While most people know him for spearheading the development of Street Fighter IV, Capcom’s Yoshinori Ono is also the head of the company’s Consumer Games Development Division 2. He currently heads up the development of online game titles such as Monster Hunter Frontier Online, and in an internally-conducted interview, discussed Capcom’s plans to expand into the Asian market.
Capcom will be entering mainland China’s market through Capcom Taiwan Co., Ltd., which was established in 2013 and developed the browser game Onimusha Soul.
The company currently employs 80 staff members but Capcom hope to expand that number to 100 employees in the future. Since being founded, the Taiwan branch has already upgraded to new offices thrice.
Another of Capcom’s strategies is to partner with local talent, such as Tencent, which is developing the free-to-play Monster Hunter Online game in cooperation with the Monster Hunter Frontier team at Capcom. While Tencent handles the actual development, Capcom staff provide supervisory direction on game elements, including design and worldview.
That said, while Monster Hunter Online is an important project for Capcom’s expansion into Asia, Capcom Taiwan will serve as the company’s primary base for expanding into other Asian territories. One of the reasons for this is that the cost of running a company tends to be lower in other Asian territories than in Japan.
“As prices in Taiwan and other Asian countries/regions are lower than in Japan, it is possible to effectively reduce our running costs in Asia, consequently mitigating risks,” Ono says. “Our basic strategy is to make good use of scale advantages in the Chinese market and cost-effectiveness in the Taiwanese market to further increase the awareness of Capcom’s presence in Asia.”
He also states: “We are ready to introduce game titles for casual users in the mainland China market, like mobile game titles through Capcom Taiwan and are planning to regularly launch these types of titles in the market.”