Maverick Hunter (7)

Capcom has done a good job alienating Mega Man fans over the years by canceling not one but three high profile titles. Mega Man Legends 3, Mega Man Universe and Mega Man Online all seemed to have the potential to make the Blue Bomber relevant once again, but Capcom decided to take their business model in a different direction, leaving their long time mascot behind in the dust.

Polygon recently uncovered one potential direction that Capcom was planning to take. Maverick Hunter was a one time project being worked on by ex-Retro Studio members, famed for making Metroid Prime. The gritty Mega Man X reboot was being designed as a first person shooter by their newly founded Armature Studio, and it falls in line with Capcom’s recent trend of outsourcing their biggest series to Western developers.

However, like every other Mega Man game in recent memory, Capcom pulled the plug after only 6 months, coinciding with the departure of Mega Man creator Keiji Inafune from the company in 2010.

And I would say great. Metroid Prime is a wonderful game, but it only worked because the atmosphere actually fit into the core series. Nothing had to be revised or rewritten, feeling like a natural shift from 2D to 3D.

The screenshots and videos uncovered look like Maverick Hunter could have been an entertaining and possibly fun game, but they also reek of Bomberman Zero, another cutesy character given a gruff and modern make-over. The level of blind pandering to Western markets seen in gritty remakes like this is hilarious. I get the feeling that fans would much rather play Mega Man Legends 3 than see their beloved character become just another faceless science fiction hero.

According to Polygon‘s sources, the prototype built is playable, but Capcom and Armature Studio declined to comment. If fans up-roared over Devil May Cry‘s infamous reboot earlier this year, one can only image the flak Capcom would take for this project. Best just hope this all goes away, and not mention it at all.

Check out Polygon’s awesome story for videos of the project.