Capcom’s Brand New Game Is A Big Deal To Them, And Here’s Why

By Ishaan . September 12, 2013 . 12:59pm

Like a number of other Japanese game publishers, Capcom intend to increase their focus on social and mobile games going forward, in order to drive profits up. However, Capcom also believe that traditional games will continue to represent one-third of the overall games market, and say that they understand the value of “core users” that are more willing to spend money on games than the average mobile gamer.

 

In an analyst interview published in Capcom’s most recent annual report, company president and COO Haruhiro Tsujimoto points out the need to cater to both the mobile and traditional games (called “consumer games”) markets, adding that the creation of new I.P. will still be driven largely by traditional games.

 

“There is no doubt that the smartphone and tablet device user segment is large and attractive,” Tsujimoto admits. “However, with Smurf’s Village, we learned that there are not as many core users in this market as there are in the consumer market. Outside of Japan, people spend less money on mobile games, particularly in Europe and North America, making it a low-margin, high turnover business.”

 

Tsujimoto says that Capcom will continue to strengthen their mobile games segment, but adds, “Nevertheless, the consumer business is still the primary driver of new intellectual property creation. Our view is that mobile content developed from content created for the consumer segment is linked to sustainable and stable growth.”

 

This reflects comments Capcom have made in the past as well, emphasizing the need to use core Capcom I.P. such as Resident Evil, Monster Hunter and Street Fighter as part of their effort to grow the company’s mobile and social games business. In summary, Capcom hope to strengthen their brands through traditional games and then use these strong brands to grow their mobile segment as well.

 

As Tsujimoto pointed out, however, new I.P. is still primarily being driven by traditional (consumer) games, and one example of a brand new Capcom franchise is Gaist Crusher, which is slated for release on the Nintendo 3DS this December.

 

As reported in the past, Gaist Crusher is being planned as a major new multimedia brand for Capcom that will no doubt be put to good use once it has been established. The upcoming action game features Mega Man Legends-style aesthetics combined with the multiplayer features that have made the Monster Hunter series so popular. In their annual report, Capcom detail their plans for the upcoming franchise.

 

Capcom describe Gaist Crusher as a major new multimedia project focused on children, encompassing games, manga, anime and figurines. Specifically, Capcom will be placing manga stories based on Gaist Crusher in the Saikyo Jump and V Jump magazines in Japan, published by Shueisha Inc. Additionally, a TV animation project will be produced by Pierrot Co., Ltd., along with a series of “Gaimetal” toys produced in collaboration with Bandai.

 

Gaist Crusher has some talented developers behind it, too. Treasure, the studio that created Ikaruga and Sin & Punishment, is developing the game.

 

If the plan works out, Gaist Crusher will provide Capcom with yet another brand that they can utilize for traditional games, but it will also provide them with another recognizable I.P. that they will be able to leverage as part of their growing mobile business, similar to Capcom staples like Monster Hunter and Resident Evil.


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  • davidvinc

    I really just… hate this.

    • Digital-Devil

      Do you hate the game or the direction Capcom is taking? I don’t like that game companies are focusing on DLC and mobile games but we are partly to blame for the DLC. I don’t buy DLC and I don’t spend a dime if I download a mobile game. As long as the companies continue to support the “core users” then I am happy to continue supporting such efforts.

      Gaist Crusher looks pretty good for a “child’s” game. Hope it’s not as hardcore as Monster Hunter and similar hunting games with the excessive grinding.

      • supervamp

        There isn’t really anything wrong with dlc in the first place nor is there anything wrong with mobile gaming.

        • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

          There is something wrong with freemium though.

          In how its usually done.

          • supervamp

            Not even that is bad

          • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

            Ingame ads are bad.

            The whole set up is garbage.

            F2P loves to play with the slippery slope as well. They dont entice customers to pay in proper manner.

          • supervamp

            In game ads are pretty ignorable and just paying a bit extra can get rid of them. They work exactly the same way f2p mmos work.

  • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

    So basically, make new game/ip, make a mobile companion for it.

