See, the news of the day is that Capcom has decided to cancel Mega Man Legends 3. That’s a huge blow to one of my favorite series of video games. I own Mega Man Legends, Mega Man Legends 2, and even the spin-off, The Misadventures of Tron Bonne. I’ve played through all of them at least once, and the ones in the main series at least twice.
Here’s the deal: Capcom announced that they would be working on something called “Mega Man Legends 3 Project”. They set up forums and a website where they took community input for the game, and managed to build up a decent amount of excitement for a decade old series for which fans have been calling for a sequel for.
Then comes the stupid part. To gauge sales interest, Capcom released a demo on to the 3DS e-Shop called Mega Man Legends 3 Prototype. This was a short demo showcasing what they were planning on doing with the game.
There’s two main problems that I see with their strategy of using this to gauge sales interest:
- 3DS is still a very new system. I mean, as of today (when the game was canceled) it has only been out for a total of 113 days in the US, and the first compelling game for the system (i.e. the system seller) came out only 29 days ago. This means the install base is still pretty small relative to other consoles and handhelds.
- The other problem is that they charged for the demo. I know. Seriously. It wasn’t much ($2.50), but for that price you can have full games on a modern smartphone, or heck, I paid that much for Plants vs. Zombies on the last Steam sale. Anyway, charging money for something that is marketed as NOT BEING A FULL PRODUCT is definitely likely to drive down the number of people who will get it. There is a huge difference in the barrier to entry between a free product and a cheap product.