Capcom have been fairly quiet regarding the development of Deep Down, their upcoming free-to-play action RPG. The game was originally announced in February 2013 for the PlayStation 4, and since then, updates on the title have been fairly sparse, with little indication as to when the game will be released.
Deep Down is part of Capcom’s push into games with a heavy online component. It’s also their first major big-budget free-to-play game, and is being developed alongside an entirely new engine called “Panta Rhei,” which will facilitate development for the latest hardware.
During a recent shareholders meeting, Capcom were asked to comment on the fact that the free-to-play approach can be very risky, and were also asked if one could expect to see the game contribute to the company’s earnings this fiscal year (ie; by March 31st, 2015).
“We understand that there are some risks, partly because ‘deep down’ is our first free-to-play game for a next-generation console,” a Capcom representative replied. “But we believe that risk taking to some extent is required in part because this title is the starting point for our growth in content sales for next-generation consoles.”
“Furthermore, a business model in which we do not simply sell games has the advantage of giving us access to feedback from users. We are able to use that information to solve issues, so we plan to continue to refine and update “deep down” for some time.”
Regarding the earnings question, Capcom stated: We have not decided when to launch this title. But since we will use the free-to-play business model, earnings will probably be small in the first fiscal year regardless of when we start this service because of depreciation expenses. We anticipate earnings from this title for longer term starting in the following fiscal year.”
Deep Down was mysteriously absent from both E3 and San Diego Comic-Con this year, with both events placing Capcom’s Monster Hunter 4 in the spotlight instead. Earlier in the year, Capcom’s Yoshinori Ono stated that the game was taking time to create because Capcom were monitoring user feedback during the development process.
“I’m also listening to all the complaints,” Ono said. “And for this reason, we’re currently working hard on something that will make you guys think, ‘Oh, so that’s why it took so long!'”