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Capcom Is In Danger

Most of you by now must have heard that Capcom is in a lot of financial trouble. reports that Capcom currently has only $152 million in the bank, and that's chump change for a major 3rd party developer/publisher like Capcom. It isn't hard to see that this could mean another THQ situation could be happening soon. Read the full article here.

So what's Capcom's answer to this? DLC and mobile games.

Let's tackle DLC first.

"I regret to say that, up to now, we had few plans for the full-scale implementation of DLC," said COO Haruhiro Tsujimoto. "From here on out, we need to focus on the long-term provision of content starting at the earliest stages of development. Furthermore, in terms of user response, if the additional related content we are providing continually to users online is deemed uninteresting from the start, there will be no ongoing business to pursue. This means that, more than ever before, the creation of underlying content is the key to success."

Capcom, part of your problem isn't the lack of DLC. It's the inclusion of it. On-disc DLC to be specific. You cut content from the game and put it on the disc to make people pay for it later. With the exception of fighting game fans, and I'll get to you lot in a second, no one is dumb enough to take that kind of abuse from you and that's why people steer clear of it. Quality DLC that really does add to the game and is worth a fair price is one thing, disc-locked content that has an extra character available to be played but locked until you pay for it is another.

That brings me to the fighting game fans I mentioned. You lot are part of the problem, not part of the solution. By accepting being milked by Capcom, you are showing them that they can get away with half-assed DLC and marginally upgraded re-releases of ONE game. Buying all the versions of Street Fighter 4 shows Capcom that they don't really need to focus on anything else if they have blind SF fans to milk continuously. They know they don't have to put much effort into each new version of the same game because you'll buy it anyway. Stop helping them make bad decisions.

Next up is mobile.

"Today's mobile game industry is a world apparently full of dreams about making a fortune off a hit game. But if the hit is just a one-off, success is transient. For Capcom, it is crucial to maintain and deepen the user support we have worked so hard to earn up to now. We believe we can outperform other companies as long as we are able to continue this approach. This kind of strategy is already beginning to be implemented in Europe and North America, and we don't intend to be left behind. I keep coming back to this point, but the essence of a game's value is derived from it content-its worldview and characters, etc. Only companies that understand this and are able to continue providing customer satisfaction will be able to survive."

Now I'm assuming that mobile in this instance means mobile phones and not handhelds. When we hear about a major developer focusing more on mobile gaming, it is usually met with a mixed reception. Many are ok with it, others see it as an attempt at being lazy, greedy (microtransactions), and just trying to make an easy buck. I personally don't think that focusing on mobile is going to help Capcom at all. Every time I see people gaming on their phones, it's always games like variants of Bejeweled or something quick like that. So unless Capcom is going to make a Resident Evil Card Battle game (which they now will do, you're welcome), I don't see this helping them.

On the other hand, if they are talking about handheld devices like the 3DS or Vita, then it's only prudent to bring up that that's just a trend that developers who've lost their way are flocking to. Look at the focus Japanese devs put on the handhelds. Part of it is definitely culturally based, and it's also smart for business considering the install base of the 3DS. But it's also an obvious move towards making games that cost little and make a lot in return. This helps Capcom in one area, but won't save them. If their focus becomes more about handhelds, then that looks like less attention is being paid to console offerings which is what the bulk of their fanbase are looking for.

Capcom, the problem isn't DLC or a need to focus on "growing" fields within the industry. The problem is you. You are like many Japanese developers. Set in your ways, and refusing to listen to fan feedback. That is a plague that has hit most of your fellow Japanese studios and one that needs to change. If you don't believe me, then take a look at FromSoftware. They have been a beacon of hope coming out of Japan and one of their most endearing qualities is that they listen to fans, and even involve them in their work sometimes. The Dark Souls PC version, and shield design contest spring to mind; and now they are even having beta tests for Dark Souls 2.

You cancelled like 4 MegaMan games when the fans were clamoring for them. You turned Resident Evil into a generic shooter to Westernize it because, instead of listening to the fans that said "we love the survival horror aspect," you listened to Call of Duty money. You outsourced Devil May Cry to a mediocre, and undeservedly arrogant, 3rd party development studio who proceeded to butcher the title and insult its beloved Past. You milk Street Fighter 4 to the point of lunacy, you won't bring Monster Hunter to consoles, and you won't revive some of your past beloved franchises like Onimusha.

