Capcom to cut development time - Report

Total production time for big titles could be halved in attempt to double output from major franchises.

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Capcom is going to dramatically increase its game output, according to a report published today in Japanese financial daily Nikkei. The firm is aiming to cut development time for its main titles from four years to two or three, according to the paper, and so increase its software output for series such as Resident Evil from two major titles annually to three or four.

Capcom is hoping to boost its lineup as well as its bottom line.
Capcom is hoping to boost its lineup as well as its bottom line.

The firm currently employs 900 developers, with around 100 working on each title currently in development, Nikkei claims. Fiscal 2009 was not a particularly good year for Capcom, thanks to its position in various internal development cycles, with sales down 27 percent and profits down 73 percent to ¥21 billion ($240 million). According to Nikkei, Capcom hopes increasing output will help to stabilise the firm's earnings.

The Japanese developer is intending to increase its output by outsourcing more work to studios in North America and Europe. Capcom would not elaborate about what work might be outsourced or if discussions were already underway with specific software houses when contacted by GameSpot. These details follow the company's general indication it would use more outsourcing to shorten development cycles in May, in response to the aforementioned financial results.

The Japanese development house has a number of major titles confirmed to be in the works at the moment. Street Fighter x Tekken was formally announced at Comic-Con last week, along with Street Fighter: Third Strike Online Edition. The firm was also showing off another upcoming crossover fighter at the event in the form of Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Also in the works are a sequel to zombie-bashing action title Dead Rising and a downloadable reboot of the company's famed Mega Man franchise, Mega Man Universe.

Capcom is also branching out into more mobile and social games. In August, the firm is to partner with DeNA, a mobile social networking firm that runs popular Japanese game portal Mobage-town. Mobage-town was launched in 2006 and now boasts over 10 million users.

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