    Boo this means we dont get handheld games now. Bah must be why the West keeps making companion games like Deus Ex:The Fall instead of making better games for actual handhelds

    • Solomon_Kano

      The article is talking about how they’re banking on a new handheld game and you just said this means we don’t get handheld games now…

      • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

        Because the handheld is the focus of this particular IP, Im referring to companion games, which is why I mainly highlighted the words “western” . Last gen we got Okami, then got Okamiden. This gen we’d get Aeron Force on a console and Tepid Aern for Mobiles instead of Raging Aeron on the 3DS/Vita.

        • British_Otaku

          I see.

          In Okamiden’s case, I would say it doesn’t count as the timing was too far apart between the two with different teams working on the project. It wasn’t like Sonic Generations, where we saw a portable version alongside it to capture a second audience while keeping to a console standard of sorts.

          Otherwise yes, there are a lot of companion applications to add to the experience, weasel out money of the consumer and even more consumers who don’t have a console and best thing for the publisher is that the costs of development are pretty low.

        • Solomon_Kano

          Ah. I see what you mean, then.

          Though I wouldn’t really call Okamiden a “companion game,” rather an indirect sequel. Unless you define companion games as any portable entry in a series. Assassin’s Creed 3: Liberation on Vita or Arkham Origins: Blackgate on Vita and 3DS would be what I’d call companion games, though I suppose that just boils down to a different perspective on my part.

          • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

            Those are exactly what I’d call companion games.

          • Solomon_Kano

            So those and Okamiden? I’d say they’re different, but I guess that’s me.

          • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

            Not really Okami, but the other ones.Franchises just really should have a place on handhelds, that’d be like having Trauma Center without the DS games.

          • Solomon_Kano

            Agreed, then.

            Can’t really do anything with the Trauma Center example, since I didn’t follow that series. There’s some Wii games as well, right?

  • Derek

    Gaist Crusher is looking pretty interesting so far.

  • SlickRoach

    At times like this I wonder what Capcom would be if they didn’t have Monster Hunter…

    • RichyGaming

      Fight Streeter

  • FitzpatrickPhillips

    Demo when

  • Tsurugi

    Bring to USA…

  • Mike Pureka

    Had no interest until “developed by Treasure”; Now I am paying attention.

    • British_Otaku

      Treasure is the kind of name I’ll import for if this game convinces a few people with Japanese systems here or if they put up a good demo.

      Their take on Astro Boy on the GBA was amazing, not even mentioning their non-licensed work like Gunstar Heroes and Sin and Punishment.

      • SlickRoach

        Wait, the same people who made Omega Factor? Well I just bought my ticket to get on the hype train.

  • http://watercrown.info/ Ryusui

    Shame none of this is relevant anywhere except Japan.

    I’d love to collect transforming robot toys I can clip onto my 3DS for in-game bonuses. Hell, I’d love to collect transforming robot toys, period. I haven’t been interested in Transformers since Animated went off the air…>_>

  • Ethan_Twain

    Wouldn’t it make more sense to go the other direction? You make the new IP as mobile games since those are so much quicker/cheaper to make, then see what catches on and blow those out into full traditional video games.

    • SirRichard

      I think the general assumption is that while the audience that plays on handhelds and consoles is likely to jump onto their phones to try a mobile game, the wider mobile audience isn’t as likely to do vice versa.

    • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

      Some developers do seem to be taking that approach. That’s exactly what GungHo did with Puzzle & Dragons, for instance. And we’ve seen Square Enix do it with certain titles as well.

  • urbanscholar

    “Don’t count your chickens (before they’re hatched)”

    Anyway with treasure on board at least we know the game will be solid

  • SirRichard

    This is the…third? Third multimedia franchise launch attempt we’ve seen with a 3DS game at the core? There was also Gyrozetter, and I could’ve sworn Level-5 has one kicking around. Despite about three or four companies getting the exact same idea at the same time and all trying different approaches to making it work, none of them have had much success, exactly. Can Gaist Crusher actually fare any better?

    • J_Joestar

      everyone wants to be Pokemon.

    • Pedro Furtado

      Level-5 has actually succeed in the multimedia franchise. See Inazuma Eleven and Little Battlers Experience. Not sure on how Youkai Watch is doing though, but they just seem to dominate the little kids.

      The way I see it the companies are all trying to copy Level 5′s success and failed (by that I mean Squeenix). I could be wrong.

