A Western Initiative: Svensson On Capcom's Digital Future
April 14, 2008 Page 5 of 5
Capcom is doing so much in the west now, way more than when there was a western studio. Have you thought about acquiring, or having a closer relationship with anyone?
CS: My take on acquisition -- and I've said this internally many times -- is that we're not going to acquire anyone that we haven't done a game with. Chemistry is so critical.
That said, I would be sort of surprised if we didn't acquire a western studio in the next two years. I think it's just sort of a given. We're having so many good experiences with so many of the people that we're working with, even on some of the titles that we've not yet announced.
I think a lot of the titles you're aware of that we're developing in the west are smaller titles that have much shorter dev cycles, but we're working on some bigger things in the works, too, that have not yet been divulged and probably won't be until closer to the end of the year. We have a long-running product roadmap. We're going to be making titles, hopefully, forever, so there's always new titles and new partners that we're bringing into the Capcom family.
So one of the ways that we're a little bit different is, we've been treating our external development partners as internal teams in a lot of ways. We had -- and no other publisher I know does this -- we had a developer summit where we brought in everybody who's working on stuff for us, to this office, in this room, and we did a show-and-tell, even on stuff that's not announced.
We let everybody play everybody's games, we let everybody give feedback, just to let everybody know, "Hey, you are genuinely valued. We want to share our plans and show where you fit relative to everybody else." And make some connections and make some learning between other teams. I think it was a really valuable experience, and it was a great team-building thing. Of course, we then threw a big party at Adam's place, and had about fifty of our developers hanging out, meeting each other, drinking and having a good time.
That's a good idea, because with a lot of external companies, it feels like, sending things in for approval, waiting for approval -- there's no real connection.
CS: The internal staff that we have here, the production staff, it's very different from any of the companies I've worked for before. It's a no bullshit thing, we're very direct, very straight, but we're not dicks either. We're not there to ruin your game. We'll parachute in people to help you. It's been a very collaborative process.
I think if you ask the Plunder guys or the Backbone guys, are they better for having our input, our back-and-forth, is the game a better project? I think they would unilaterally say absolutely.
We bring in members of the community to focus-test this stuff constantly, to get feedback, the invaluable feedback that comes from this process, from having people play your game and say, damn, that UI element is completely non-intuitive, or everybody gets stuck on level three, how do we fix that? It's constant feedback that we help to facilitate.
And we give these guys a lot of help technically, we give these guys a lot of help in the design side. We're trying to hire a new art director so we can help them on some of the art issues as well, and we're going to get better and better as our team gets built up internally here, too.
Yeah, I've noticed that Backbone's Capcom titles are in some ways better than their other games. You don't have to comment on that. (laughs)
CS: I can't comment on that. I think some of that is time. What you'll see is that we didn't rush stuff out. Could Commando have gone out the door two months ago? Probably. Would it have been the game it is today? Probably not.
I think it's going to be a much better experience, and the fact that we've also been able to embed the [Street Fighter II HD] beta gives us even more value to the consumer for that particular project.
And I think 1942, which Craig, our design director, has been engaged with the team on from the very beginning, is going to be an even better game than Commando 3, as far as the mechanics go. So it's going to be increasingly -- you're going to see our quality level going up and up and up as we go.
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