News Article

The Story of an Abandoned Mega Man FPS, Maverick Hunter, Emerges

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Former Metroid Prime team worked on the project

When it comes to the 25th Anniversary of Mega Man, we've had scraps to feast on from Capcom. We've had figurines, USB sticks and a free PC game, but what the fans truly crave — new top-end games in the franchise — have been absent so far. Courtesy of Polygon, meanwhile, we now have a glimpse of a Mega Man project that, on the surface, looks like it could have been a bold, exciting new direction for the franchise.

In the first half of 2010 there were prototypes put together for an FPS Mega Man title; before you recoil in horror, it should be emphasized that the developer tasked with the project was Armature Studio, itself founded by key members that led the Metroid Prime Trilogy games. That series converted a 2D franchise into a critically acclaimed first-person action/adventure series, which is very much what this Mega Man project, called Maverick Hunter, was trying to reproduce.

With consultation and scripting by series creator Keiji Inafune, the title was to take place in the "X" part of the Mega Man universe, which would have better suited the darker, more serious aesthetic. Rather like the Prime series, it had a goal of taking staples of the 2D games and reimagining them in a 3D environment; this was to include the iconic arm cannon, the wall jump from the X series and also enemies having particular weaknesses to exploit. It's said that the project was deemed too risky by the higher-ups in Capcom, and this was the year that would ultimately see Inafune depart from the company.

Although the title only existed for a few months in prototype form, the team involved and the concept seem to have been full of promise. There was a broad plot outline for a trilogy of titles, that would have actually seen Mega Man become power-crazed and the villain in the concluding part, with Zero becoming the protagonist for that finale. With more parallels to the Prime series, the intent was for a light, organic style of storytelling that would take place through actions and exploration in the game. As Polygon also explains in some detail, the lore of the series and back-story from some of the previous X titles had set the groundwork for the direction that Maverick Hunter would have taken.

Although Inafune has never acknowledged this project directly — no doubt to avoid issues of non-disclosure agreements — he did say the following about the idea he'd had for a Mega Man shooter at last year's Tokyo Game Show.

At the time, I thought about the good old Mega Man fans from the past, that was an audience from 20 years ago. They've grown up. They're adults. And when I thought about what people were enjoying the most right now, especially in the west, the answer was first-person shooters.

That's why I thought the people who grew up with Mega Man might like it. I felt that it would be a huge hit for Capcom.

We encourage you to check out the videos below which, for our money, show a project that had serious potential. If you want a lengthier, more detailed tale of this Mega Man game that never was, check out the full article. Let us know what you think, and whether you believe you would have liked this game, in the comments below.


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User Comments (82)



Einherjar said:

As a die hard MegaMan Fan since i can imagine (first console: NES, first game ever: MegaMan 3) i cant read that article and cannot wath any of the clips, it just hurts All i see nowadays ist the words "MegaMan" and "canceled" in one sentence



LordJumpMad said:

I'm liking this new Megaman, a matter of fact, this the best Megaman game I have ever seen!
I hope they never go back to he old ways again!



XXIV said:

So Inafune says that the Japanese game developers aren't taking enough chances or whatever, then he says he wanted to make a Megaman FPS?
...Does not compute.



onlyaman said:

Megaman is just as much about precision platforming through deathtraps as it is about shooting. If this was put together by the Metroid Prime team (and the HUD definitely seems to indicate this), then I'm sure they would manage to integrate interesting environmental challenges as well in much the same way that they did with Prime. But if fast paced shooting and in-your-face killshots was all this project was going for (and I didn't see much else), then NOOOO THANKS! Metroid Prime worked so well because it captured the exploration elements of the Metroid series so well. They captured the SPIRIT of Metriod, while translating it to a new genre. An FPS Megaman would have to do the same thing.



Stuffgamer1 said:

He left in the same year they refused to let him finish this project...coincidence? I think not...



kkslider5552000 said:

While I think it's questionably too typical FPS-like (it looks creative in some ways at least), I'm too biased towards anything Retro to believe they wouldn't make it a bit more...Megaman-like, especially if they had fan feedback.

Also whether you like it or not, this would have made a decent amount of money (or at least be more successful than most Megaman games) and maybe have kept other games around instead of cancelling everything good that is Megaman just because Megaman. And Inafune would be involved with yet another of the few Capcom games this gen to be successful outside of Japan.

Again, plenty of ways in which this could have been a bad/disappointing Megaman game, but I'd give ex-Retro guys the benefit of the doubt.



