Capcom To Re-Organize Corporate Structure

By Ishaan . September 30, 2010 . 4:31pm


Similar to Nintendo’s “Iwata Asks” column, Capcom, too, periodically conduct inhouse interviews with their development staff. Unlike Iwata Asks, the Capcom Developer Interviews are conducted on an annual basis with the company’s lead developers on a variety of subjects, ranging from games to corporate topics.


The first in line for 2010’s round of interviews is Jun Takeuchi, producer of Resident Evil 5, and supervisor of Capcom’s corporate structure, who talks at length about plans to overhaul the company’s corporate structure going forward.


A Mix of Talent:


As game development evolves and expands, Takeuchi believes the need for “versatile developers” is becoming more prominent. The way Capcom is currently structured, he reveals, makes it so that developers have a specific area of expertise and stick by it instead of trying different things.


Background artists only work on backgrounds, while character artists do characters, for example. Takeuchi would like to change this by nurturing developers of multiple talents so that each one can keep abreast of the overall development process.


Understanding the Bigger Picture:


The new structure will place a “director” in the role of a manager, according to Takeuchi. Directors will be in charge of specific areas of development — such as art or programming — and teams will be built around them. The directors will be tasked with facilitating communication between the teams.


This change, Takeuchi hopes, will allow the directors, who have a firm understanding of corporate management, to share this knowledge with their teams. The goal is for developers across the company — no matter their area of expertise — to understand the business aspect of development, including release dates, budgets and so on.


An internal Intranet is being maintained to facilitate sharing of knowledge as well as to track the skills of Capcom’s development staff, so weaknesses and strengths can be identified and development talent distributed accordingly.


A point of interest: Contrary to Square Enix president, Yoichi Wada’s outlook on the subject, Capcom see a need to develop more human resources that are capable of speaking English in the future. Wada-san, on the other hand, has stated that he would rather see his development staff learn programming languages instead.


The Game Market of the Future:


Toward the end of the interview, Takeuchi conveys his prediction for the games market in a few years from now, and emphasizes the importance of appealing to both a core and mainstream audience. “I think the demand will be characterized by trends that are polar opposites,” he says.


He continues: “One of these trends will be games that specifically target a small number of “hardcore gamers.” The other trend will be popular, big name titles, such as Resident Evil, that target a mass audience and focus on delivering a sense of entertainment. Either way, the important thing for us is to carefully cultivate the elements for both types of games in order to put out titles that people can enjoy playing for a long time.”

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  • WonderSteve

    In my opinion Resident Evil is one of those “games that specifically target a small number of hardcore gamers.” not “target a mass audience and focus on delivering a sense of entertainment.”

    It is fine to make spin off. I hope they are not going to dumb down the series for the mass.

    • Hraesvelgr

      In my opinion, Resident Evil is one of those “games that specifically target a mass audience and focus on delivering a sense of entertainment.” not “target a small number of hardcore gamers.”

      The series has, more or less been “dumbed down” with each new game to account for its growing popularity, including a series of horrendous live-action films that so desperately want to tie-in to the games.

      • WonderSteve

        I agree with you on the live action film part.For the wholes series, RE4 is definitely geared towards hardcore gamers in my opinion. I think RE5 is still a pretty “hardcore” game, but RE5 is definitely more dumb down then RE4. I just hope they don’t decide to make RE6 into a dumb game on the cheapest console possible.In the end, I think it depends on your definition or what “hardcore” is. Okami is “hardcore” among “hardcore” and I really really loved it.

  • MrRobbyM

    “The other trend will be popular, big name titles, such as Resident Evil, that target a mass audience and focus on delivering a sense of entertainment”

    This worries me.

  • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

    This is actually a conspiracy backed by Keiji “Japanese-game-industry-is-finished” Inafune. He’s using Takeuchi to fire all their “awful”, “5-years-behind” Japanese employees so he can hire experienced and talented westerners instead for making games that will “appeal to them”. XD

    But who knows, maybe corporate re-structuring might actually help them. Can’t say until they’ve made a game under this new order.

    • WonderSteve

      As long as the games are fun then it’s good. I think Keiji emphasizes too much on the westernize idea. Capcom needs someone in charge that focus on making fun games, not western games .I am having tons of fun with Dead Rising 2. I also had lots of fun with DMC4, Okami…. Yakuza ( I know it is not by Capcom) is very Japanese but it is fun. CoD4 can’t be compared to them.Capcom needs to realize it is not about West or East. It is about “fun.”ZoE2 was very Japanese. It is fun though, that’s why so many hardcore gamers want a ZoE3Of course, if they are talking about sales number then it is another matter. First, USA does have a lot more people than Japan. Second, hardcore gamers are always a minority (but there is a lot more of hardcore players now than 10-20 years ago). Capcom may want to consider having a developing team that focus on developing games with “mass appeal”

  • Guest

    how sad.
    inafune really wants to whitewash both capcom and japan.

  • I’m surprised the article didn’t just say “Inafune had everyone Japanese fired.”

    • MisterNiwa

      Seriously, Keiji Inafune is like the guy in japan that wanted everything to be westernised back then in the 1930’s.

      But in this case, Keiji Inafune makes a huge mistake.

      Blue Castle may have been a good choice for Dead Rising 2, but I believe DmC will fail, because Ninja Theory didn’t even make one decent game, in my opinion.

    • thebanditking

      I would prefer it if it read “Inafune was fired, that is all”. Seriously hate that guy, he has made some good titles over the years but anymore I just think he is out of touch with the industry. The answer is not for Japanese companies to become western.

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