Since Mega Man debuted on the Nintendo Entertainment System some 23 years ago, the Blue Bomber has appeared in 126 games, selling a combined 28 million copies, according to Capcom's latest figures. With a wealth of robot bosses, allies, and adversaries in each one of those titles, the Mega Man franchise is the publisher's most prolific franchise, doubling the nearest competitor--Street Fighter--when it comes to the number of games bearing the brand.
The publisher has acknowledged the scope of the series and is considering trading on it, as Capcom filed an application with the US Patent and Trademark Office last week for a trademark on the phrase "Mega Man Universe." The application seeks a trademark on the name for a number of uses, including games (both retail and downloadable), and mobile phone applications, including game, screensavers, music, wallpaper, and ring tones.
The Mega Man series has enjoyed a renaissance of late with Capcom's downloadable retro-styled games Mega Man 9 and Mega Man 10. Both titles bypassed the Battle Network and Star Force spin-offs in order to focus on retro side-scrolling platformer action along the lines of the first six NES installments of the series and were well received by critics.