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Capcom's plan for profit: Shorter dev cycles, smaller teams
Capcom's plan for profit: Shorter dev cycles, smaller teams
September 5, 2012 | By Mike Rose

September 5, 2012 | By Mike Rose
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    15 comments
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing



Capcom saw revenues and profits fall year-over-year for the last fiscal year -- but it has big plans to turn its fortunes around and create a more stable title portfolio for this year.

With revenue down 16.0 percent to ¥82.1 billion ($12.9 billion) and profits down 13.2 percent to ¥6,723 billion ($1.1 billion) the company admitted that the decline was down to it releasing "only a few major titles" over the course of the year. However, it's ready to put new ideas into effect and see where this leads.

First on the agenda is shortening the development cycle of sequels, via an "efficient development structure." Right now, Capcom releases sequels for each of its popular series roughly every two and half years. This is due to the fact that titles usually take around 3-4 years to develop, said the company.

Capcom plans to change all that. From now on, it will be cutting down these sales cycles in order to stabilize earnings and promote more growth within the company. Teams will now be limited to 100 members, with the development process shortened and multiple sequels developed at the same time.

This means that Capcom can put out popular games faster, while also pulling in extra revenue from additional game content such as DLC and in-game purchases.

Alongside this, the company will look to strength its portfolio of games by funneling more funds into new IP and building up new brands.

If a new title can be converted into a hit franchise, this can bring in significant revenues, noted the company, and therefore Capcom will be allocating around 20 percent of its development investment funds into enhancing new brands. This includes expanding on newer IP, such as Dragon's Dogma, it said.


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Comments


Simas Oliveira
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Capcom folks are all about the fun, aren't they?

Cordero W
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Yeah man. They probably wear nothing but bright clothes and have colorful posters all over their walls. Their employees are always happy!

A W
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Here's another! Monster Hunter Saga Remastered Wii U all regions release.

Danny Bernal
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http://leapfrogcomms.blogspot.com/2010/08/eternal-triangle.html

so lets translate this to Capcom ... they want to shorten time, and budget ... hmmm ....

I'll need a reason to buy their next games.
bye bye Capcom. It was nice knowing you!

Jeferson Soler
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Good call on that, Danny! Short time and low budget does tend to mean that the quality of the game(s) will be bad/low. That's the rule of the business triangle. I personally prefer seeing a company take its time to create a good game (if it is not willing to pump more money into the game production) before seeing a company sacrifice the quality of a game just to save time and money.

Jonathan Jennings
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it wouldn't be bad if they said they would wanna reduce the scope as well but yeah less employees + less time to work with the same scope is almost a guaranteed inferior product.

Josh Gibson
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This reminds me of what Midway was doing.

Nathan Zufelt
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$12 billion revenue and $1.1 billion profit would make Capcom the largest video game company on the planet by a healthy margin.

Conversions should be - revenue ¥82.1 billion ($1.04 billion) and profit at ¥6,723 billion ($85 million).

Eric McConnell
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Just release another iteration of SF4, MvC3 and SxT for $40 each

Mikhail Mukin
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Smaller teams might make sense (assuming they have good in house tool chain/engine already), but if they want to reduce costs, they should lengthen the dev cycle, not shorten it... Smaller team with longer dev cycle is more cost-efficient (for many reasons). You have less communication overhead and working while "all systems in flux", you have less management overhead, you can give tasks to people more appropriate for them (less "junior UI engineer fixing physics engine just for this milestone"). And I'm not even mentioning people getting tired and actually less productive while always under stress.

IMHO you have to shorten dev cycle only when you know (for marketing reasons) you absolutely need the game done within a certain window (like a movie release or some sports season starting or license rights expiring etc).

Michael O'Hair
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Sounds like the exact opposite how Capcom has traditionally run things...

Sebastian Cardoso
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"...via an "efficient development structure."

"... with the development process shortened and multiple sequels developed at the same time."

"This means that Capcom can put out popular games faster, while also pulling in extra revenue from additional game content such as DLC and in-game purchases."

I wish Capcom the best, which is why I sincerely hope that their business strategy is more elaborate and sensical than this. Or that part of that was lost in translation or in this summary. Because this makes very little sense.

Joshua Hawkins
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I've always been told a game can only be 2 of 3 things cheap, quick, and good. Looks like Capcom is focusing on cheap, and quick.

Jeferson Soler
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Exactly and that's what Danny Bernal was talking about! What Capcom is focusing on is not a good thing. Quality is the most important thing when it comes to any product (especially media product), and when quality is sacrificed for the sake of making a product quick and cheap, then the product will more than likely look bad. A product should either be good and quick or be good and cheap.

Danny Bernal
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I agree. with any "artistic" medium, be it fine art, video games, or even web design/ development, you want to always put out your best work to keep the business momentum going. Quality should always be a high constant in that formula.

Scope on the other hand, is completely at liberty to change. and it should to accommodate quality when time and cost have limits.


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