ass (Part 3)

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Mighty No. 9 came out! And it's a disaster, surprising no one.

I told you so. Two and three-quarters years ago, I said regarding Mighty No. 9:
But this just serves a target market of embittered Mega Man fans rather than doing something new or innovative, as a brand-new IP should be doing. ‘Oh, Capcom has to pay for its abandonment of my beloved childhood series! I'm going to support Keiji Inafune because he cares about us! Stick it to Capcom!’
You can stick it to Capcom all you want, but the game needs an identity besides that.” 

It turns out that Mighty No. 9 has developed an identity besides Comcept sticking it to CAPCOM. The problem is that the identity is having the reputation of that kid who sits in the back of the classroom that doesn't shower, is covered in acne, and always farts. Meanwhile, Mega Man is that popular kid. Dude plays soccer, which is a lame sport, but let's say this is Europe and everyone loves FIFA. (Funny, because Europe barely even knows who Mega Man is.) Everyone wants to be Mega Man's friend, while Beck tries his hardest to emulate the popular kid so that he too can have friends.

It worked for a little while, but as time went on, people saw Beck's true colours. And now?

Mighty No. 9 Metacritic score 56 on release June 21 2016 PlayStation 4
Monday morning, it was at 62. As the days go on, the Metacritic score gets lower and the release problems grow greater.
...Also, that User Score speaks for itself.

He has failed, and gets wedgies to the point where he wears a condom outside of his pants. That spectacular failure has extended to Mighty No. 9's release, which was officially today. For most consoles.

It's delayed on the Xbox 360 for a few days for some reason, and the Wii U digital download version reportedly bricks Wii Us. Meanwhile, the 3DS and PS Vita versions don't even have a release window. Keiji Inafune, the man responsible for all of this, reportedly claimed that Mighty No. 9 is “better than nothing.”

I think reducing your Wii U to a brick is worse than nothing, actually. And let's not forget that Inafune got a bit over FOUR MILLION DOLLARS for the game from Kickstarter and other crowd-funding initiatives. That said, a big chunk of that went towards voice-acting. Too bad that money didn't actually go to the characters moving their mouths when they talk:

Nintendo Wii U Mighty No. 9 Miiverse no lip syncing moving mouths Dr. Sanda Call
“I am amazed at how everyone can talk without moving their mouths.”

Maybe we should turn the volume down and just read the sub-titles? (Well, the game relies a lot on audio cues, so I wouldn't do that.) ...Erm, those don't quite seem done, either:

Mighty No. 9 AD LIB MOANING IN PAIN Wii U version Miiverse Ray
“You know a game is totally finished when you see this in the subtitles”

The game has a ton of bad production values, that many other indie games do not have. Certainly not indie games with four million dollars raised. How do they thank their backers? Well, they humiliate them by listing them in the credits. Fortunately for some backers who want to hide, not everyone's identities were transcribed correctly:

Mighty No. 9 backers credits Kickstarter fail screwed up wrong name Miiverse
“Really, colon and a semicolon? How did THAT muck up?!”
(They wrote his name as “T:J: Fuller; Jr:”)

And yes, there are many backers who are completely ashamed that they backed the game and completely regret it. This isn't what game companies should be hearing en masse when they release a crowdfunded project:

Mighty No. 9 backers reward gold suit skin Beck regret Kickstarter fail
“EVERYONE BEHOLD THE SKIN OF SHAME!!! I regret having backed this game.”

So...I called it a while ago when I wrote, “This all leads me to conclude that Keiji Inafune really has no idea what he's doing, and he's all bluster. He can talk a great game about the problems of the videogame industry, but he's really just contributing to them.” I just hope we're not in a situation where everything the guy touches turns to useless rust (or bricks), because ReCore on the Xbox One should still be cool when it comes out in a few months.

I wonder how Inafune's old coworkers still at CAPCOM are feeling about the disaster. Everyone kind of knows that a lot of CAPCOM's work practises are a drag (that's an understatement), but will other CAPCOM guys be able to break free and face the public to beg for their money ever again? Or has Keiji Inafune burned that bridge for all CAPCOM people looking to leave? Or, worse, has he burned the bridge for ANY high-profile guy trying to go independent? There's not going to be much trust left.

I definitely think people are going to be a lot more cautious when crowdfunding things in the future. And “cautious” is a very vague way I'm putting it. What I really think is that you're going to see a large decline year-after-year in these crowdfunded projects. The public can only take so many of these big whoppers before they feel like they're cheesed.

Mighty No. 9 cheese explosions in-game Beck Wii U version graphics
And by “cheesed”, I don't mean the so-called explosions.

What could these guys have done differently to avoid such an absolutely massive disaster like this has been? I mean, there is a lot. This whole project has been a series of missteps, and just about the only thing done right was being able to raise enormous amounts of money preying on Mega Man fans who have felt left behind. Put another way, Keiji Inafune is like the Donald Trump of game development: He has “tapped into the anger” of his desired constituency and has ridden it to some sort of finished product (Mighty No. 9, or being the Republican presidential nominee), without knowing what the hell he is doing. And afterwards, the man is exposed as a fraud.