Jock_Nerd said:

Looks OK, but I'm not convinced it would have done enough different to stand out from other FPSs. Yeah, the dash attacks and execution cuts are new, but those ideas alone wouldn't have been innovative enough to make this game stand out from other FPSs in my humble opinion.



BetweenTheTrees said:

my god. i would have played this until the end of time. why do all the good things die and all the crap lives on?



artofmana said:

It doesn't look like Mega Man to me. The realistic guns, bullets and armor just don't entice me. I can see a game like this working, but I think they would really need to reassess the style. This is too gritty in my opinion.



HawkeyeWii said:

This looks like it would have been absolutely amazing!!
I would love to see more games in the vein of Metroid Prime.



Guybrush20X6 said:

Looks cool but I can't help but think It would've made a lotta MM fans rage had it come out. Looks a bit too Act Zero for comfort.

Still, when Capcom wants Megaman dead as it seems these days, this would've been welcome.



Lunapplebloom said:

I would have loved to have seen how this would have panned out. And with ex-Retro developers attached to this as well, this could have been a big hit.

Darn you Capcom.



Raylax said:

Oh god. People like the look of this? It's Bomberman Act Zero all over again. Mega Man does not suit serious, gritty corridor FPS.



Captain_Toad said:

@Raylax This does take place in the X series of the Mega man series, considering the more serious tone of those games, so it would make sense to have this sort of setting.
Granted there are some things that does need to be touched up a bit.



Omarzuqo said:

My thoughts:
"Abandoned Mega Man FPS"
-Meh, it was going to suck anyway
"Former Metroid Prime team worked on the project"



Lunapplebloom said:

@Raylax Though the look of this is obviously not what we are used to, I would have been willing to give it a chance. And with it being only an early test build, many things could have been vastly improved on with a bit of development time behind it.



Rect_Pola said:

Maybe it's time Capcom that some new higher ups. This is why they didn't have anything for the 25th. "It would have been too risky?" First off all, you had the people behind Metroid Prime. Second, the franchise connection would have given it a hell of a better chance than if the dude was recolored and turned into an original IP.
How funny, I find this article the same day I find this fan movie also starring X.
There's your darker and grittier without hurting the aesthetic. Yeah, he doesn't do hand to hand, but if original Megaman can fight Streetfighters, why can't X fight like one?



V8_Ninja said:

While the prototype does look neat, I don't see much of a reason as to why Inafune would want this to be a Megaman game. I understand that while Inafune has been trying to make Megaman more edgier, a complete genre shift seems slightly out-of-place.



KnightRider666 said:

Talk about adding more salt to an old wound... Capcom's higher-ups are the ones that need to be scrapped, not these games. This is such BS.



AgentAPE said:

i like the concept, but wanna see him with a transforming mega buster not the megaman II cover gun style.



MAN1AC said:

I can't stand Capcom.
They continue to cancel Mega Man games and as soon as you're ready to write them off they release an undeniably good gem.



TheHeroOfLegend said:

I would've not imagined a Mega Man FPS. I mean, it just seems like its out of its league, I mean Mega man was always a platformer, so it would be hard seeing Mega Man as a FPS.



ouroborous said:

holy crap holy crap holy crap, a metroid prime-style megaman x game, i am totally into that and would have (and would still) bought that in a heartbeat.
how could they possibly NOT think that this was a good idea????



FiveDigitLP said:

"It's said that the project was deemed too risky by the higher-ups in Capcom"
What? Too risky for the company that loves to release remakes and revisions (as well as revisions of remakes, lol) of almost every game it produces? Who would have thunk?



Olaf-symbiote said:

No thanks, this doesn't look very appealing to me. I don't think the Mega Man universes are suited for FPS gameplay. Besides, this looks far too realistic and gritty, too different from what Mega Man's supposed to be. Just look at X in the videos: he's not supposed to look like a generic space marine.

Mega Man in general is more about platforming, not solely shooting stuff. And anyway, we have FAR too many FPSs already, no need to turn Mega Man into one.

Thank God this ain't MercurySteam, though. That would equal instant reboot + GOW gameplay+ no classic Mega Man music EVER + spitting in the faces of the original creators.



ouroborous said:

add this to the pile of cancelled megaman games that would have sold billions of copies.
capcom what is wrong with you????
they probably cancelled this so they could make a sour patch kids or dora the explorer FPS or something ;p like the world really needs that.



hYdeks said:

this would have been a must play!!! It's FPS but it had nice action elements.

