While Capcom pretty much ignores the Mega Man/Rockman license these days - even more so since Mega Man creator Keiji Inafune's departure - the series has been known to evolve and shake things up from time to time to stay relevant over the years/decades. Heck, personally I prefer the classic series, but the 16-bit Mega Man X series and the early 3D titles Mega Man Legends have even much more fans than the originals!
But did you know Capcom almost made a Mega Man "Act Zero"? Like, attempt to reimaging the blue bomber in a much darker grittier more-adult setting?? Crazy, right?!
Titled Maverick Hunter, it was going to be a full-on Mega Man X-inspired FPS! Developed by
by Armature studios.
Clearly inspired by Nintendo's Retro Studios Metroid Prime games, it was going to be a similar affair!
The project was given the ok of Mega Man's creatore, right before he left Capcom. It was a huge departure while keeping some similar basic Mega Man staples.
Nobody heard about this game until info was leaked back in 2013. It was in development around 2010. The characters were redesigned by artist Adi Granov. Like all Mega Man reinventions, it was supposed to take place in the same continuity, this time following a new character also named X working with human police officers. They even planned a whole trilogy around this, the last game would have brought back Zero who would have to stop this new X growing stronger and more evil in the meantime!
While some vocal fans on the internet are sad this interesting idea would have been a great new direction for the series, a lot more old school fans are just glad this didn't ruin their iconic run and gun series. Myself I'm just glad this prototype wasn't the final product, because aside from the general idea and the gameplay mechanic, the look of our main hero and all the rest of the environments and enemies seriously lacked a proper identity and more creative settings.
Looks like Maverick Hunter simply joined the various other interesting recently-scrapped Mega Man games right next to Mega Man Legends 3, Mega Man Universe and Mega Man Online...