      • Guest

        Youkai Watch is doing great, sales-wise, and it surely will win a push with the soon-to-be-released animation series.
        (If they don’t do a Boost version, that’s it :P)

      • Lynx

        I find it funny on Square’s part.

        The anime of Gyro is actually a very fun show. I think they were overestimating the appeal though. I’m watching it because I honestly find it to be very Brave-like which amps my enjoyment up a good bit. That and I love the characters (and mechs.)

      • Solomon_Kano

        Youkai Watch is doing surprisingly well for a multimedia franchise that actually doesn’t have the rest of its components around yet. The anime has yet to air.

        But, yea, everyone else is very much trying to get in on Level-5′s success in this area.

        To be fair to Capcom, they were doing this well before L5, though they backed off for some time. The Battle Network and Star Force titles both spawned rather successful multimedia efforts, so they very much are aiming for a return to that.

    • Guest

      Pedro Furtado already said it better, but to expand…

      About Level-5, they already have three multimedia franchises running, first Inazuma Eleven on 2008, very succesful, on their sixth game, at least two versions of each game, along with an animated series, three movies and a plethora of merchandise; its success is diminishing with each iteration, but it’s still their number one franchise. Also with good sales on Europe.

      Then we have Little Battlers eXperience on 2010 (?), on their third game, this franchise moved from PSP to 3DS, also an animated series and a crossover movie with Inazuma Eleven. Possibly to be released on North American territories. ( If we are lucky )

      Then we have Youkai Watch, recently released, but has proven to sell well; as seen on the sales article of this week. And as Ishaan told me it has had a good word-of-mouth because is being well received by its audience, plus as BritishOtaku pointed out, the marketing on several media, as iOS, has been strong.

      I dunno if Layton or Fantasy Life can be considered a multimedia franchise. But the three I mentioned before are more akin to the comparision to Gaist Crusher.

      • Solomon_Kano

        I don’t believe Fantasy Life has an anime or manga, so no, that one’s not a multimedia franchise.

    • Solomon_Kano

      Everyone else has mentioned that L5 is seeing success in this field, so I’ll just expand on Capcom’s entrance into this market.

      Between themselves, Square Enix (Gyrozetter), and Sega (Hero Bank), they have the best chance of striking gold. They already had success in this field with both Battle Network*/Star Force** and, coming on the heels of their competitors, it certainly seems like they’re all vying for L5′s spot in the market, but Capcom seems to be hearkening back to what earned them a hit before now that L5′s filled the void they left.

      While Gaist Crusher isn’t based on one of their existing brands, they are borrowing rather liberally from themselves. The BN/SF-like premise, general Mega Man-like aesthetic, and Monster Hunter-like gameplay all seeming like a very concerted effort to stick with what they know works. It’s for that reason that I think we’ll see Gaist Crusher succeed where the others have (or will) not — they’re playing it safe.

      Gaist Crusher also has a bit of Skylanders going on, and we’ve seen how well that’s done for Activision, with Nintendo (Pokemon Rumble U) and Disney (Disney Infinity) vying for a piece of that pie as well.

      I’d like to think that this Frankenstein’s monster of elements of their — and others’ — prior successes gives them a leg up, but I suppose we’ll see soon enough if it amounts to more than the sum of its parts.

      * Which ran across toys, games, anime, and manga from 2001-2007.

      ** Which ran from 2006-2009, the games beginning during BN’s run, and the anime starting just a month after BN finished.

      • SirRichard

        I guess I’ll just make a general response off of this one, but yes, Youkai Watch was the one I was thinking of and I wasn’t aware about Little Battlers/Inazuma Eleven being multimedia franchises of the same kind as well. Knowing all that, seems I was wrong about it not being a particularly profitable blueprint thus far!

        Putting it like that, it might do well after all, but I’m still not so sure. While it seems a lot more accessible to kids than Gyrozetter seemed to be, it seems to be playing it all a bit too safe. But then, who knows, I’m obviously a bit out of the loop on how these things are received.

        • Solomon_Kano

          Yea, that safety could go either way. I happen to think it’ll pay off, but it could very easily go wrong. I’m willing to believe their prior success has informed them of what to do and what not to do here, but it has been quite some time since they last made a move on this market.