The problem is YOU Capcom. People are tired of your greed and how deaf you are to fan feedback and that's why your games are failing, that's why people have boycotted you, that's why you now only have $152 million in the bank. If you want to change your fortunes, start from scratch and listen to what people actually want to buy. Looking at dollar figures means nothing in an industry as fluid and unpredictable as the gaming industry.

You have a forum. Read the posts. You have a twitter, read those too. Take a hint from companies like Sony who have executives that actively engage the userbase. Maybe then you'll be able to make something people will be inspired to by and fall in love with.

DLC and Mobile aren't the answer Capcom, and you're the problem.

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PopRocks3591675d ago

Personally, I really want Capcom to get their act together and be more successful. A publisher with Capcom's resume and history shouldn't be this close to financial ruin.

But if they fizzle out and die then good riddance. They have burned so many developers and gamers with their crappy business practices that it's deserved. I just hope the developers under their wing are swiftly able to find alternative jobs with better publishers and developers.

Honestly, DLC and mobile is the answer? Please Capcom; you're so out of touch YOU don't even know WHY you're fizzling out.

DragonKnight1675d ago

"Honestly, DLC and mobile is the answer? Please Capcom; you're so out of touch YOU don't even know WHY you're fizzling out."

Exactly. They don't even seem to care that they're out of touch either.

FriedGoat1673d ago

The answer was to not back the WiiU with Monster Hunter. Too late now though.

Godmars2901675d ago (Edited 1675d ago )

The problem is the current console gen. That Capcom failed to discover their "COD" while also being unable to develop old IP like DMC successfully HD.

The problem is that for some reason companies such as Capcom, Square, and even MS, completely ignore internet chatter. Somehow it just fails to register to them that many complaining nerds are customers with intent to buy their product.

DragonKnight1675d ago

It isn't really the current console gen. I say that because of developers like FromSoftware who've amassed a sizeable following thanks to their innovation and generally just listening to what fans want. You know they say "games are too easy" and thought "let's make one that's not." It's just Capcom are part of the old school Japanese developers that think they can do no wrong.

Godmars2901675d ago (Edited 1675d ago )

Yeah, what I said. Fromsoft discovered "their" COD.

They didn't listen to fans, because fans weren't asking for something which was punishingly fun, they found something which gamers didn't know that they wanted and presented it in a form which they could make a decent profit off of it. And that took them a good part of the current gen to figure out.

DragonKnight1675d ago

I have to disagree with you there. Fans were asking for less casualization in games and From delivered that with Demon's Souls. They listened to fans with a PC version of Dark Souls. They included fans in shield design contests and now beta tests for Dark Souls 2.

DivineHand1251674d ago

I not saying that the typical none gamer is being vocal on the internet about video games. What I saying is that there is a group of people who started out as being gamers that are now spending most of their free time commenting on articles, videos, pod casts etc. about which console is better or how much specs this hardware has or how much this product is selling instead of playing games. A person only has so much free time and for someone to be dedicating 4 - 6 hrs per day in between these sites paints a clear picture of how much time they spend gaming unless they work in the industry.
Secondly how dare you say I'm spending too much time on n4g when my activity on this site is nothing but a drop in the pond compared to yours.

wishingW3L1675d ago (Edited 1675d ago )

true man. DMC reboot was the first DMC game that I did not buy and every single person I know that was a fan didn't buy it either. In fact, you can see that not many were happy with DMC when you take a look at its poor sales.

But what was funny was seeing fans hating, the media damage controlling for Capcom and antagonizing the fans. When was the last time you've seen something like this happen? The entire media (and that includes reviews) are nothing but cheap PR for game publishers.

At the end of the day it looks like Capcom is being run by monkeys. They do surveys at every chance they have and for what? They don't listen! They are just lucky that the MH franchise is huge in Japan if not they would have gone bankruptcy a long time ago. Because these days all they do with their big budget IPs is look at what's big in the west like Elder Scrolls and COD to copy it. And not to mention that they let all their talent like Inafune, Kamiya and Mikami to slip away. Kamiya even said in an interview a long time ago that he begged Capcom to let him do another DMC after the first game and you know what they did? They said no to him and gave the franchise to another guy, and that's how the abomination called DMC2 was born.