Capcom, seriously, anything Mega Man is better than just using him as part of ur logo and crap -_- Get the hint, people want a freakin Mega Man game.



Stark_Nebula said:

For anyone who can't accept an FPS Megaman game, I get you, but let me make a point. I got introduced to Megaman with Megaman Battle Network 4. I love them - they're great strategy games. But the day my mother came back from the video store with a rented copy of the Megaman X collection, it didn't compute. My brother and I both hated it, we just didn't get it.

The issue with Megaman is that we (the fans) see "Megaman" as the line we like the most (AKA Classic, X, Zero, Legends, BN, SF, etc). But it's not. Megaman is an amalgamation of a variety of genres, much like Mario games. However, Mario spin-offs and variations don't get the flak Megaman games do, and it is due to us having the wrong perspective and being too attached to one the canons. Embrace them for what they are and not what you want them to be and you'll enjoy any Megaman game.

As for those who think FPSs tend to suck (myself included), here's a tidbit related to these videos: the combat may look stale, but only because there was one type of enemy, hence only one type of way to finish them off (the flashy finishing move). It might seem too flashy even, but if there were lots of small enemies, then one of the big ones seen, the flashiness would be both more rewarding and more interesting. Also, they didn't show much of the platforming aspects or customizable weapons. Given more development time, I'm certain the game would incorporate more of that distinct Megaman flavour.



SCAR said:

I'm thinking they are experimenting on how exactly to have Mega Man make a good comeback. If they are able to cancel some mediocre projects in favor of a groundbreaking title, that would no doubt be a better trade off.




Don't let me wrong, I adore megaman and metroid prime, they are both masterpieces that I hold very dearly but MY GOD WAS THIS AWFUL!!!!!, good thing it was cancelled because the problem is that if you take away megaman from the title and redesign the main character to look different, this could be another fps entirely and that is awful. I am grateful for metroid prime trilogy forever and ever but it was for the best that this abomination was cancelled for it doesn't look ANYTHING like megaman, while metroid prime retained almost all the essence of classic metroid and just pumped it much more.




@Stark_Nebula The problem is that many of the spin-offs you talk about would have been ok without MEGAMAN on its titles. I talk about battle network, legends and star force directly, all those titles have almost nothing of megaman in them and could've been another franchise entirely, like the fps on the videos, you take away MEGAMAN from the title and it's another game. Too bad you didn't like the x series, both x and zero are the series that truly evolved the concept of classic megaman gameplay and took it a lot further introducing a lot of elements that made both of them so awesome. Mario's spin-offs don't get the flak you say because nintendo truly puts effort in making them absolute masterpieces and not cash-ins like capcom does, games like: mario and luigi, paper mario, mario kart, mario party, etc... tend to have awesome quality that I just can't find on the megaman games I mentioned earlier. Bottom line is: As much as I love and adore megaman he won't be as versatile as mario is, same goes for sonic.



zachts98 said:

tell the entire gaming market while your at it.
Also don't be so biased and think that every fps sucks. For the record there have been many great first-peron-shooters in the past years. Halo,bioshock,metroid prime,borderlands, and many others are all great and amazing games.
This was also a prototype, just for demonstration purposes. So please think before judging



IxnayontheCK said:

This would have been EPIC!! Totally bummed out by thus. I would rather not known about this than to sit here imagining how awesome it would have been.



Stark_Nebula said:

@FOURSIDE_BOY I get what you're saying, but Megaman is treated more as a series than a character, and he shouldn't be. Also, as much as those games "have almost nothing of megaman in them and could've been another franchise entirely", that just brings up the question "What defines Megaman games to make some Megaman games not valid?" Someone could say that Super Mario Sunshine could have been it's own thing, but does it mean it is any less valid a Mario game? If that's the assumption, then every new game of a series ever made should be counted as "could be it's own thing." But the thing is companies use IPs to associate one or a few core mechanics to a game, using it to convey the general experience, but that idea falls apart when everyone criticizes the game for every element it did not carry over from the last.

I completely agree that CAPCOM's "quality standard" isn't exactly a thing, and that Megaman won't ever be Mario flexible, but that's not to say Megaman can't be flexible at times. Also, while I hated X as a kid, that's not to say I haven't since warmed up to the older Megaman style. Likewise, if ever you go back to Battle Network, try focusing on the battle system - that's the real fun of the game. The best of the bunch is BN3.



