Smurfs save Capcom's financial blues

Social game The Smurfs' Village "served as the driving force in increasing Capcom's financial results" during a quarter that saw profits halved.

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Capcom's profits for the quarter ended September 30 were down 49 percent year-on-year, while its income was down 28.1 percent, the Japanese firm announced today. This decline is even steeper than in the previous quarter, which saw year-on-year declines of 23 percent for profit and 37.2 percent for income. This decline was due to economic factors such as the strengthening yen, the Eurozone crisis, concerns over power shortages and "structural change" in the games industry, and a relative lack of new releases from the firm compared to the same period in 2010.

The Smurfs' Village on Facebook was credited for driving revenue growth.
The Smurfs' Village on Facebook was credited for driving revenue growth.

According to Capcom, both Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D and Monster Hunter Portable 3rd HD Ver. performed "solidly," while Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition and Sengoku Basara: Chronicle Heroes "basically" achieved projected sales. Meanwhile, the latest addition to the Monster Hunter Freedom massively multiplayer online game, Forward 1, "fully leveraged characteristics to enjoy success."

Sales for the Consumer Online Games division were down 41.1 percent year-on-year to ¥18.1 billion ($238 million), while profits fell 50.3 percent to ¥2.25 billion ($29.6 million). Despite the declines, both revenue and profits exceeded Capcom's internal projections.

Mobile and social games provided a bright spot for the publisher, however, with revenue climbing 89 percent to ¥2.58 billion ($33.9 million), and operating income increasing 201 percent to ¥903 million ($11.9 million). The Smurfs' Village, which Capcom launched jointly with Facebook, "served as the driving force in increasing Capcom's financial results," the firm said. It also "contributed greatly to improving Capcom's earning capacity," helping its total download figures for social games to pass the 20 million mark.

Capcom's arcade business also did well, with profits up 67.1 percent year-on-year to ¥1.2 billion. This was thanks to renovations, promotional activity, and a general revitalization of the arcade business "owing to the waning of excessive self-restraint evident immediately after the earthquake," the firm said.

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