Capcom to cut development time - Report

Total production time for big titles could be halved in attempt to double output from major franchises.

Capcom is going to dramatically increase its game output, according to a report published today in Japanese financial daily Nikkei. The firm is aiming to cut development time for its main titles from four years to two or three, according to the paper, and so increase its software output for series such as Resident Evil from two major titles annually to three or four.

Capcom is hoping to boost its lineup as well as its bottom line.

The firm currently employs 900 developers, with around 100 working on each title currently in development, Nikkei claims. Fiscal 2009 was not a particularly good year for Capcom, thanks to its position in various internal development cycles, with sales down 27 percent and profits down 73 percent to ¥21 billion ($240 million). According to Nikkei, Capcom hopes increasing output will help to stabilise the firm's earnings.

The Japanese developer is intending to increase its output by outsourcing more work to studios in North America and Europe. Capcom would not elaborate about what work might be outsourced or if discussions were already underway with specific software houses when contacted by GameSpot. These details follow the company's general indication it would use more outsourcing to shorten development cycles in May, in response to the aforementioned financial results.

The Japanese development house has a number of major titles confirmed to be in the works at the moment. Street Fighter x Tekken was formally announced at Comic-Con last week, along with Street Fighter: Third Strike Online Edition. The firm was also showing off another upcoming crossover fighter at the event in the form of Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Also in the works are a sequel to zombie-bashing action title Dead Rising and a downloadable reboot of the company's famed Mega Man franchise, Mega Man Universe.

Capcom is also branching out into more mobile and social games. In August, the firm is to partner with DeNA, a mobile social networking firm that runs popular Japanese game portal Mobage-town. Mobage-town was launched in 2006 and now boasts over 10 million users.

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163 comments
NintendoMan14
NintendoMan14

Capcom is making a mistake trying to rush their best games using outsourcing, they will try to get a cheap outsourcing developer that will do a pretty crappy game with many bugs just because capcom wants to output more games in a year than they do now, but if the quality of the games is lower, the cost will increase since many of the fans won't buy at retail price, so what I think, the best is to give it some time to plot a nice game with a solid storyline and game play

kenmanius
kenmanius

$240 million profit doesn't sound that bad for a company that relied on rehashed 2d fighting games for so many years. And to some degree still does. They haven't had a whole that was special since the ps1 Resident Evil days.

jefferson1964
jefferson1964

well sounds good, hope the quality and depth of the games does not suffer due to the screws being put to the development teams

KamikazeCanuck
KamikazeCanuck

Pretty sure gamers are universal in their opinion that they'd rather wait longer for a better game. So good job Capcom.

mattinavat
mattinavat

Headline: "Capcom plans to burn out fans on crap games, cites desire to rape own IPs" They'll produce more, at lower quality, and count on branding to sell it. The damage they do to their IP reputations will get people as excited about RE as they are now about Sonic. Oh, and they'll fire a lot of people for working on games that sucked.

djr1118
djr1118

@richardthe3rd: you couldnt be more right... ok lets think about this, do we really want to spend money on 1 RE game then finish it n say eh i hope the next one is better...then the next RE game comes out the same year n is still a meh game n still we are left thinking i hope the next one is better....you get the point i get people are impatient with things but the now i hope devs push games back that i am excited for cuz at least then i know (or can assume) they are working on fine tuning the game for the best possible experience not just getting copies on shelves for cash then throw some dlc out there to basically fix the game which now costs gamers like 80-100 bucks after all is said n done umm side note look at one of the games on the left side Spiderman shattered dimentions; look at when web of shodow came out (friend or foe dont count lol) and the ones before it..they had time to live before a sequel was rushed out...... as for sports games the new stats argument is CRAP! those new stats can be added through a patch or something id imagine they seem to just go back n forth with the controls in sports games to give the illusion of changing the control scheme

grey_fox1984
grey_fox1984

I'm fine with this- 4 RE games a year just means 1 solid PS3/360 game and probably 3 broken Wii shooters that no one will buy because most Wii owners aren't old enough to buy M rated games and those that are just use Wii fit thinking it'll actually work.

anthonycg
anthonycg

It actually has "Activision" written all over it. Not good;

Richardthe3rd
Richardthe3rd

Dev cycles need to slow down, not speed up. This has "Huge Mistake" written all over it.

tainted_lynx
tainted_lynx

EA sucks. Their customer support blows, their servers blow, their rules suck(get banned on forums, get banned from online gaming), and they're greedy jerks. Same for Activision & Ubisoft. Square Enix & Eidos are getting worse too.