Varia01 said:

THAT was cancelled?! That looks awesome! It has the Metroid Prime touch to it which makes it look so much fun! Metroid Prime is a great game series, and this could have been one! Too bad...



BakaKnight said:

Not sure... Really not sure... How to say... If they did this game surely they would have given a new image to the character O.O

But something is sure actually... Those trailers look awesomes!!!
For be only a "project in development" thing it looked amazing. I personally don't like FPS and still these videos catched my attention XD

On a side note, Megaman is having a really human-like anniversary.
As normal people by looking back he is not just seeing awesome things, but also mistakes and lost chances ^O^;;;



ScreamoPichu said:

Love Retro and MegaMan, but I think I'm fine with this not becoming a reality. Doesn't look to great to me. (Though I am on the side that's dying to see a new MegaMan game.)



MetalKingShield said:

Personally, I think it looks brilliant and would have liked to play it. The core ideas are very good, like using enemy weapons, armour transformation etc. I'm not saying they haven't been done before, but I'd have welcomed another Metroid Prime type game.



ThreadShadow said:

More of Capcom's vengeance on Inafune. Cancelling any and every game he had anything to do with while he was there.

This game should come to Wii U, and Legends 3 should come to 3DS. I'd especially be up for this game since it was armature.

Hey, maybe Nintendo can buy the prototyping and get Armature to finish it as a new Metroid game!



Raylax said:

See, when people complain that every other game is a generic FPS featuring lifeless, hyper-generic "I'M SUCH A DUDE" marines in battle armour, doing scripted stunts in some attempt to drain soME Rule of Cool from a reserve run dry decades previous, this is why.

Capcom nearly put Megaman in a generic FPS featuring a lifeless, hyper-generic "I'M SUCH A BAD DUDE" marine in battle armour, doing scripted stunts in some attempt to drain some Rule of Cool from a reserve run dry decades previous, and you're all cheering for it.

Think of it this way: Could you take Samus out of Metroid Prime, and have it still feel like a Metroid game? Yes. It would still have the heavy exploration bent, the puzzles, the upgrade-and-progress, the backtracking. Everything that makes Metroid Metroid is not the woman in the power suit.

Could you take Mega Man out of this and still have it feel like a Mega Man game? Hell no. It doesn't even feel like a Mega Man game as it is. Absolutely everything that makes Mega Man play like Mega Man is missing. Precision shooting / evasion? Nope, machine guns. Charming graphics? Nope, metal corridors and black mechs. Extremely limited firepower? Nope, ratattattatattattaattaata, kick in face, steal overpowered mega-rifle, vaporize anything.

Had this been posted 8 days ago I would have sworn (and prayed) that it was a clever April Fools' joke. That somebody had cleverly modded Haze and posted it on the internet. Tragically, it almost happened, and almost ruined Mega Man far more efficiently than cancelling 3 Legends ever could.

Also, frikking machine guns.



CountEkkiM said:

make this happen!!! hope this not going to be cancelled!!! is this coming to wiiu then? i`ll buy it in day one if this is coming. this looks like metroid prime and thats not bad at all!!!



IAmNotWill said:

@Raylax (and pretty much everyone else saying this looks generic)

While you do make some good arguments, I think it's too early to trash the game at this point (it won't release, so they'll never really be a right time lol).

From those videos, it diffulcult to tell what the game would've been like. After all, this is a prototype, not a finished product. Considering the videos were only meant to demonstrate certain game mechanics, we will never know what the game will be like. Not right to judge it since it wasn't complete.

And let's be real, it's from the minds behind the Metroid Prime trilogy of games. If they can take a classic series like Metroid and turn it into an FPS and one of the most revered games of all time, I seriously doubt they couldn't do the same for Mega Man. I think they could have made a game with all the Mega Man elements the fans love.

This is coming from a guy who isn't a big fan of FPS's or Mega Man games, and would probably would not have brought the finished game anyway. Just sayin'.



GuSolarFlare said:

I can very well see a Third person shooter megaman game in the Kid Icarus: Uprising style but not really a FPS. one cool thing about megaman is the fact you can see the megaman/other playable char all the time what I mean is that every megaman game I've played was like this iconic gaming figures like mario, megaman and sonic is that they only leave the screen when the player is using other character or in cutscenes that's the "charm"(for the lack of a better word) in these gaming mascots.



