Mighty No. 9, Keiji Inafune’s spiritual successor to Mega Man, has suffered from repeated delays since its Kickstarter raised nearly $4 million back in October 2013.
Since then, additional Kickstarter campaigns and fundraising attempts have seen that figure balloonby around another million dollars, with developer Comcept saying that it wanted more money to add additional features to the game.
In addition, while the game was initially going to be exclusive to PC, it’s since been announced that versions are in development for PS3, PS4, PS Vita, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii U, 3DS, Mac and Linux.
It’s perhaps no surprise then that Mighty No. 9 was later pushed back from its original intended April 2015 date to September, then again more recently to a vague “Q1 2016” window. Meanwhile, Comcept has announced that it’s collaborating on Xbox One-exclusive Re:Core alongside Microsoft and Armature, and has launched Kickstarters for two other projects – the most recent of which, the Mega Man Legends-inspired Red Ash, spectacularly failed to meet its target.
Mighty No. 9 backers are upset. Many are demanding refunds, and accusations have been leveled at Comcept that they’re spreading themselves too thin, announcing new projects before they’ve even released a single game.
Now, in a candid interview with Engadget, Mighty No. 9 producer, Nick Yu, has spoken openly about his feelings on the game’s delays, the backlash from fans, and has tried to explain why people shouldn’t lose faith in the studio.
“There are always things that you regret, things that you wish that you could do again,” Yu explains in the interview, which took place during Gamescom this week. “For example, we have been communicating with the backers pretty regularly. We did three updates per month. Maybe it’s a bit too much for the development team. Because on top of their normal development work, they have to think about updates, they have to prepare the content, it’s a lot of work. Maybe we could’ve done less updates, but focusing on more communication with the backers. Focus on the game a little bit more, so there could be no delay, or we could find the bug earlier.”
You might be forgiven for thinking that Yu blames the delays on the fact that the studio felt the need to communicate with backers and keep them updated on the game’s progress; but the producer insists that there’s more to it than that, explaining that the feedback the studio receives from its communications helps the developer understand where they’re going wrong, so they can go back and make changes to the game in order to ensure that the final product lives up to expectations.
And Yu says that, as much as Comcept understands Backers’ frustration, noone regrets them more than the developer itself.
“I’m sure a lot of people, almost everyone, is upset about delays, and things that can’t be done,” Yu says. “But, and this is my personal view, the creators announcing the bad news feel worse than the backers. You know that you have to tell the people, and it’ll make them sad, it’ll make them upset. And you’re the reason for that happening. You’re the one making it. Even if it was accidental, or you had no control over it, you’re the reason the delay happened. We feel bad. Really really bad.”
On why Comcept started working on two other projects before completing Mighty No. 9, Yu is adamant that just because the studio has people working on other things, it doesn’t mean that work on Mighty No. 9 has been impacted in any way, and that company has to keep working on things in order to stay afloat.
“People say ‘why are you overlapping these two projects together?’ The answer to that is ‘we have to.’ Or people lose their jobs, or — this is a little bit exaggerated — the company can go bankrupt. For us, we can explain the reason behind it, but I know it’s hard for everyone to understand. There’s just no way the level of understanding will become the same.”
You can read the whole interview over on Engadget. It’s certainly an interesting read; but only time will tell if Yu’s explanation helps to allay the anger of fans, or simply serves to stoke the fire further.