Capcom makes Beeline for social mobile market

New brand to focus on microtransaction-driven smartphone games; eight new titles planned in the next year.

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While Capcom is best known for hardcore gaming franchises like Street Fighter, Resident Evil, and Mega Man, the Japanese publisher is eager to expand its footprint in the casual space. To that end, the company today announced the formation of Beeline, a new publishing brand focused on microtransaction-driven games for smartphones.

Smurfs' Village far exceeded Capcom's smurfiest revenue projections.
Smurfs' Village far exceeded Capcom's smurfiest revenue projections.

Beeline will start with offices in Los Angeles, Toronto, London, and Tokyo, as well as a slate of eight titles planned for release by the March 2012 end of Capcom's fiscal year. The publisher will continue to release games based on its existing lineup of hardcore franchises under the Capcom label, with Capcom Interactive president and COO Midori Yuasa noting in a statement that the company "recognizes that the market for social smartphone games is very different from our core video game business."

Capcom has already enjoyed some success in the smartphone segment with the launches of Smurfs' Village, Zombie Cafe, and Lil' Pirates, which the publisher says have been downloaded more than 15 million times put together. Smurfs' Village has been the highest-grossing app in 55 countries, has also been released on Facebook, and has helped push Capcom's mobile revenues for the first nine months of its last fiscal year to ¥8.73 billion ($106 million).

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