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Mighty No. 9 – A Mighty Disaster

Mighty No. 9 – A Mighty Disaster

“Network issues – God damn NETWORK ISSUES!!!”

These are word that are being uttered by thousands of Mighty No. 9 Kickstarter backers across the world who received an email last night from Keiji Inafune and Comcept that announced that Mighty No.9 was to receive a third delay this time pushing it from its February release date into Autumn. Gamers had already been growing disgruntled with its two previous delays, delays that related to online functionality, something that hardened Mega Man fans who were eager for Mighty No.9 had no interest in. Though I’m sure that Mighty No.9 will inevitably be a critical success, the question I pose is this: Has Mighty No.9 become a PR disaster.

In the gaming business, having earned the goodwill of the gaming community is important, it’s what builds fanbases, drives hype, sales and interest in potential sequels. Mighty No.9 has the great luxury of having 67,000+ guaranteed sales thanks to the Kickstarter campaign, a luxury that most games do not have. I argue though that thanks to the very public delays, and the frustration that is continuing to grow within the community of backers, the remainder of the community is starting to grow sceptical about the title. There’s a groundswell of frustration that might equate to fewer sales when the game is released.

Mighty No. 9 - A Mighty Disaster

You could also make the reasonable argument that countless other games get delayed, Uncharted 4 just recently slid back a month, Scalebound an entire year, so why should Mighty No.9 receive such a savaging. The answer is simple – the game, the core experience that those who backed the game wanted is done, it has been for quite some time. I’ve personally played a trophy enabled version of the game, but have also played it on numerous other systems, at events such as PAX etc. Many gamers contend that if it is leaderboards and other similar features that are responsible for the delays then patch them in after the fact and give us what we paid for. Others have grown tired of how vague much of the information we’re being delivered is. This only compounds the frustration that gamers felt after Comcept returned to the community seeking more money for Mighty No.9 in the form of a second Kickstarter, and the failed 2015 Kickstarter for Inafune’s next work (Red Ash) despite not even having released his current project.

So what can Comcept and Inafune do to get the ship back on track? Well the first step is that they need to be more transparent. Citing online problems only gets you so far, specifying vague release windows for a game that has already been delayed twice doesn’t engender love and goodwill from gamers. It’s time for Inafune as the public face of the game to get out there and be up front with the community, sit down for an interview and tell it like it is. Explain in depth what difficulities they’ve had, lock in a release date that is perhaps later than we would hope to ensure that there are no further delays to be had yet still gives us a concrete date to anticipate.

Mighty No. 9 - A Mighty Disaster

Games get delayed all the time, game development is tough as many will testify, and it sucks, but it isn’t just the delays that have hurt Mighty No.9. It is a culmination of all the controversies that have followed it that lead it to its now precarious position. Will it sell? Sure. Will it be well received critically? Quite probably. Will it resonate with the community? With each passing day the probability of that final answer being a yes reduces. Comcept have the advantage of having a publisher in the form of Deep Silver on board, so they need to do some serious damage control, if they wish to make many more sales than those that they’re currently guaranteed. The goodwill of fans is running out and if the game gets out to the masses and they’ve not already done some significant damage control then Mighty No.9 has the potential to be a massive commercial failure – which would be such a shame given the love that so many have for Keiji Inafune and the Mega Man games that he made and informed Mighty No.9.

Mighty No. 9 - A Mighty Disaster

Paul James

7 comments

  1. TBH I couldn’t care less about the network features. For people who will speedrun this game they don’t need any network features to be able to keep an eye on their and others times. And for the rest? Well, have anyone actually really cared about leaderboards in these kind of games? I mean Really cared? So yeah, just release the f*ing game already and patch all that crap in later. If I could I would have gotten a refund on my kickstarter support and given it to Yacht Club Games insted just because they actually deserve it.

  2. Your article is absurdly misinformed and should either be corrected or removed entirely.

    “receive a third delay this time pushing it from its February release date into Autumn.”

    Despite the email actually saying SPRING quite clearly.

    “delays that related to online functionality, something that hardened Mega Man fans who were eager for Mighty No.9 had no interest in.”

    Really? REALLY? This is a blatant no-true Scotsman fallacy. You have no data for this and absolutely nothing to back it up. You’re just saying that it’s true and insisting that it is so, in an attempt to make anyone who disagrees with it either seem misinformed or not a true fan.

    “You could also make the reasonable argument that countless other games get delayed, Uncharted 4 just recently slid back a month, Scalebound an entire year, so why should Mighty No.9 receive such a savaging. The answer is simple – the game, the core experience that those who backed the game wanted is done, it has been for quite some time.”

