Mega Man Legends Will Not Be Showing Up On The PlayStation Network

By Ishaan . May 20, 2011 . 3:36am

During an “Ask Capcom” video Q&A this week, a fan asked what Capcom’s expectations are of Mega Man Legends 3 Prototype Version, in terms of the project being greenlit for production into a full game. If you’re just getting caught up, this refers to some of the development challenges that Mega Man Legends 3 currently faces over at Capcom’s Japan office.


Capcom USA VP, Christian Svensson, took the fan’s question. “I have to be careful on the Legends 3 Prototype side of things,” Svensson said, “simply because I can’t quantify for you what we’re looking for there, but there are some things we’re looking for.”


Svensson also confirmed that the original Mega Man Legends will not be made available on Sony’s PlayStation Network due to property infringement issues. His quote regarding the situation was as follows:


“For example, there are games in our catalogue that have logos or other things that would be identifiable as other people’s I.P. without permission, and either due to historical litigation or fear of potential future litigation, sometimes we aren’t allowed to use those.


“Other things, like for example you had voicework in the game, but the voice actor… Within the scope of the contract that was there, either the contract is lapsed in terms of its term or the contract never defined that digital distribution was an allowable use for their work etcetera. So voice acting, scores, soundtracks, middleware contracts all have to have the same stuff there.


“In some cases, the company that we did things with is gone, but that doesn’t mean that somebody doesn’t own the rights and couldn’t come after us, so in the name of having to protect ourselves, sometimes these things are not going to be able to be put up again, and in the case of the emulations, we can’t make changes to the content, so there’s no way to just sort of remove it and just have it be up there.


“The net result is, in the case of Legends, unfortunately Legends isn’t going to be able to be up there; it failed an I.P. sweep and a contract check.”


Svensson did confirm once again, however, that Capcom still have plans to bring other games to the PlayStation Network. Earlier this month, he mentioned Street Fighter Alpha 3 as one such example.

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  • thaKingRocka

    That is ridiculous.

  • ManaKnight

     This is why I tried telling people for a while, why the U.S. PS Store for instance will NEVER have a massive catalog of PS1 games.  Licensing games for digital release is MUCH harder than what anyone would believe, especially if there’s something you no longer have the rights for (or had to license).

    • They really cant go out and try to regain rights and renegotiate contracts? 

      • ManaKnight

        Sometimes you can, but the amount of time/money/effort involved doesn’t always make it worth it (especially for cheap downloadable games).  Vic Ireland expalined on GAF that just by bringing Arc The Lad on PSN took around a year or more in negotiations. 

        Basically it’s like, many games released on PS1 and other platforms were not made to be released as digital release years ago.  Because they weren’t, many things have to be re-licensed.  Some re-licensing may be easy, some may be difficult (some aren’t easy to contact, some might be dead and you have to figure out who holds the rights). 

      • mirumu

        Sure, but it takes time and money. Probably isn’t economically viable to do so unless it’s a really popular title that will sell a lot of copies.

        • godmars

           More so given that making MML3 itself is already on the wire.

          Still it doesn’t or shouldn’t let Capcom off the hook for not going to the trouble of re-releasing the older games to help promote the newer one. 

  • Kai2591

    Humanity must find a solution for all these problems.

    • godmars

      There’s already a solution: Its called not being a dumb ass.

      Capcom knew going in reviving an old IP that they either couldn’t do the most sensible thing and use the reissue of the older games to promote the newer one, or they didn’t want to go through the effort.

      And how the hell do they not have full rights to the IP – when they’re using every element of the IP in the new game?!
      My guess if anything Sony still holds the rights to the original games and some middleman doesn’t want to green light their re-release because in some limited perspective it does nothing for the Sony brand. PSN sales not withstanding since a Capcom middleman doesn’t see the value towards a 3DS release.

      Like I said: dumb asses.

      • Apache_Chief

        “So voice acting, scores, soundtracks, middleware contracts all have to have the same stuff there.”

        They’re not using every element of the IP in the new game. These are not all taken straight from MML 1 into 3 you know.

  •  Son of a BECH.

