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.