    And? how is that different from any of those other games that you mentioned? You do not list why the other games were pushed back at all because you do not know, yet you insist that they were pushed back for a “better” reason, because apparently there are better reasons than severe flaws in the network code that would basically provide an extremely bad experience if anyone tried to use the online features in their current state and if they actually did just release the single player content and then patch in the multiplayer content, they would have to, as they have said previously, list it now as single player only and then pay a very large extra fee to list it as multiplayer later.

    “Many gamers contend that if it is leaderboards and other similar features that are responsible for the delays then patch them in after the fact and give us what we paid for.”

    It is not just leaderboards as has been said. If it was leaderboards, you could set up some kind of server and have it keep track of data and thats it. The game is currently having severe issues with its netcode, which means other players connected to each other. This is one of the key stretch goals that was reached and is what you “paid for.” However, you did not pay for anything unless you preordered it off of another site (which i’m guessing you did not). Kickstarter is an investment website. You do not receive monetary returns, true, but you pledge your funds towards a product in hopes that you can help get it off the ground. With that comes the very real possibility of problems during development, delays, and complete failure of the product. If you had walked into the store and pre-ordered something, that would be one thing. You did not. you entered into a clearly lined out agreement that you would provide funding towards this project in hopes that it would be completed and that you were also given certain incentives (again, in hopes that it is completed. If things go awry, your incentives may go out the window) depending on the amount that you pledge.

    “Others have grown tired of how vague much of the information we’re being delivered is”

    Vague information? Did you honestly even read the email? I suspect not since you have cited misinformation multiple times already. Go back and read the whole thing. It is quite clear as to why the delay was necessary this time and it is clearly laid out every time before that as well.

    “This only compounds the frustration that gamers felt after Comcept returned to the community seeking more money for Mighty No.9 in the form of a second Kickstarter, and the failed 2015 Kickstarter for Inafune’s next work (Red Ash) despite not even having released his current project.”

    Dear lord you are completely misinformed. Mighty No. 9 was not going to be funded AT ALL by the RED ASH kickstarter. That was for an entirely separate game. Get your information straight and stop spewing bullshit.

    1. I’ll keep my response brief:

      1 – We’re an Australian site. The Northern Hemisphere’s Spring is our Autumn – If you had done your proper research (even read the .au in our url) that you so claim I haven’t then then you would know that
      2 – I cite leaderboards as one example of the things that delayed the game, this is not a news post, it is an opinion piece. Therefore I do not need to recite everything the Kickstarter email stated. I’m all too aware that there were numerous other issues including Matchmaking etc
      3 – Yes, Red Ash is a separate game, I said that, please comprehend simple sentence structure
      4 – One email with a few small tidbits of info two weeks before the game was intended to release is not enough for fans who’ve invested millions of dollars – via two separate Kickstarters
      5 – Uncharted was delayed to improve the ending (core experience), Scalebound delayed a year because it simply wasn’t going to be ready for 2016 – I’m pretty well read
      6 – True, my stance on fans reception to the online features is based on minimal data – It’s only based on searching through forums across the internet where numerous fans have all stated their shock at the core experience being held back for the sake of online add-ons
      7 – I’m a Kickstarter backer, so please don’t suggest I’m misinformed. I’ve got the same information you have (I assume you too are a backer)

      Have a good day

      1. You claim I am misinformed, and I do see that I was misinformed on one part (in my assumption that despite being an Australian website, that you would refer to release quarters as the same as the northern hemisphere.) That was my mistake and I do apologize for that. However, I do not see myself as being misinformed on the other points and reply to you with proof where I can provide it. The reason that I do so, is that although you say this is an opinion piece, you regularly claim things as being factual when there is nothing to back them up. You can be of the opinion that not enough time was given with the delay announcement (something that I share the opinion of), but when there are times that you cite things as though they are fact and there is evidence to the contrary, that I take chagrin with.

        2. Leaderboards are never mentioned in the email at all and are not the reason why the game was delayed. “The reason for the delay is rooted in bugs inside the network modes, and specifically problems with matchmaking. There are two large reasons for this problem, one of them being the large number of platforms supported (the solution for each platform is slightly different) and the other stems from the fact that the engine we are using is no longer being updated which means adjustments for matchmaking and online code are being made manually (actually reprogramming parts of the engine by the dev team themselves).”