          Guess we’ll see how it turns out.

      • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

        This is a great post. I have nothing to add. :)

        The one thing I would point out is that, despite L5′s recent games not being mega-sellers like Inazuma and Layton, they have still sold enough copies over the course of a year or two to be considered successful and apparently, they’ve been successful enough to be franchises, too, since we’re still seeing manga and anime versions of them.

        • Solomon_Kano

          Indeed. LBX certainly isn’t doing the numbers of their prior series, but it seems to be enough. It makes me wonder if L5′s development is just cost-effective or if the other merchandise makes up for it. Probably a bit of both.

  • 7743

    I strongly dislike modern Capcom after what happened to Ono (overwork), Inafune and the direction they took with some classic franchises over the years, but this is being developed by Treasure so I can’t just dismiss it… My heart will always have a soft spot for the company that created Guardian Heroes and Yuke Yuke Troublemakers.

  • Pedro Furtado

    This looks solid. Feels like Saint Seiya meets Monster Hunter. I’ll be surprised if it does too badly.

    • British_Otaku

      Fundamentally, all of these games…

      Youkai Watch (LBX and Inazuma Eleven are recent veterans from Level 5), Hero Bank, Gyrozetter and Gaist Crusher look promising and have some good ideas and even aim to get marketed through multimedia (manga, anime, iOS), but not all of them do well regardless of resembling things kids may find cool perhaps because of over-saturation.

      Gaist Crusher (December 5th) could easily be brilliant and do poorly, especially when One Piece (November 21st), Toriko (Winter 2013), Monster Hunter (next week) and Pokemon (October 12th) have games coming out soon and have an impact on the market for a while. Naturally this means things will be tougher for Hero Bank come it’s launch on December 19th, probably when Youkai Watch would be getting trailers and major promotion for it’s anime if that means anything… >_>

      New IPs have to get lucky to some degree.

      EDIT: I felt like mentioning Hero Bank’s date as everything in the post can apply to it too.

      • Solomon_Kano

        Ah! Hero Bank! That’s the Sega one.

  • Musashi234

    With only 146mil in the Bank you Better hope your game succeeds!

  • Zantetsuken_Gilgamesh

    I don’t expect much from Capcom, they will push for mobile gaming. Still upset with them over Breath of Fire 6.

    • http://shadious.tumblr.com/ Vince

      I think they’re doing what they seen is to be feasible and profitable nowadays, regardless of consumer or fan criticisms.

  • WyattEpp

    “…will no doubt be put to good use once it has been established.”
    No doubts? None? Even when Capcom is involved?

    But nevertheless, mention of fabulous Treasure has piqued my interest…

  • Lionxie

    “Megaman Legends Styled”

    So why not MML3!? The fuuu

    • British_Otaku

      It’s a description written by Ishaan which I imagine will be less on the ball than accusations of E.X. Troopers (which I recommend importing or asking Capcom to localise here: http://www.capcom-unity.com/capcom_games_discussion/go/thread/view/7341/30030505/ex-troopers-localization-support-topic-ps3-3ds-title) which at the least was a third person shooter with a focus on locking onto enemies.

      I want MML3 to be finished, but throwing your spite at Capcom’s every move and a good title which is completely separate from your concerns isn’t very productive. Ideally, Capcom would realise that they are in a corner and dedicate their funds from this and MH4 towards Legends 3 along with a good BoF, Viewtiful Joe, Resident Evil and Megaman X successor but for now look at what’s important.

      • Ben Sylvia

        How do you know it’s a good title?

        Are you a wiazrd?

        • British_Otaku

          I may be a “wiazrd”…

          Either way, I’m putting my faith in this because Treasure (the developers) have proven themselves both with their own original IP and with licensed games like Astro Boy Omega Factor.

          I can’t say for sure whether or not it is good, but my claim was aimed to dismissing Legends 3 fans who despise anything from Capcom said to resemble it instead of inviting it AND Legends 3 whether it turns out to be good or bad. E.X. Troopers turned out to be brilliant coming out shortly (relatively speaking) after Legends 3 was cancelled and getting some hatred because of it and a character design looking similar.

