Capcom goes Hollywood

Publisher considering more movie-based games as a way to bring in broader audiences and offset escalating game costs.

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There has been overlap between the game and film industries for some time, but Capcom wants to take that relationship one step further. The publisher will be expanding its presence in Los Angeles, and is considering bringing staff over from its Japanese headquarters in order to better secure movie licences for games, its senior vice president of licensing, Germaine Gioia, told The Hollywood Reporter.

The company hired Gioia, formerly VP of licensing at THQ, to work with movie studios to find properties that will work well as games. The reason behind this initiative is the rising costs for game development on next-gen platforms, which can reach between $10-12 million per title, Gioia said. With development costs that high, Capcom wants to reach as broad an audience as possible--and movie tie-ins are one way of doing this.

"I think it is becoming clear that the very largest successful publishers are delivering more and more of a balance to the marketplace," Gioia said. "They need [not only] their own intellectual property and good solid original development but [also] licensed product that can reach across cultures."

Gioia said that Capcom wouldn't be abandoning its core gaming franchises. However, games based on Hollywood licenses would be created by the same development teams as Capcom's original properties.

While the company is not known for movie-based games, Capcom is not a complete stranger to Hollywood. Its Resident Evil franchise has already spawned two movies: 2002's Resident Evil and its 2004 sequel, Resident Evil: Apocalypse. There is a third movie currently in postproduction, which is due to be released later this year. The company is also working with Hyde Park Entertainment on a new Street Fighter movie featuring Chun Li as the central character. The film rights to Onimusha and Devil May Cry have also been sold by the company.

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