Capcom rides Monster Hunter to Q2 gains

Japanese publisher pulls in $315 million during July-September quarter, with net income spiking 16.8 percent thanks to 2.5M-unit-selling PSP hack-and-slash.

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The July-September fiscal quarter has been hit or miss for gaming companies across the board, with some admirably weathering the current hostile economic climate while others attempt to trim losses by reducing their workforce. Today, Capcom revealed that it stood firmly in the former category.

Reporting on its second-quarter earnings, Capcom exclaimed that while revenues saw a marginal 0.4 percent uptick from a year ago to ¥31.2 billion ($315 million), net income soared 16.8 percent year-over-year to ¥1.9 billion ($19 million). Operating income also saw gains of 9.8 percent, rising to ¥3.4 billion ($34 million).

As it did last quarter, Capcom once again singled out Monster Hunter Freedom 2G as having the most substantial impact on its bottom line, saying that the game "drastically increased both sales and profits." Released in Japan on March 27, the widely popular hack-and-slash PSP game has now exceeded 2.5 million units in total sales. In all, Capcom's Home Video Games segment generated an operating income of ¥3.6 billion ($38.6 million) on revenues of ¥16.5 billion ($167 million), a 1 percent year-over-year climb.

Otherwise, it was the same old story for Capcom, which again saw a significant portion of its gains in the home-gaming business offset by its struggling arcade business. Although arcade sales actually rose 7.4 percent to ¥6.8 billion ($68 million), operating profit plummeted 66.1 percent to ¥231 million ($2.3 million). This result came despite Capcom's efforts to provide "clean, bright, and fun arcades."

"We struggled in this area due to a lack of strong sales-inducing machines, intensified interregional competition, and a decrease in both the number of customer visits and average customer spending," said the publisher in a statement. "We are expecting this severe business environment for the arcade operation to continue, and the recovery of this market will take some time."

Even if less people are showing up to arcades in Japan, Capcom still generated hefty sales of actual arcade cabinets, thanks in no small part to the Japanese release of Street Fighter IV. Along with Sengoku BASARA X and Fate/Unlimited Codes, the game led Capcom's Arcade Game Sales segment to revenues of ¥4.1 billion ($41.5 million), up a whopping 196 percent from a year ago.

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