1up.com shed some light recently on why exactly Mega Man Legends 3 was laid to rest. Pulling various quotes from Capcom's official Twitter account and company blogs, what was the biggest reason? Apparently fans weren't interested in helping to create the game.
As the Twitter account describes it, "The game was meant to show people how games are developed." In response to a tweet expressing disappointment in the decision to cancel it, Capcom wrote, "Unfortunately so few fans took part in the creation of the game. It was felt the project was not worthwhile. :-(" Subsequent tweets reinforce this point; one states, "We weren't asking people to do much but response to dev rooms was cool at best," while another reads, "It's a shame the fans didn't want to get more involved :-( if we saw there was an audience for MML3 people might change minds."
Now, look. It's things like this that really incense me. Reading this, it looks like Capcom passes the buck entirely on to the fans of the series and people who were marginally interested in MML3. To scrap a game based solely on the idea that the public was not willing to participate in weird, behind-the-curtain development projects is ridiculous. The company has laid it out that the game's development was primarily driven by it's pet project, Devroom, whereby members of Capcom Unity could submit ideas that would be reviewed by developers, discuss aspects of the game before it had come together and give you an inside look at the development process of MML3. On paper, this is a very quirky and interesting feature. Allowing hardcore fans to have a place to gather and have some form of direct communication with the developers is great. Having a place where everyone can get the curtain drawn back on game development is great, both for fans to get an inside look at the game they're so interested in and people who are simply interested in the process. But to cancel a game because people aren't willing to participate? That's crazy.
Ignoring the fact that MML3 was garnering the most attention and fan interaction on Capcom Unity's website than any of their other franchises, they are perhaps not drawing the right conclusions from whatever data they are staring at. A lack of fan participation in the creation of the game might stem from the fact that they are not interested in helping you develop your game; they are interested in playing your game. Not everyone who was into the idea of MML3 wants to sign up for Devroom and spitball ideas for things to be in the game. Not everyone wants to put their personal information even more out there for the sake of your development cycle. Not everyone wants that curtain drawn back. What the fans want is a goddamn game. If your meta-project for your game was not well received, perhaps it is more of a indication that they don't care about it, but that does not detract from interest in your game. To slap those in the face who had been participating all this time with lines such as "It's a shame the fans didn't want to get more involved," is insanity. Admittedly, Twitter is a PR hell, but as someone who was interested in playing this game, but not developing it, I feel kind of slighted as a consumer.