Comcept released Mighty No. 9 today, June 21. That's an achievement for the studio, which announced the project three years ago and pushed back its release three times. But in a livestream leading up to the Kickstarter-funded game's launch, the team was less than celebratory.
The Twitch archive is still available for the two-hour stream, and it's worth a watch. Translator Ben Judd hosted a discussion with people like lead designer Keiji Inafune (Judd's fellow ex-Capcom member) and other producers and directors about the trials of Mighty No. 9's lengthy production.
It's a somber look into a studio's troubled development process, which has ran into several problems on a public scale for the past three years. Here's a variety of quotes from the team's Twitch stream:
On the "fun" of game design
Five percent is fun and 95 percent is pure nightmare, hard work. I can't even remember how many times I was like, 'How am I going to do this? How am I going to get through this part? This is going to be the end of my life, man.
On the Kickstarter hype
Kickstarter is a double-edged sword. It gets so hyped up and sensationalized with so many people wanting it to be good ... I think that partially when people review it there's gonna be a little bit of bias.
The reality is this: I can't envision where you announce a crowdfunding campaign and say we need your money for this game that will be released in four years. There are timeline issues that occur.
On disappointing fans
It's the fans at the end of the day that you feel the most accountable to, and it's absolutely terrible as a creator when you can't make the best game in the shortest amount of time. But there's a wide variety of different people and fans out there, and there will be some that will be salty and angry — and that's totally fair — and there will be some that will be very supportive.
On the critical reception thus far
Doesn't feel good, to be honest, but they made some fair points. A lot of stuff that we can agree on, and there's a lot of stuff that we thought we did a decent job with, but maybe it wasn't enough in the general public's eyes. It's something that we can take as a lesson and put it in the next one."
On the future of the game
We can hope that if things go well, there'll be sequels. Because I'll tell you what, I'm not getting my 2D side-scrolling fill. And at the end of the day, even if it's not perfect, it's better than nothing. At least, that's my opinion.
You will determine whether a game like this survives or doesn't survive. At the end of the day it was the backers who made this a reality. It may be a first step, it may be a last step. It may or may not have met their expectations. People may not want to give Inafune-san a second shot.
All of this was said before anyone had even gotten their hands on Mighty No. 9. Once they did, the complaints began to roll in. Those who wanted the game on Xbox 360, Mac or Linux were told they had to wait. PlayStation Network codes came later than expected. Backers who had been promised a pair of downloadable content codes only received one of the keys. Even Sonic the Hedgehog has poked fun at the action hero.
Most recently, some users have said that Mighty No. 9's Wii U version is causing freezes on that console, and that the game's lone downloadable content extension (an extra villain) "apparently breaks the game."
So my Mighty No 9 PSN backer code doesn't work, it supposedly bricks the WiiU, DLC apparently breaks the game, and pic.twitter.com/3ECDWLBqDd— #BeeLDeaL | B:L (@blbeel) June 21, 2016
In a statement, Comcept called the Wii U crashes "isolated incidents" and said they would be resolved with a patch deploying on Wii U today (Tuesday). "The patch is already live in Europe, and should be hitting US before the end of the day," Comcept said.
Comcept previously spoke of a possible anime or sequel based on Mighty No. 9. Whether those actually happen is dependent on how the game performs, the studio said. Watch an archive of our livestream below for some of our early impressions.