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Smurfs and dragons: Capcom's recipe for a strong financial quarter

Smurfs and dragons: Capcom's recipe for a strong financial quarter

July 30, 2012 | By Kris Graft

"Sluggish." That's how Capcom categorized its financials for its last fiscal year, which ended in March 2012. Sales were down. Profits were down. Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City was the bright spot...

But Capcom's turning over a new leaf this fiscal year. The Osaka, Japan company today said social games (that's Japanese for "mobile games") and the open world game Dragon's Dogma have set a strong foundation for record high profits this year.

The numbers do the explaining: Revenues for the quarter ended June 30 hit 18.62 billion yen ($283.13 million), up 56 percent. Profits were up a beefy 290 percent to 1.32 billion yen ($16.88 million).

And with Resident Evil 6 due later this year, the company reiterated that it expects annual revenues to rise 27.9 percent to 105 billion yen ($1.31 billion), and profits to increase 45.7 percent to 9.8 billion yen ($122.6 million).

While established franchises like Resident Evil are expected to perform well and boost Capcom's numbers, it was Dragon's Dogma that was a real surprise hit for Capcom.

It's Capcom's first effort at a large-scale, open world game; it's a new intellectual property; it launched near the end of the console cycle; and it shipped over a million units, exceeding Capcom's expectations. True, it didn't sell that great in Western territories, but its success in the more profitable domestic Japanese market means that the game will expand into a proper Capcom franchise.

Driving profits and revenues along with Dragon's Dogma were Capcom's mobile games such as Minna to Monhan Card Master, Resident Evil: Outbreak Survive, The Smurf's Village and Snoopy's Street Fair, which were "steady" revenue drivers for the company.

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