DivineHand1251675d ago (Edited 1675d ago )

"The problem is that for some reason companies such as Capcom, Square, and even MS, completely ignore internet chatter. Somehow it just fails to register to them that many complaining nerds are customers with intent to buy their product."

That statement you made is not completely true. Many of you might not have noticed but the majority of the people talking about video games on the internet does not even play games. They spend the majority of their free time on the internet going back and forth about which console is better or rant about the bad decisions a company might be making instead of playing any games or if they do play some games, the time spent playing is much less than the time they spend browsing articles, videos etc. This puts many companies like the ones you have mentioned that are on thin ice in a very tough situation when making decisions based on internet feedback. You might be saying how can they be so stupid by not listening to what their fans are preaching but you can't put all the blame on them when the guys that are complaining are slowly drifting away from being gamers. I remember hearing one time when someone said "it's more fun talking about video games than actually playing them".

DragonKnight1674d ago

"Many of you might not have noticed but the majority of the people talking about video games on the internet does not even play games. They spend the majority of their free time on the internet going back and forth about which console is better or rant about the bad decisions a company might be making instead of playing any games or if they do play some games, the time spent playing is much less than the time they spend browsing articles, videos etc."

Absolutely false, and a ridiculous claim. What reason would a non-gamer have to come onto a gaming forum and argue about consoles and games? That's absolutely ludicrous and, if anything, shows that you have spent too much time on N4G.

Internet feedback isn't limited. It is diverse and fluid. It is encompassing and vast. When most people come together and say "we don't like this" you can bet that that's a consensus worth listening to. The statement that Capcom, Square, and even MS completely ignore internet chatter is completely accurate and backed up by their collective histories. One can site at least one example of each company not listening.

And if you think that companies would come on to these sites, see people arguing, and think "these people don't play games," I'm sorry to say but you don't know what you're talking about. That's like saying that sports fans that argue about teams online don't watch sports. Or any hobby arguing online for that matter. How you came up with this notion is beyond my ken.

fsfsxii1675d ago

Have you read their recent prediction??? Completely HILARIOUS and sad at the same time.

Asuka1675d ago

the problem isn't capcom, its western gaming. mobile gaming is big in japan, and japan comes first for capcom. Monster Hunter 4 alone is selling like hotcakes on 3ds. eastern gaming does not see dlc and microtrans as a huge issue as it appears to be in the west.

DragonKnight1675d ago

It isn't Western gaming. It's Capcom. Gamers are the same everywhere in that if you make a good game, it'll be bought. If you listen to fans, they'll reward you with cash. I have overplayed this example, but FromSoftware is proof that a Japanese dev can successfully cater to core Western gamers without needing to resort to handheld or mobile titles.

The reason Microtrans. and DLC isn't as big an issue in Japan is because they are the type of gamers that don't see it as being milked, instead they see it as getting more of the game they like. They don't have the same consumer mindsets as the West does, but you can't equate those differences in mindsets as being what Capcom's problem is. Western gamers buy DLC and pay for Microtransactions, but it has to be worthwhile DLC that wasn't cut out from the final game just to be a purchase later on, and microtransactions can't be blatant "pay to win" schemes or people will feel cheated.

Capcom is most definitely their own worst enemy.

Asuka1675d ago

you make some good points there. All i was basically was trying to say is that capcom is mainly focusing on its mobile gaming because that is what's big atm in japan, and they are a japanese company. However, you are correct for they have been neglecting their western base.

As for me stating the west being the problem, i meant it as how the west doesn't embrace mobile gaming as much as the east does. Actually it isn't so much a problem as it is a cultural thing.

All in all i do agree with you. Capcom may be catering to its homefront a lot lately, however it simply cannot ignore its western ventures.

seriously though, i am getting tired of all the monster hunter ports from handhelds. we need a proper new console monster hunter here in the west. sadly monster hunter 4 looks to be another handheld port when it eventually comes to wiiu

DragonKnight1675d ago

Agreed. Capcom is being lazy and it's biting them back hard.

AtomicGerbil1675d ago

Until Capcom acknowledge that they are their own worst enemy they will continue to sink, personally I believe it may be too late for them. We can only hope that their much loved franchises are bought out by more favourable publishers.

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