Capcom USA reveals some insight into why developers in Japan think Mega Man doesn't appeal to North America.
A bit of commotion was started in the gaming world when Capcom community manager Seth Killian stated in a interview that Capcom Japan doesn't believe Mega Man is popular in North America. To seek answers why Japan has this view, a fan created a thread on Capcom's community forums concerning the subject. Capcom USA VP, Christian Svensson, posted the following in the thread to give his insight on the issue:
“Relative to Japan, North American sales of MM titles is historically lower (though MM9 and MM10 were significantly higher in NA than Japan). Another complicating factor is the fact that the demographic for MM there is much younger than it is here. My suspicion is that it’s due to the fact that for years, MM in Japan has been promoted in the weekly Kuro comics magazine, which is younger skewing and the Battle Network/Starforce series was also aimed as a much younger demo than Classic, X or Zero franchises, so we tend to get some mismatches across the brand.
“We know it’s a popular brand in NA, but perspective is all relative.”
Soon after, Seth Killian posted his thoughts as follows:
“As Sven mentioned, MM sales in Japan are typically higher, so there’s that.
“Beyond sales however, it’s largely a cultural impression issue. I think most CJ staff view MM as a fairly "Japanese" character (as opposed to, say, Frank West). I think Americans often assume that because something is popular in America, everyone else probably likes it too. In Japan, it’s usually the opposite — the more "Japanese" something might be, the less they would expect it to be popular elsewhere.
“It’s less to do with any reality and more to do with "this is a very Japanese thing, therefore foreigners won’t be as interested in it." That’s true for some Japanese things (*cough* natto *cough*), but not true for other things, like the Blue Bomber. It’s easy for everyone to love a cute, tenacious, and pure-hearted hero with such fun enemies. Although just to make it even more complicated, MM is much less popular in Europe than he is in N. America. Of course Europe is just wrong about this [smiley face], but different strokes for different folks…”
The community outcry, along with the stronger sales of Mega Man 9 and 10 in North America, may help Capcom Japan realize that Mega Man's popularity extends around the globe.