Capcom declares losses, shelves 18 games

Sales of key games fall short of original expectations.

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According to Bloomberg Japan, Capcom has declared 19.5 billion yen ($163 million) in losses for its 2002 fiscal year. While its losses where originally estimated at 12.7 billion yen ($106 million), Capcom explained that its major titles sold below expectations. Biohazard 0 (Resident Evil 0) for the Nintendo GameCube was expected to sell 1.42 million copies but sold only 1.12 million. Devil May Cry 2 for the Sony PlayStation 2 sold 1.4 million copies instead of the expected 1.66 million. Clock Tower 3, which was also released for the PlayStation 2, sold 250,000 copies instead of the expected 450,000. Capcom released Chaos Legion (PS2) and P.N. 03 (GC) in March as part of an effort to meet its sales goals for the year, but the sales of the additional games did not offset its losses.

The company's losses were also attributed to the cancellation of projects that were not likely to be profitable. Capcom has terminated 18 games out of approximately 100 currently in development. This is the first time that Capcom has canceled nearly 20 percent of its projects. The development funds spent on these terminated projects will be declared as special losses, totaling 5 billion yen ($41 million). No specific games were revealed in the cancellation announcement.

Capcom vice president Heiji Oshima said that one of the reasons for the decline in sales was some of its titles simply didn't suit the market's demand. From now on, Capcom will strengthen its evaluation structure in order to better assess projects before they go into development. Capcom will also begin to frequently evaluate games in the middle of their development and immediately cancel any projects that may not suit the interests of the market.

Oshima also said that Capcom currently does not have any plans to merge with another company, although he does not know about the future. Oshima believes that Capcom has enough competitive edge to survive on its own at the current time.

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