Capcom To Revive More Franchises For Cell Phones

By Ishaan . March 29, 2010 . 2:01pm Takeshi Tezuka, General Manager of Capcom’s Mobile Content Development department recently fielded investor questions regarding the state of the global mobile games market and Capcom’s future plans for growth in the sector, given the changes being brought about by devices such as the iPhone and the immense competition.


A Capcom veteran, Tezuka was originally involved in the planning and development of Capcom’s arcade machines. In ’99, he made the switch to the mobile department.


Bringing Mobile and Console Games Closer


According to Tezuka, one aspect of growth will be to revive older Capcom I.P. on mobile phones.


Are there a lot of opportunities to develop games based on earlier titles?

Tezuka: There are a lot of different games, depending on the system. Some were released for the NES or the SNES, while other titles were put out on the PlayStation 2. Those who play some of our mobile games, such as Mega Man, Street Fighter and Breath of Fire, will probably remember the days when they were kids playing these classics on home video game consoles. We’ll continue to bring back some of our earlier titles to help make the Capcom brand more popular.


In a separate statement, Tezuka says he doesn’t feel there’s a need to differentiate cellphone games from home console games. Just the opposite, rather. “One possible approach would be to release content for cell phones when the home video console edition for Resident Evil comes out, with the aim of combining the different user segments to produce a synergetic effect,” he said. “Another potential approach to maintain the popularity of a game would be to distribute cell phone content for that game before the next console version is released.”


Planning for Overseas Growth


While Japan is still the largest consumer of mobile phone entertainment in Asia at present, according to a Forbes report from October 2009, due to a change in government regulations and lower subsidies, Japanese cell phone carriers have been forced to alter their contracts and hike the prices on their units. This — and Japan’s ever-persistent aging problem — resulted in cell phone sales dropping by 25% in 2008.


Ergo, Capcom are looking to the global overseas markets for expansion. Tezuka feels Korea in particular represents a significant growth opportunity, even though it only accounts for a small percentage of sales at the moment. However, he notes, it is important to customize one’s business model for each different country one intends to expand into. For Korea, this involves following a micro-transaction model, common to many other businesses in the country.


“Currently we’re formulating our strategies, looking ahead to the next three decades,” said Tezuka, toward the end of the Q&A session.

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  • JeremyR

    I don’t see why these things can’t also go on the DSi and PSP (via DD)

  • Ereek

    I see Breath of Fire mentioned. Good to see Capcom acknowledge it still exists, even in a small way.

    • symytry

      They were working on an action-oriented remake of BoF IV for cellphones a while back. I never heard if it was released or not.

    • Tokyo Guy

      The Last Ranker looks suspiciously like a “sequel” to Breath of Fire 5 actually, from the concept to the character designs to the game screens.

      • Ereek

        True enough, Last Ranker definitely visually looks like a BoF game. The art is practically identical. Perhaps it’s something of a spiritual successor?

        Still, spiritual successors won’t ever fill my void.

  • I was rather impressed by the “next three decades” comment. Sometimes, we really underestimate how crazy this business can be.

    • malek86

      Long term strategies! They are at the base of every successful company, not just entertainment ones.

    • Tokyo Guy

      Well I think you should never underestimate Capcom when it comes to porting things.

  • Tokyo Guy

    The FC Rockman games have been available on mobiles for ages, and now with Rockman X and whatnot. As others have said, I don’t get why Capcom (and Square, and other companies) are so behind when it comes to the mobile market overseas. At least do something with iPhone Apps or something…

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