Steveovig said:

No offense to anyone but I think it looks like garbage. It lacks charm and looks like any other FPS out there. It reminds me a lot of Bomberman Zero, in that they've lost all the charm that made Megaman great.



SCAR said:

To people who didn't like it, you gotta give them credit, though. It looked better than alot of games we have now of the genre.
Maybe having Mega Man be the character is over the top and unexpected, but if Inafune had any control of this, this is probably how he saw his character evolve.
It's still Mega Man, he just spartan kicks other robots after he annihilates their insides, that all.
This might be something else now, and it's not like it wouldn't have been a Mega Man game.
I guess we'll just wait for the actual Mega Man game they see fit.



Realgamer4life said:

Actually this is the FPS Nintendo needs in there own stable. There was a by the name of project hammer this game would be perfect for it. imagine a player with a arm cannon type of weapon and then when you get up and close by hitting certain button combinations and directions he runs in and performs special hammer bashes. Call it a hybrid combat system.



Shock_Tart said:

that looked like a great game honestly. i would have liked to play it, thats sad it didnt get past its prototype stages



DarkNinja9 said:

i find it funny how ppl say it would of been great but then after the game comes out they switch to that game was the worse xD



Zodiak13 said:

Not a Mega Man or FPS fan, but I thought it looked good. Would I have bought it, doubtful, but I actually did put a decent amount into the Metroid Prime games, and I dislike FPS's in general.



Senate_Guard said:

Oh my... I need to change my pants. Why the -explative- wasn't this made!? At least use it as a template for the next Metroid; a combo of Prime's FPA with some TP combat would be killer!



DarkNinja9 said:

lol anyone noticed how the batman and megaman article pictures are reaching out? seems like if the batman was on top of the megaman it would look like they are reaching out to each other for help xD



sykotek said:

That looked awful.

I know with all the cancellations, Mega Man fans really want a new Mega Man game, but you can't blindly complain about it every time a Mega Man game gets canned..., sometimes it's for a good reason.

Seriously, who wants to play a generic Mega Man FPS anyways, ugh. Just go play Halo or Conduit or something.



grenworthshero said:

Wow. No. Just no. Another generic FPS, except with someone vaguely resembling Mega Man this time. All I can think of when I see this is Shadow the Hedgehog.



Shanksta said:

How are people upset by the cancellation of this, or even think that it looks epic or amazing. The graphics look ok, not great. The gameplay looks repetitive and boring. Overall, good job Capcom, for once you cancel I game that I agree should never have seen the light of day.



ouroborous said:

omg i just watched the videos, holy crap that game looked like it would have been awesome fun. i love the style, they 3D-ified megaman X and totally made him look awesome and cool. seriously, these were the guys who made metroid prime, i dont think they would have messed this up. they took metroid from 2D to 3D perfectly on the first try, which was shocking and awesome.



Nomad said:

Sorry but this looks crap. It doesn't look anything like Megaman. Do we really need another realistic, gritty looking shooting game. Yeah, just go and suck all the fun out of the series. Cancelling this game was the right decision. Cancelling Megaman Legends 3 however was just plain disappointing.



AJWolfTill said:

This certainly looks a lot like Metroid Prime XD
Never dipped into the Megaman franchise but I'm suprised this wasn't put forward



Wawawaaaario said:

It's not Megaman X game, that's for sure. I don't see any things on videos that it would represent as Megaman X series. However, it does look pretty high on my awesome-meter, so it wouldn't be bad idea to make a game based on it. (Any takers?)

So yeah, keep those realistic things away from it unless you know how to handle with the classic video game franchise.



Henmii said:

From little that I watched: This looks like Megaman gone wrong! Like the travesty that is Bomberman Zero! Frankly this is NOT Megaman! Maybe it's for the better that it was canceled!



Ren said:

very cool, but not megaman. Wouldn't have been hard to do this and still have the stout aesthetic of real megaman. misguided art direction but I would have still shelled out for it. Why kill things like this?



BlackStar9000 said:

@Guybrush20X6 So i have to really thank Nintendo for getting Megaman into Super Smash Bros, the classic nes verison that just makes me smile, and I hope those songs played for him (Megaman 2 Intro, Megaman 2 Wilys 1st Stage) are full renditions that will be in the game, they timed those song cues perfectly and they just made the video awesome. I can guarantee that people who never played his games will after they play with him, so eshop sales for Megaman games will go up and MAYBE Capcom will do him some justice in a new game, I would love for Nintendo to publish a Megaman game again...

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