Capcom’s Future Strategy Revealed
Many people have been dissatisfied with the practices of Capcom in recent times. The farming out of their cherished franchises to second rate developers, ridiculously overpriced and underfeatured DLC and their practice of locking on-disc content until a fee is paid are the most common complaints and has seen the publisher fall from grace in the public eye. Regardless of this, they remain optimistic towards the future and have a plan to be the number one provider of digital content by 2022, as detailed by CEO Kenzo Tsujimoto and summarised by Siliconera.
There are five goals that the company is trying to achieve in order to attain this end and it begins by staffing up. Capcom aims to increase its workforce by at least 100 people every year to keep up the inevitable advancements made to technology over that period. What this means is that over a thousand people will be trained internally in an environment purported to focus on nurturing creativity. Good in theory, but we’ll have to wait and see how it works out in practice.
This idea of creativity is lent credence by a desire to build their franchise base by creating a constant stream of new IPs. They’ve already proven that they are capable of this by bringing several new properties into existence over the past few years, including Lost Planet, Dead Rising, Asura’s Wrath, Dragon’s Dogma and the recently announced E.X. Troopers. Any sensible company knows that the likes of these aren’t likely to be exceedingly successful the first time around, and Capcom is fully prepared to continue to invest in them and make them into a viable source of income.
But the company already has a formidable line-up of games to their credit, and these will form a core part of their ongoing strategy. To this end, they will seek to speed up their development times from between three and four years, to just over two. It’s a popular tactic in the modern industry, but one that often isn’t looked upon favourably as it is viewed as the quickest route to a derivative and tired formula.
They also plan to embrace the ongoing digital revolution. Retail sales are expected to stay steady and so they will turn to the digital realms to shore up their profits. Over the next decade, they expect to see a 26% increase in their profits from packaged sales as a result of downloadable content, and so they will be pushing more of this in their future games (let’s all hope that it is the kind that is both worthwhile and reasonably priced).
The final point of their plan is related to the previous one as the company expects to see market for mobile and social games more than double in the next four years. They’ll take advantage of this by pouring more resources into projects that take advantage of what they perceive to become a very lucrative area.
The problem that I see with this strategy is that they are trying to play catch-up. Just about every other company has already realised that these are the paths to success but I suppose that it’s better late than never. They’ll be an interesting company to watch over the coming years, that much is certain as they will either fly, or come crashing to the ground in singularly spectacular fashion.