Kickstarter is an interesting model, in that a developer can seek investment from the public — or perhaps you think of it as advance pre-orders, donations? — but then still seek a traditional publisher after using crowdfunded money to make the game. In theory there's nothing stopping that happening, and it can be argued that it harms no one; gamers get their game, game makers get paid. But still, it does bring up some fuzzy grey areas with the whole crowdfunding process, as we've argued before.
Keiji Inafune's Comcept studio has successfully funded Mighty No. 9 for a number of platforms, including the Wii U and 3DS, and it was a campaign that attracted much fevered attention due to eye-catching concept art and strong Mega Man influences; various confirmed members of the team are also former Capcom employees. While it may be a new IP, the overriding concept and the core group of developers behind it have been enough to excite plenty of Blue Bomber fans, also prompting a fair amount of anti-Capcom sentiment in the process.
And yet in an interview with Game Informer magazine, Inafune was quizzed about the possibility of publishing with Capcom and didn't rule it out, stating that if the offer was impossible to turn down, publishing rights and even the use of the Mega Man IP are possible.
I would hear their terms. If they had the best terms, I would go with Capcom. There is no reason not to publish with Capcom, and I certainly don’t feel like there’s a reason that I have to publish with Capcom. Literally it would be a very cut-and-dried business negotiation. If they had the best terms, the logical businessman in me would say, "Yes, let’s go with them".
... If Capcom came up with really great terms to make it a Mega Man game, then of course I would listen and that would be an option. But the base of this game is that we wanted to create something original. If they gave us an offer we couldn’t refuse, that would mean having to change the main character into Mega Man. On top of that, it would still have to be our IP, which is what we want. I can’t foresee that happening. We really want this to be our thing.
Based on Inafune-san's ambivalence, an actual partnership with Capcom seems rather unlikely, yet what this does suggest is that Comcept is willing to explore and consider external publishing options, rather than self-publishing to download platforms. To an extent this echoes Cloudberry Kingdom, a crowdfunded title eventually published by Ubisoft.
Quite a few issues to mull over with these quotes, so by all means sound off in the comments below.