    • British_Otaku

      It’s a description written by Ishaan which I imagine will be less on the ball than accusations of E.X. Troopers (which I recommend importing or asking Capcom to localise here: http://www.capcom-unity.com/capcom_games_discussion/go/thread/view/7341/30030505/ex-troopers-localization-support-topic-ps3-3ds-title) which at the least was a third person shooter with a focus on locking onto enemies.

      I want MML3 to be finished, but throwing your spite at Capcom’s every move and a good title which is completely separate from your concerns isn’t very productive. Ideally, Capcom would realise that they are in a corner and dedicate their funds from this and MH4 towards Legends 3 along with a good BoF, Viewtiful Joe, Resident Evil and Megaman X successor but for now look at what’s important.

    • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

      “Mega Man Legends-style aesthetics”. Not the same thing as Mega Man.

  • Bacon_n_Lettuce

    It’s kind of disconcerting when a developer puts their focus for a new project on establishing a brand rather than making something that they genuinely want to make. It sounds like they care more about making something “for the market” rather than for the sake of game player’s/their own pleasure.

    But, hopefully it’ll be an interesting project, and Treasure being involved definitely sounds promising.

  • 60hz

    Treasure.

  • Göran Isacson

    On the one hand I do think this looks like a really cool game, a Monster Hunter light with an aesthetic aimed for the younger audience. On the other hand I dunno how well this game will do considering Capcom’s usual handling of franchises… I HOPE this does well since it looks fun, and hopefully Capcom won’t try to brown-and-realify it to appeal to an audience that isn’t really there for them or want its products.

    • British_Otaku

      This is aimed and targeted at kids at the core (not even mentioning the adaptations aimed at kids to market this game) but aiming to be engaging too, just like all of the series we have been talking about below (Inazuma Eleven, Pokemon, Battle Network, LBX to name a few)…

      There is a higher chance that Capcom would take away the “edge” and make it brighter to reach a wider audience than make a deliberately “DmC/brown-and-realify” version especially with the kind of funds they have right now.

      I agree that Capcom could easily mishandle this franchise like others, but so far when it comes to cases like this, Battle Network and Star Force they are fairly good at repeating their past successes and more or less set the standard for “Going For That Pokemon Money, Not Pokemon, Still Made Mad Money” formula before Level 5 did so with the DS and PSP.

      • Göran Isacson

        Battle Network is indeed a series I have fond memories of. Never played Star Force though, so I don’t know how well they did with those… considering I’ve only heard of “four” games in the series (two technically but they made two different versions of each “plot-game” didn’t they?) I don’t know how profitable that was for them.

        • British_Otaku

          BEWARE: REALLY LONG POST, TAKE YOUR TIME OR WHATEVER. I WAS PLANNING ON TAKING IT EASY THEN READ A LOT OF WIKIPEDIA.

          There were three games actually with multiple versions (3 versions of MMSF1, 2 versions of MMSF2 and MMSF3) for each one, it seems the third one never released outside to Europe so maybe you didn’t notice it because of that or simply the series being lower profile than Battle Network.

          Saleswise, the first one (December 14th 2006) sold 219,171 by the end of the year which sounds pretty good for a few weeks and sold 374,504 in the next year totaling for near 600K JUST in Japan. Serious legs there.

          I can see some sort of decline in the sequels, as Capcom didn’t even localise the 3rd in Europe and the numbers played out like so regardless of nearly an extra month:

          Starforce 2 (Nov 22nd 07): 225,221 by 2007, 291,962 by 2008.
          Starforce 3 (Nov 13th 08): 174,426 by 2008.

          I haven’t played the games either but it seems that they sold pretty well in Japan, but based on the declining interest, Capcom became less interested with time as even if it had an anime and many manga series those weren’t keeping people buying on a yearly basis in stable or increasing numbers.

          Perhaps it’s worth noting that the anime started shortly after Battle Network’s one ended and that most of the serialised manga and anime ended half a year before Starforce 3.

          In closing, I really liked Battle Network too and I should take a proper look at the Star Force games so I can see if there is something wrong with the games or material in question…

          • Göran Isacson

            Man, I did NOT know there was a third! Sales numbers sure looks like depressing reading though- I do wonder if the games just were no good, or if the fanbase just weren’t there anymore.

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