tainted_lynx
tainted_lynx

@thumbsdown01x That's because some people are stupid. EA pulls the same crap year after year. It's not how a sports game should be, it's about how a game should be, period. A game should be polished, tested, something true to the cause. Not a rushed rehash.

onthe_dl
onthe_dl

capcon doesn't even come close to making some of the better games out there. Take your time making a game, all the best developers take their time creating deep story and background for a better playing experience. You cannot replicate that in just a years work. and dead rising was fun because it was one of the first titles on xbox. really looks like they didn't change much of the core gameplay from the first. Don't expect this title to sell many copies especially around the Q4 release frame

Philly1UPer
Philly1UPer

I really hope this bites them in the ass. I understand some people get mad when a game gets delayed and such. But it gets delayed for a reason. TO ensure that everyone gets a great game, with little to no flaws.

Philly1UPer
Philly1UPer

@ Morphine_OD You obviously haven't played Marvel vs Capcom and Marvel vs Capcom 2.

thumbsdown01x
thumbsdown01x

The Street Fighter and Super Street Fighter IV games managed to revive and essentially kill off the fighting games genre in one swoop. I'll leave it to Marvel vs Capcom 3 to finish off what is left of it. And finally, Tekken vs Street Fighter to suffer the consequences. By consequences, I mean potential FLOP.

thumbsdown01x
thumbsdown01x

@stakex007 @jamyskis People buy sports games because it has the latest updates for their latest athletes. I'm not sure if "fresh gameplay" is so much their goal as, to play as a new draft pick or their enhanced stats. As for Call of Duty. Keep in mind that many people buying these products may not be AWARE that they are the essentially the same product before purchasing it. They see a new game in a series they like, so they get excited to buy it. A new release arrives, and they hope its something new so they get it. Fighting games on the other hand... well people are already aware of the crap they pull.

Morphine_OD
Morphine_OD

tekken vs street fighter is gonna be a flop all the crossovers are

Novemberfreeze
Novemberfreeze

This sounds extremely dangerous. Even though years do seperate a game from its prequel, they've almost always have been somewhat successful. If they rush...well I'll put my faith in Capcom and pray they don't follow Activision.

BlueFlameBat
BlueFlameBat

I'd rather have a few good titles than a bunch of lousy ones, but then I'm not a greedy multi-billion-dollar corporation that charges extra in terms of "DLC" for content that is already in the game. And no, I am not likely to let the (Super) Street Fighter IV costume incident go any sooner than people are willing to get over Acclaim having to censor Mortal Kombat 1 on SNES.

-expletive-
-expletive-

CAPCOM: "In light of our current financial situation, we are hereby moving up the release date of MvC3 to... yesterday." But seriously, if this means a new Darkstalkers title before my fighting game reflexes go to hell with age, I suppose that is the silver lining on the dark cloud of rushed product...

drew36chambers
drew36chambers

@toysoldier34. the reality is companies make alot of money and people dont seem to notice they are playing the same game with a different title. Also, the video game format lends itself to sequels. its a shame because the sequels can often worsen the franchise. we have rays of light here and there such as ueda, miyamoto and kojima. however even kojima seems to be incapable of 'letting go'.

beny_pimpster
beny_pimpster

you want to earn more profit release megaman legends 3 on 3ds that will boost your profit. and hurry up the production of marvel vs capcom 3.:)

stakex007
stakex007

@jamyskis - Unfortunatlly you're right. People complain about companies like Activision and EA yet those same people support them by buying their new content lacking and under developed sequals every year. Call of Duty is great example. MW2 was a game that has made near zero development progress sicne the days of United Offensive aside from graphics of course. It had a bearly 4 hour long single player campaign, and all but recycled MP with virtually no major additions... yet it was $60 full release game. A few years ago a developer wouldn't try and release an expansion with so little new content... and yet today people act like its the second coming of gaming.Its people who buy games like MW2, Halo 3, the new GH's, and yearly copies of EA sports games that are to blame for the sad state of games today and the lack of new and innovative titles. As long as major publishers and developers can get away with re-wrapping and selling the same game every year with minimal new content, they are going to do it. The only thing thats going to stop them are people speaking up with their wallets.Capcom on the other hand is a touch different, at least as far as RE is concerned. The first five major RE games came out in six year and the last two took seven. While Im not a fan of rushed games, four years for a game built on a pre-existing engine is a long dev time. So for RE capcom has a point for wanting to speed up development a touch. Three years would likely be fine.