  • Phoenix_Apollo

    Would that likely mean that we never got the PSP ports of the Legends series, for this reason as well? I’m not sure if those were also emulations or not.

    • I don’t pretend to have much knowledge on the subject, but I would imagine that any restrictions on editing content imposed by emulation could be circumvented in the porting process.

      I mean, he spoke of the PSN in general, not just the North American PSN. The fact that the PSone versions aren’t available on the Japanese PSN despite getting the PSP ports sort of reinforce this guess.

      But, that’s all it is, a guess.

    • I believe the PSP versions are actual ports—I don’t own them, but they are in non-stretched widescreen like BoF III.

      But think of what Capcom would have to do in order to get around the infringement issues, even on PSP. Might not have the rights to use the original voices, so they’d have to pursue those or strip out the VA and perhaps re-record it with different actors. Was the translation done in-house? If not, they’d have to either pursue the rights to the script or retranslate it. List goes on…

      I could see the cost becoming prohibitive, especially since I doubt the games would have sold at all if they’d been released separately outside of Japan.

    • landlock

      No that’s partly because SCEA don’t like straight ports on the PSP that’s why BOFIII and Tales of Eternia are JP/EU only. 

  • Xeahnort

    I think Crapcom can’t port Megaman Legend I &  II as a PSone Classic because of  missing functionality due to lack of L2 and R2 buttons in PSP.

    •  If I remember right there are button combos in Sony’s emulator that act as L2 and R2. Something along the lines of L + Down = L2, R + Up = R2.

      It’s been a while since I played a PSone Classic on my PSP, but I remember it being a pain to get used to, but the functionality was there at least.

      • I know on games that don’t use the joystick it becomes r2 or L2 depending on direction. 

    • ShinStar

      Capcom did PSP ports in Japan for both Rockman DASH 1 and 2, so I don’t see any reason why they can’t just localize those here other than the fact that PSP sales aren’t strong here like they are in Japan…

      • neo_firenze

        Yeah, this is what I immediately thought… if there were IP issues, how did the PSP ports get made?  It’s possible that there were regional restrictions on some elements licensed in the game, but that seems very unusual.

        Also, software companies should get their act together and require that they own the IP in games.  Unless you’re licensing a third party’s well known IP (say, a movie or a comic book character), there’s no real excuse for not owning the assets in an original game in one of your company’s most iconic series.  If they are using contractors for work on the engine, art, music, whatever… even if they don’t get full ownership of the work, they need to make sure their license is broad enough to permit re-use.

        If the issue is with certain middleware used to program the game, that can be more complex.  But still, needs to be something companies think about.  Hopefully in 2011, game publishers are more sophisticated about this kind of stuff than they might have been in the 90s. 

        • landlock

          Manga Gamer said this about there game and similar problems might have happened with MML/MML2 aswell.

          “Because of the unique way in which the extensive voice cast for this
          game was chosen, the rights to the voices remained with the voice acting
          agency, and not [developer] Innocent Grey,” Pickett writes. “While both
          of us did our best to negotiate for use of the voices, the agency
          refused to accept any of the alternative options we proposed, and
          demanded an outlandish fee several times larger than the entire cost of
          localizing this product otherwise.””

          • neo_firenze

            Not too familiar with Manga Gamer (seems from their website that they localize visual novel games?), and it’s an interesting observation, but a couple points:

            1) This is Capcom we’re talking about, a major developer/publisher, and we’re talking about one of their flagship franchises.  They need to know better than to be so sloppy with their IP – and maybe they do know better now, I certainly hope so.  Valuable lesson to all developers and publishers at least, get the rights to whatever you’re putting in your game WHEN YOU MAKE IT and don’t assume you’ll be able to get permission or extend the terms of the license years down the road. 

            2) If “the unique way” the VA cast is chosen means the publisher is unable to use the game, it’s a terrible way for any publisher to operate.  Capcom, as one of the major worldwide game publishers, should know better than do do similar things.  It’s just sloppy business planning and contract negotiation, you have to get these things done at the outset – there should be no reason to go back and negotiate again later, get the appropriate rights before you even make the game.

