Poll: Will Capcom Sue the Mighty No. 9 Devs For Infringement Of Its Mega Man IP?

Last month, developer Comcept launched a Kickstarter for Mighty No. 9, a new video game that is counting on your love of Mega Man for its success.

Seriously, almost every sentence of the project's pitch name drops the Blue Bomber.

"Classic Japanese side-scrolling action, evolved and transformed by Keiji Inafune, an all-star team of veteran Mega Man devs…" (Note: Inafune is the character designer/producer behind most of the Mega Man games.  He left Capcom in 2010)

"Run, jump, blast, and transform your way through six stages (or more, via stretch goals) you can tackle in any order you choose, using weapons and abilities stolen from your enemies to take down your fellow Mighty Number robots and confront the final evil that threatens the planet!" (emphasis there's)

"Every aspect of development—art, level design, music, programming, etc.—is being handled by veteran Japanese game creators with extensive experience in the genre, and with Mega Man in particular, all the way up to and including the project’s leader, Keiji Inafune himself!" (again, that's not our emphasis!)

So yeah.  Comcept was counting on your love of Mega Man and your desire for a new game in the series to fund its project.

And it worked.

The Kickstarter closed yesterday, surpassing its original goal of $900,000 and topping out with slightly more than $4 million in pledges from nearly 70K backers.

You think Capcom is kicking itself for, as many fans see it, mistreating Mega Man for the last few years?

Wait.  Don't answer that.  That's not the poll question for this week!  No, this week we're asking if you think Capcom is going to sue Comcept for infringement of its Mega Man IP.  So vote in the poll (you can find it on the right side of the screen under the Login box) and let us know how the Big C (has anyone ever called it that?) is going to react.  Once you've done your civic duty, comment away in the comments section or send us an email at SuperPACpodcast@gmail.com.  EZK and I will discuss the poll results and everything Mighty No. 9 on next week's podcast.

(Okay, you can answer the "Is Capcom kicking itself?" question if you really want to.)

"vote label" © Tribalium / Shutterstock. All rights reserved, used with permission.

-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Contributing Editor Andrew Eisen

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  1. 0
    prh99 says:

    Possibly, but Mighty No. 9 should not be surprised, by encourage direct comparisons to Megaman along with similar look a feel they are making themselves a prime target for over aggressive corporate lawyers. Even if Capcom loses the cost will be ruinous to the Mighty No. 9.

    People hate these companies but apparently not enough to stop buying there stuff in most cases. People hate EA, and with good reason but they still buy their games. People hate the RIAA but still buy plenty of music.

  2. 0
    Deadagent says:

    Capcom will just rush another megaman game out. Now that they realize that people are throwing money at the IP, there is nothing that can stop that sort of greed. Wheter or not that game will be any good with most of megaman people in inafunes camp, remains to be seen.

  3. 0
    lordlundar says:

    No, Unless Inafune signed a non competition agreement then Capcom doesn't have a legal leg. They haven't trademarked the "defeat then get ability" mechanic, otherwise Metroid Fusion and other Mega Man similar games would have been wiped out. Mighty No. 9 is well out of the range to avoid an infringement lawsuit even if it has been dubbed the "new" mega man game.

  4. 0
    prh99 says:

    I would not be surprise if Capcom sued or at least threatens, even if some individuals in company support it, that does not mean much.  Will Capcom's legal team be one the same side as Inafune etc? It wouldn't the first time a legal team hasn't been on the same page.

    Also there is more to it than copyright, there is trademark and trade dress. Mighty No.9 could be infringing just for looking and playing too much like Megaman.

  5. 0
    Wymorence says:

    Capcom is definitely kicking themselves after seeing that as of the end of the kickstarter campaign, Mighty No. 9 reached the final $4,000,000 level of funding.

    I'm also not entirely certain, I'm pretty sure you can't copyright a style of art which means Capcom has no legal action in that avenue. And there's plenty of Megaman-esque games out there too, since you can't really copyright a game genre for obvious reasons. Plus, in an interview with Kotaku last month Inafune stated he's been careful about MN9's design so as to keep it different enough from MM that it shouldn't be a problem.

  6. 0
    MaskedPixelante says:

    Yes, Capcom is kicking themselves. Yes, Capcom will attempt to sue for infringement. Yes, Capcom will lose because Zynga already got away with doing the exact same thing, only more blatently.

  7. 0
    Kajex says:

    No, Capcom isn't going to sue, or at least if they do, they'll fail; a prime indicator that they won't risk it. There's no grounds for it. Inspired franchises aren't going to pick up legal flak.

    Also, Inafune mentioned that there are employees at Capcom that support the project.

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