I’ve been curious what you think about the development of Mega Man II. On the one hand, it was ultimately a smart investment by Capcom, since it is widely considered by players and critics to be the pinnacle of the entire series (with Mega Man III). On the other hand, the game shouldn’t have been made, since the first one didn’t do so great (the evidence being that the developers were supposedly making it in their free time instead of with company resources).
I suppose that Capcom chose correctly not to invest in a sequel after the first Mega Man, but that they also correctly reversed the decision after seeing the brilliant game their developers had come up with. Your thoughts?
While not being a commercial success, Mega Man 1 sold better than Capcom’s expectations. Word of mouth made it a sleeper hit. I remember trying it with a stack of other NES games I rented. I was amazed at the game though I didn’t consider it good enough to buy. It was too hard. For my enjoyment, I didn’t want all that frustration. (Ugh at those Gutsman platforms). It’s why I rented Mega Man 2 when it appeared. I fell in love with that game, bought it, and pre-ordered and bought Mega Man III at launch.
Now, why would Mega Man 1 not sell that well? This is a good example of marketing gone bad. The cover of Mega Man 1 is so terrible. Covers of games were very important in the 1980s.
Sleeper hits and cult hits should always get a sequel. Usually a sleeper hit means there is something in the game the market likes but something is holding it back. GTA 1 and 2 were sleeper hits. It took GTA 3 to blow it open. The Ultima series had a cult fanbase. It took Ultima Online to blow it open. Warcraft 1 was a sleeper hit. It took Warcraft 2 to blow it open. Call of Duty 1 was a cult hit on the PC. It took Call of Duty 2 to make it a hit and Call of Duty 4 to make it a true mass market phenomenon. Animal Crossing on the Gamecube had a cult fanbase. It took Animal Crossing on the DS to blow it open.