Capcom pursuing Western unions

Publisher shuns Japanese mergers and acquisitions; "all major titles" to be multiplatform.

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While Square Enix, Tecmo, and Koei have been engaged in a mergers and acquisitions dance lately, some Japanese publishers are looking a bit beyond their backyards for potential partners. In its annual report today, Capcom said it will be "actively pursuing friendly acquisitions and partnerships" as part of its strategy to aggressively expand its overseas presence.

"In order to ensure stable and sustained growth, we must expand our business in the larger size overseas market where there is ample room for growth," the company said in its report. "We therefore have no plans to merge with any major Japanese video game publishers or toy manufacturers in the foreseeable future since it is unlikely to contribute to sales expansion overseas. Such a merger could also restrict our licensing business opportunities."

Currently Japan accounts for 53 percent of Capcom's home game sales, with North America the second biggest contributor at 28 percent and Europe at 19 percent. For the future, Capcom's stated goal is to derive half of its home software sales from North America, with Europe up to 30 percent of the total and its native Japan contributing just 20 percent.

Capcom pointed to a handful of recent successes as examples of games with greater global appeal. Dead Rising sold only 50,000 copies in Japan, but racked up sales of 1.35 million overseas. Likewise, Lost Planet's 150,000 Japanese sales were dwarfed by the rest of the world's total of 2 million copies sold.

"The home video game market was originally focused on Japan but that is a thing of the past," the company said. "Nowadays, the main focus has shifted overseas and the video game industry is expanding worldwide."

In a blow to system loyalists everywhere, the publisher also recommitted itself to multiplatform development. Despite the outcry among some gamers when Capcom's anticipated PlayStation 3 exclusive Devil May Cry 4 was announced for the Xbox 360 as well, the publisher said that "all major titles launched during the next fiscal year or thereafter will be developed as multiplatform games."

Capcom has stressed its focus on multiplatform titles numerous times in the past, touting its "MT Framework" software designed to accommodate development across the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC. The Wii is also well within Capcom's multiplatform strategy, as evidenced by adapted ports of games like Dead Rising and Resident Evil 4.

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