Capcom midterm earnings mixed, Lost Planet Colonies resurfaces

Rise in six-month revenue doesn't prevent losses; German ratings board lists possible spin-off or sequel for 360.

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Capcom today reported earnings for the six months ending on September 30, 2007, and the numbers painted a mixed picture. On one hand, revenues for the period increased 6.6 percent year-over-year to total ¥31.1 billion ($276.3 million), thanks to stronger than expected sales of Monster Hunter 2 and Resident Evil 4 Wii Edition.

On the other hand, the company's ¥1.6 billion ($14.2 million) in net income was a 16.3 percent decrease from the same period in 2006. One of the biggest culprits was a dramatic fall in Capcom's revenue from arcades, which plummeted 68.9 percent from ¥4.3 billion ($38.2 million) to ¥1.4 billion ($12.4 million) during the six month period.

"Consumer game software is one of our core business segments, and the favorable performance of this segment played a leading role in overall sales growth," the company said in a statement. For the full year ending March 31, 2008, it expects ¥78 billion ($693.1 million) in net revenue and ¥6.2 billion ($55 million) in net income, up from ¥74.5 billion ($661.8 million) and 5.9 billion ($52.4 million) the prior fiscal year.

The decline in profit was in part due to the fact that one of Capcom's biggest hits of calendar 2007, Lost Planet: Extreme Condition for the Xbox 360, launched during its last fiscal year on January 12, 2007. The PC version went on sale June 26, during its current fiscal year but only sold 12,620 units as of August 31 in the US, according to the NPD Group. (By comparison, the 360 version sold 652,951 copies.)

Despite the poor performance of the PC Lost Planet, Capcom plans on launching a PlayStation 3 version of the game in the first three months of 2008. This week also saw further evidence of a sequel--or spin-off--to the sci-fi shooter to surface in Europe. The Underhaltungselbskontrolle (USK)--Germany's answer to the Entertainment Software Ratings Board--now has a listing for an Xbox 360 third-person shooter called "Lost Planet Colonies." The game is rated as being suitable for gamers 16 years of age or older.

If that name sounds familiar, it's because Capcom trademarked the title "Lost Planet Colonies" earlier this year with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. On September 18, the trademark was granted for "video game software," but no details about platform or genre were given. Contradicting rumors peg the game as either a straight sequel to Lost Planet or a spin-off centering on tactical combat. Capcom has not commented on the rumors, but company representatives have publicly said a sequel is likely.

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