            Seems like the Manga Gamer issue is different though, in that the developer (Innocent Grey) are the ones who negotiated with the VAs, and it’s becoming an issue when they want to license their game out to a foreign publisher for localization but they didn’t have the foresight to negotiate the ability to do that when they agreed with the VA agency.

  • Less money Sony could’ve received.

    They’ve been getting that a lot as of late.

  •  I guess I’ll never play Legends 2. =/

  • cmurph666

    I call shenanigans~!

    • Advent_Andaryu

      I believe your absolutely right. This seems like a sad excuse to me. It’s a video game for crying out loud!

  • well that sucks.  Can we get the sequel or even Tron Bonne?

  •  I have FURY!

    Everyone online likes to way overcharge for well known PS1 games.
    Which makes repurchasing way less appealing unless its on PSN. 

    • Exkaiser

      Ah, well, the first game is for sale up there in the links at the bottom of the article for $23.60, and the second for $60.

      The latter’s a bit much, but the former’s definitely not a bad price.

  • I never really take the large amount of legal issues into consideration when thinking about gaming localization. Heck, I would’ve never even thought about voice acting and soundtrack contracts.

    It’s a shame I won’t be able to play this on PSN. I’ve never actually played the game, but always wanted to. A PSN purchase would’ve been certain.

  • dragoon_slayer12

    AND FOR REASON LIKE THIS (among other reasons) GAMES SHOULDN’T HAVE IN-GAME ADS…. now when the ps213053 releases, we won’t be able to download god of war 3 cuz the  7/11 owner called Kaz Harai a slut (all due to the Kratos slurpee cup deal. joking obviously)…. this is ridiculous….

  •  I guess that means Capcom HAS to do HD Remakes of both games :)

    New graphics, voice overs, sound tracks, everything!  They can improve on all the features too!

    Of course, if MML3 takes off anyways, that won’t be a problem.

    Legends seemed like a great universe for MM full of unexplored potential.  Hopefully, this notion won’t be lost on Capcom.

  • So it’s overpriced used copies or piracy once again. (If anyone feels offeneded by this, I have all PS1 MML games and photos to back it up).
    It’s a shame that licensing issues keep preventing players from enjoying true classics like this, or all the great Disney games from the 8-16bit era.

  • I call bs on that. Nintendo removed the Kwawasaki ads from Wave Race 64 when they put it on the Virtual Console.

  • hush404

    *Best Senior Chang voice: GGGGGAAAAAAYYYYYYEEEEEEE

    Sigh. What’s with copyright stuff in games anyways? IMO if it was procured for the game, then the game should be able to get released in any format the company chooses either day one or down the line without worrying about those things later. I really don’t understand the point of allowing something in a game and then once it’s out taking it back, thus preventing that company from ever re-releasing the game.

  • OH HALE NO! Now I’m mad.

  • kupomogli

     If they release the games on PSN then they can’t port the games over to the 3DS in 3D for $40 each.  I’m sure if Mega Man Legends 3 sells well that’s what they’re going to do. 

    It’s Capcom.  What do you expect?  I mean they want you to pay for a demo to fund the development of Mega Man Legends 3 and if they don’t make enough it’s going to be cancelled.  Yeah.  I know what to expect.

    •  In this case I’d gladly pay 40$ for Legends 2 for 3DS and at least you would get a manual. =/  Hoping for a collection of both for 40$, that was my guess how they would of handled this in the first place.

  • PrinceHeir

     that sucks :

    it feels like it’s the same reason why Rival Schools won’t come out on PSN(at least outside of japan)

  • JustaGenericUser

    Fricken Christ, why does the world hate Legends so much?

  • LaserVision

    Wow, I had no many legal experts frequented Siliconera! Who needs law school when all the legal answers are all here? Contract litigation and intellectual property law sure is easy!

  • Captshiro

     I got to be Honest I’m sick of Capcom re-releasing One Street Fighter After another. Don’t they have any other games they can throw up on PSN

  • Maybe they can release Legends 2 for us. I got Mega Man 64, the best version of Legends 1 anyways.

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