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
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.
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.
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.
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
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