        Now, I hope to change your opinion on this matter in particular. I am betting that you will suggest that since that is the problem, they should simply release the game as the single player portion only and patch the multiplayer portion in later. This would actually be a far worse decision than simply leaving the multiplayer in and fixing it. You can find specific details in this source (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mightyno9/mighty-no-9/posts/1473777?cursor=12311763#comment-12311762). You will find two comments from the project creator, both specifically addressing that issue. To simplify things, due to the process that releasing a game requires, multiple builds have to be submitted, checked for bugs, and if too many bugs exist, sent back and then fixed and then the next build is sent for a check. This process is called Mastering. Currently, Comcept is already part way through the Mastering process for the game with the multiplayer portion as part of it. If they were to remove the multiplayer portion entirely, they would have to not only restart the entire Mastering process all over again (which would take time and funds), but removing the multiplayer portions would very likely cause bugs in the rest of the game which would then have to be checked for in the builds sent off for the Mastering process, sent back, fixed, and a new build submitted again. We would go from being very far along the Mastering process and dealing with a known set of bugs that are actively being fixed to having to restart the entire process over, have all the new bugs this would cause be found, and have them fixed. It would take far longer.

        3. Please do not attempt to insult my intelligence by suggesting that I am not able to parse simple sentence structure when I quite clearly stated something entirely different than what you attempted to refute me on for the RED ASH kickstarter. You wrote “This only compounds the frustration that gamers felt after Comcept returned to the community seeking more money for Mighty No.9 in the form of a second Kickstarter, and the failed 2015 Kickstarter for Inafune’s next work (Red Ash)” You are deliberately saying that the funding would have gone to RED ASH. You are saying this as though it is a fact, yet you have no proof for it. Not only that, but doing so would directly go against the rules on Kickstarter and could easily be used as a legal case against Comcept if it was done. On top of all this, Keiji Inafune stated that “In order to challenge ourselves to push the status quo, we’ve set up a new development team, company, and even PR company to bring the world of RED ASH to life.” (source: http://www.usgamer.net/articles/red-ash-a-brief-qa-with-comcepts-keiji-inafune-)

        4. That one email with the information it held was not enough is your opinion, so I will not contest that. I will stand by what I said though that it provided far more detailed information than you let on in your article.

        5. By the same token, Mighty No. 9 was not ready for release on february 9th, 2016. The multiplayer aspects of the game were a direct part of the kickstarter campaign, reached through stretch goals, that kickstarter backers funded either by continuing to fund the game or increasing their funding. What I said earlier about removing the multiplayer portion applies here as well.

        6. And I have seen plenty of people say that they simply do not mind waiting. It’s simply not a good bit of data on either end. Again, the problem with just saying it’s “multiplayer add-ons” is that it does not fully articulate just how the multiplayer was implemented, how the game was already built around it, and how attempting to remove it in order to release the “core experience” would actually cause even more harm to the prospective release date than leaving it as is and fixing the problems that currently remain.

        7. That you are a backer as well does not mean you are informed. You suggested that I was misinformed about the differences in australian and northern hemisphere references to quarters of release. You were right. I suggest that you are misinformed in other areas.

        I sincerely hope that you will earnestly read this, in it’s entirety, and respond in kind if I am mistaken on some part.

        1. Look I don’t want to turn this into a big yelling match, nor do I have time to write the lengthy response you have – I do appreciate the respectful response, but my reply will be brief.

          1 – I’d suggest that our opinions simply differ in terms of how I presented the information. Your opinion is that I presented it as fact, I don’t believe I did – No big deal ultimately

          2 – There is some confusion here surrounding the citing of leaderboard issues as a reason for the delay – It of course wasn’t something referenced in the recent email about the delay. It was something cited as a reason in one of the previous delays

          3 – I’m not suggesting the money would go to Red Ash. Unfortunately the mistake that i DID make here is that I said the second source of crowdfunding was a Kickstarter. I referred to when they did a second round of funding but they could only source money via paypal – this occured in August 2014. Red Ash was obviously a separate game, and that was a separate point. I will own this, my mistake made for some confusion.

          4 – I spoke of how I could only cite evidence of the fans opinions that I noted from diving through forums and social media. We may simply exist in different circles and this is why we had a different feel for the communities reception

          1. It seems I made a mistake in what I meant to say. I meant to say that you were saying the money from the RED ASH kickstarter would have gone to Mighty No. 9, not that the money from Mighty No. 9 would have gone to RED ASH.

            However, since you accidentally made a mistake in your original information, I would think that that would warrant a change in the article. I am assuming you are referring to the Paypal funding campaign which came after the end of the Mighty No. 9 Kickstarter. if that is the case, it should be noted that that particular paypal funding campaign would have gone directly towards the development of the Ray DLC and not towards the development of the main game. Since that campaign flopped quite badly, it should be evident that the funding was not needed to fund the game’s development.

            Also, the part about the leaderboards being a part of the reason for a previous delay is true, but it was also a very minor part of that delay. There were many other reasons for it. I know that you do not need to cite every single one, as you have said, but to cite only the leaderboards seems disingenuous, when it was in fact only a very small part of the reason. That is why I brought that up and continue to do so. You are entitled to an opinion, but to present it in such a light without providing relevant information seems like cherry-picking.

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