Mighty No. 9 - A lesson in how not to manage a community

Published: Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - 10:00 | By: Andrew Otton

Warning: some images/links contain strong language.

The community surrounding Mighty No. 9, a game Kickstarted for promising to be a spiritual successor to Mega Man, has been in uproar recently - and not for the first time. And for some very similar reasons. Well, similar in the sense that the issues surrounding the first set of issues, and the issues now, all seem to stem from one person: the Mighty No. 9 community manager known as Dina. But, do not mistake that Comcept, the developers of the game, are equally at fault here for allowing what will be discussed here to continue to happen.


A recap of what happened last year:

In November, the Mighty No. 9 forums were started up and Dina as the community manager was eventually introduced. This was how she introduced herself. That started a curiosity about who she was and what she was doing there, was she qualified?


Regardless of what they found out about her personal politics, which some will focus on, what the community found out was troubling. Mighty No. 9 has been, since the beginning, advertised as the next game to revive the Mega Man franchise just under a different name. Well, Dina apparently has no experience with Mega Man, which would obviously rub that community in the wrong way, but most troubling is that she freely admitted that she only backed the project because her boyfriend (or best friend? still unclear here, regardless it is still a conflict of interest) is supposedly working on the project.

Now it gets a little confusing. That introduction she gave doesn't really explain her role but it does seem she would be playing the community manager. However, some people were unsure about her role due to these tweets (more info that is just speculation, but helps explain the confusion). Eventually, Mark from 8-4, the localization developers for Mighty No. 9, responded (second email in image) saying that Dina was definitely not involved in the design process of the game.

That seemed to be a dead end and something that community members wouldn't have to worry about anymore. However, the problems with Dina as the community manager don't end there. The red underlined portions of Mark's email are where many community members had, and continue to have issues.

Mark describes the role of the community manager was to be the "conduit between the community and the [development] team." And that she is to be impartial. Obviously, she is not only going to pass on information as it is her job to also weed out spamming, trolling ,etc. But, Dina, as well as other moderators, don't seem to be impartial when they start locking and deleting threads as well as banning backers from the forums for many reasons.

This was the original set of forum rules. People were banned, forums locked/deleted for: essentially saying goodbye to the community, voicing disagreement, and humor?


But the greivances against Dina don't end there, the community is angry over not having their voice heard, not being directly spoken to by the mods but having their posts edited, and for how unprofessional they seem to act in some cases (Dina is Petitemistress).

Here is a great summation of much of the community's feelings by user Heavy01.


The most frustrating thing is that when Mark said that Dina was essentially the "conduit between the community and the [development] team," he was both right and wrong. It appears that nearly every bit of communication goes through Dina directly or indirectly. Various email addresses exist, but it appears that while Dina may not be in charge of them, she most assuredly has access to them.  That's an issue because who knows how aware Comcept truly is of what is going on in the community as their eyes and ears is in the position to manipulate, or leave out, what is said to them.


To top it all off, the worry that many community members had was not acknowledged by Comcept who refused to refund any backers - regardless of the legitimacy of their complaints about the community.

That more or less sums up what happened before (and is more or less still ongoing). Recently, the actions of the moderators of the Mighty No. 9 community, Dina first and foremost, have leaked over to the GamerGate issue. Dina disagrees with the GamerGate movement and seems to be silencing any discussion of it on the forums as well as blocking backers from the Mighty No. 9 official Twitter.


One of the reasons she decided to remove a discussion of GamerGate is because it lacked sources. However, a community member did source their disagreements in a past thread long ago and the moderators still removed it. Dina claimed it to be harassment when the community member was criticizing her summation that a post should be allowed to stay because it was "middle of the road." The evidence was to show just how the submitter was not middle of the road. Hypocritical to say the least, and seemingly censoring an opinion she disagrees with/bolstering one she does agree with at worst.

The latest controversy is over backers, some that have pledged hundreds of dollars, being blocked from the official Mighty No. 9 Twitter account. Dina claims that this is not happening. One also cannot help to notice how tactlessly she decided to respond to the issue. That kind of language and approach is common throughout her Twitter, and to a lesser degree on the Mighty No. 9 forums. That is worthy of note as this is just further evidence of the lack of professionalism that many community members have worried about for a long time.

It is also worth noting that many people blocked from the official Mighty No. 9 Twitter account are blocked from Dina's as well.

The fact remains though: some Mighty No. 9 backers are being blocked, but why? So far I am still waiting for a reply from Comcept on the matter.

For many community members, silencing GamerGate discussion has been the final straw and they have started to issue chargebacks on their bank accounts, which essentially means that Comcept, if the chargeback is deemed correct, has no option in paying the person back. Some reports have come out that backers have received their money back through this method.

This is not condoning of that action but it brings up a question: why has Comcept continued to keep Dina as the Mighty No. 9 community manager if she is now undeniably making them lose money? A question that I hope to receive an answer to from Comcept some day.

A thing for all to consider: most of the information here was "leaked" from the Mighty No. 9 forums as the official forums are only accessible by backers, which I do not happen to be. Any information here was leaked, or given to TechRaptor, from users. That means that nobody here, unless you happen to be a backer, is seeing the full picture.

The saddest thing about all of this is that those actually developing Mighty No. 9 probably just want people to enjoy the game they are in the process of creating. This is one of those weird incidents where the controversy does not lie with the content of the game, or the people attached to its creation, but to simply a community manager.

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Andrew Otton
Editor in Chief

Editor in Chief at TechRaptor. Lover of some things, a not so much lover of other things.