TrueIori
TrueIori

more rushed game woot crapcom. Awesome sauce

Coolyfett
Coolyfett

Coolyfett loves when they release games for the PSP...Capcon titles on PSP are always pretty good. Coolyfett likes what they do.

jamyskis
jamyskis

@zar144 I wish you were right, I really do. In a previous comment I made a sarcastic reference about EA and Activision's tendency to knock out franchise instalments at extremely regular intervals with little improvement or innovation. It would be great if bad practices by the industry were punished by the community and good practices rewarded, but unfortunately there is too much of a sheep mentality among the game-buying public that results in them buying every year's instalment of a new title at full price with little regard for the quality. Why, for example, do people insist on buying the new FIFA every year? Why do people buy the new Call of Duty every year at full price? It has nothing to do with quality. It is to do with brand affiliation and Capcom have clued in on this.

zar144
zar144

This can result in 2 different scenarios: 1.- Releasing more games but with good quality will give more popularity to games like Resident Evil and Devil May Cry, therefore there will be more plans for those games in the future and they will have a longer ''life''. 2.-Releasing more games but with low quality will result in bad sales and bad popularity, therefore the sudden end or cancelation of the games affected by what was previously mentioned. ...I really hope that Capcom knows what he's doing.

snailz
snailz

This is great news for any small, upstart studio outside of Japan. Gives them a chance to show their talent with a big name game like RE. Look what happened with Retro when Nintendo gave them Metroid. Of course, it could all go horribly wrong like it did with Silent Hill.

jamyskis
jamyskis

How many times can you say "EA, Activision" back to back?

thepyrethatburn
thepyrethatburn

This......sounds like a really bad idea. It won't help their finances if game quality suffers and they sell fewer games as a result. Also, given the recession, are gamers really going to be able to afford twice as many even if the games still retain their quality?

Quezakolt
Quezakolt

Sounds bad. There already are way too many games around. I don't know why they want to release faster in a bad worldwide economy. Maybe lots of rushed games make more money than a few polished ones, in their predictions.

Toysoldier34
Toysoldier34

@drew36chambers The Wii and casual gamers that have never played a good game and don't know what they play sucks because it's all they know...

edwise18
edwise18

Great. More rushed games that will end up being garbage. *sigh*

Timstuff
Timstuff

NOOOOOOOOOO Capcom please don't go the way of Activision!

WickedWeavile
WickedWeavile

I'm hoping this means that RE6 definitely won't be taking eight years to complete now?

BangaaPride
BangaaPride

Is Capcom in some kind of trouble that they need this much money all at once? Business is business, but hasty output hurts more than it does good. They've been incredibly hyper on all of their titles lately that I'm starting to get...burnt out.

kejigoto
kejigoto

You'd think a company that has had trouble getting some hits out would be putting MORE time into development.....

vgbum
vgbum

This is a good move. More RE's and less Dark Void and Lost Planet.

noahalford123
noahalford123

i cant wait till marvel vs capcom 3 comes out

boobush
boobush

The old EA did this; now everyone thinks of the old EA and the new one as the same.

Scottopia
Scottopia

Capcom is one of those companies that I think can pull something like this off. They're talented, and they know the types of games that they release. There may not be any ground breaking titles coming from them, but at least the ones that are coming should be solid.

secretgamer666
secretgamer666

It is good because game releases are going to be more frequent, but this move could be extremely risky. I just hope it doesn't show to much in the products they put out. As I would rather wait and get quality, rather than a little wait and get a rushed job. Hopefully their games will be just as good as usual.

Aentikraist
Aentikraist

release Devil may cry 5 gofdaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaam!!!!!! where the hell is that i mean ahhhh capcom why u leep that franchise now like u want to kill it!!!!1 does disney bought u or something???

yeebsey
yeebsey

hopefully this wont mean twice the ammount of shoddy games but we are yet to see. would prefer studios would only make one game a year if it meant it was 9/10 every time. for me though sadly there hasnt been much from capcom in recent years that have impressed me and i lost a lot of faith in them after re5 which for me was as big a disapointment for me as being made redundant

ALTAIR360
ALTAIR360

Release a RE like RE4 and a DMC like DMC3 and you will be on top again.

buttons2010
buttons2010

They should out source projects to Team Ninja, Platinum Games, Treasure, Sega, Travellers Tales and Valve. If they worked very closely with these teams then they could create some incredible games!