At least Donald Trump still has a chance to reverse his course. Keiji Inafune has already released his crap (...though, only on SOME of the promised consoles). If only he knew what he was doing and spent that enormous amount of money on polish and fixing bugs, it'd go a long way. Instead, he developed something that isn't optimised for anything, and clearly lacks a creative vision.

Mighty No. 9 Wii U blowback release unpolished lag load times frame skips
“How can a game like this be in development for 2 and a half years and feel this unpolished? 20-30 seconds to enter the options menu? Frame skips every few seconds? What were they doing??”

Another thing: Don't try to organise sequels and an animated series that will apparently be on television soon before the game even comes out, especially if you're the developer and you should know how poorly it's progressing. That is incredibly dumb. But it's what Inafune is doing.

Maybe CAPCOM will release a real Mega Man game soon, just to show Keiji Inafune up for failing to show them up. ...Or maybe they just need to re-re-release another compilation of old games. That'll show 'em.

Ludwig wasn't a backer to Mighty No. 9, and he actually hasn't ever crowd-funded anything in his life. Disasters like these are a good reason why he avoids doing that. He once considered getting Mighty No. 9 back in 2013 because he is a fan of Mega Man, but he wouldn't get it even for free now.

Part 2 is here, being about Glorious Leader!. 
The original Part 1, named before a Part 2 was ever intended, is here, about Ron Paul: The Road to REVOLution.
KoopaTV's own videogames are better than Mighty No. 9, and they're made on a budget of approximately $0. Check them out here.
There's a competitor to how bad this game was received upon release — check out No Man's Sky.
This article won the award for Most Humourous KoopaTV Article of 2016.
For Part 4 of the series, here it is... about Yooka-Laylee!
There is a better fate for Mega Man, as the last paragraph indicated. A year and a half later, CAPCOM has announced Mega Man 11!
With just one little problem, Mega Man 11 didn't have a bad release. Not bad at all.


  1. In addition to everything you listed, the Mac and Linux versions were also delayed, there was some problem with PSN codes not working right, and some backers received the wrong DLC. It's a mess.

    I regret backing this game... I remember thinking that with such a big name behind it, it was surely safer than the indie Kickstarters I'd backed. Nope. Not even close...

    1. A few people, including KoopaTV's own Vortexica, are worried that Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night will somehow experience a similar fate. Are you one of those?

      (Inti Creates has a connection to both! Oh no!)

    2. I didn't actually back Bloodstained, but from what I've heard of it, it isn't tossing up the warning flags Mighty No. 9 did. Now, if Bloodstained suddenly has an anime adaptation planned, a Kickstarter for a spin-off before the first game is even out, and a dire need for additional funding, then I'd be worried.

    3. I dunno, you seemed pretty happy about it.

      Looking at Bloodstained's updates, they seem totally on-target without any side stupidity.

    4. Like Yooka-Laylee, Bloodstained was a Kickstarter I was excited about... but since it crashed through its goal almost immediately, I decided not to back it and just to get it when it comes out.

    5. Right, why go through the investment risk when you don't have to? ♪

  2. I only find one critical flaw in your comparison of Inafune and Trump. Donald Trump started off with a small loan of a million dollars and became successful yet Inafune received 4 times as much and gave us this! Therefore, I suppose Inafune must be a Clinton supporter since he only makes empty promises. As Donald Trump would say, "Let's make video games great again!"

    1. To be fair, Inafune also became successful! Just in the corrupt cash-for-bribes/lies way like Hillary has.

  3. "Another thing: Don't try to organise sequels and an animated series that will apparently be on television soon before the game even comes out, especially if you're the developer and you should know how poorly it's progressing."

    Hey that sounds like a certain infamous game called Cheetahmen.

    Also I preordered Shantae: Half Genie Hero. At least that had previous games to prove itself on.

    Yooka-Laylee also is looking good so far. This project really does show that the developers of the Rare of old really wanted to make a Banjo sequel but due to unfortunate circumstances, they could not so they opted for the next best thing. It really shows it is a labor of love.

    Mighty Number 9 is Inafune going, "Fine I'll leave, and I'll make a better Mega Man game with blackjack and hookers, in fact forget the Mega Man and the blackjack."

    1. To be fair to Inafune (not that he deserves it), Pokémon kinda did the whole anime thing too.

      At least the Playtonic guys are actual game developers. Inafune was a freaking artist. What business does he have running a business or being the game designer?

  4. I was saying the same things.

    1. Well, everyone kinda was.

      The KoopaTV difference for this article (compared to wot other people say) are the gratuitous embeds of Miiverse posts to drive our points. ♪

      (Why are you banned on Miiverse?)

    2. Oh, I made a sexually explicit comment on the #FE community.

      Nothing too serious. I'll be back in two weeks.

    3. lol

      Good! You keep getting banned for two weeks so I'm a bit concerned that a perma is coming.


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