Capcom Co., Ltd. (Japanese: 株式会社カプコン Hepburn: Kabushiki-gaisha Kapukon?), or Capcom, is a Japanese developer and publisher of video games, known for creating multi-million-selling franchises such as Mega Man, Street Fighter, Resident Evil, Devil May Cry, Ace Attorney, and Monster Hunter, as well as highly successful games based on the Disney animated properties. Originally established in 1979, it has since become an international enterprise with branches and subsidiaries in North America, Europe, and East Asia.
The original companies that spawned Capcom's Japanese branch were I.R.M Corporation founded on May 30, 1979, as well as its subsidiary Japan Capsule Computers Co., Ltd., both of which were devoted to the manufacturing and distribution of electronic game machines. The two companies underwent a name change to Sambi Co., Ltd. in September 1981, while Capcom Co., Ltd. was first established on June 11, 1983, for the purpose of taking over the internal sales department.
In January 1989, the old affiliate company Capcom Co., Ltd. merged with Sambi Co., Ltd., resulting in the current Japanese branch. The name Capcom is a clipped compound of "Capsule Computers", a term coined by the company to describe the arcade machines it solely manufactured in its early years, designed to set themselves apart from personal computers that were becoming widespread at that time. The word capsule alludes to how Capcom likened its game software to "a capsule packed to the brim with gaming fun", as well as to the company's desire to protect its intellectual property with a hard outer shell, preventing illegal copies and inferior imitations.
While Capcom's first product was the coin-operated Little League from July 1983, its first real video game, the arcade title Vulgus, was released in May 1984. Beginning with a Nintendo Entertainment System port of 1942 published in December 1985, the company started to venture into the market of home console video games, which became its main business segment a few years later. Since then, Capcom created 15 multi-million-selling game series, the most successful of which is Resident Evil.
In 1994, Capcom adapted its Street Fighter series of fighting games into a film of the same name. While commercially successful, the production received almost universal criticism. A 2002 adaptation of its Resident Evil series faced similar criticism but was also successful in theaters. The company sees films as a way to build sales for its video games.
Capcom partnered with Nyu Media in 2011 to publish and distribute the Japanese independent (dōjin soft) games that Nyu localized into the English language. The company works with the Polish localization company QLOC to port Capcom's games to other platforms.
Corporate structure Edit
Development studios Edit
In the first few years after its establishment, the Japanese branch of Capcom had three development groups referred to as "Planning Rooms", led by Tokuro Fujiwara, Takashi Nishiyama and Yoshiki Okamoto, respectively. Later, games developed internally used to be created by several numbered "Production Studios", each assigned to different games. Starting in 2002, the development process was reformed to better share technologies and expertise, and all of the individual studios were gradually restructured into bigger departments responsible for different tasks. While there are self-contained departments for the creation of arcade, pachinko and pachislo, online, and mobile games, the Consumer Games R&D Division instead is an amalgamation of subsections in charge of various game development stages.
In addition to these internal teams, Capcom also commissions outside development studios to ensure a steady output of titles. However, following poor sales of Dark Voidand Bionic Commando, the company's management has decided to limit outsourcing to sequels and newer versions of installments in existing franchises, reserving the development of original titles for its in-house teams. The production of games, budgets, and platforms supported are decided upon in development approval meetings, attended by the company management and the marketing, sales, and quality control departments.
Branches and subsidiaries Edit
Main article: List of Capcom subsidiaries
Apart from the head office building and the R&D building of Capcom Co., Ltd., both located in Chūō-ku, Osaka, the Japanese parent company also has a branch office in theShinjuku Mitsui Building in Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku, Tokyo. It also has the Ueno Facility, a branch office in Iga, Mie Prefecture.
The international Capcom Group currently encompasses 15 subsidiaries in Japan, North America, Europe, and East Asia. Affiliated companies include Koko Capcom Co., Ltd. in South Korea, Street Fighter Film, LLC in the United States, and Dellgamadas Co., Ltd.
In addition to the development and publishing of home, online, mobile, arcade, pachinko, and pachislo games, the company publishes strategy guides, maintains its own arcade centers, and licenses its franchise and character properties for use in tie-in products, movies, television series, and stage performances.
Suleputer, an in-house marketing and music label established in cooperation with Sony Music Entertainment Intermedia in 1998, publishes CDs, DVDs, and other media based on Capcom's games.
Capcom also owns numerous arcade game centers known as Plaza Capcom(s),including one in Narita, Futtsu ,and others.
An annual private media summit called Captivate, renamed from Gamers Day in 2008, is traditionally used as a platform for new game and business announcements.
Capcom launched its Street Fighter franchise in 1987. The series of fighting games are among the most popular in their genre, and have sold over 30 million units. That same year, 1987, the company introduced its Mega Man series. Selling nearly 30 million units, the series serves as Capcom's flagship franchise.
The company developed the inaugural entry in its Resident Evil survival horror series in 1996. The series has achieved enormous success, selling nearly 50 million units. Following work on the second entry in the Resident Evil series, Capcom began work on a Resident Evil game for the new PlayStation 2. Radically different from the existing series, Capcom decided to spin off the game into its own series, Devil May Cry. While it released the first two entries exclusively for the PS2 the company brought further entries to non-Sony consoles. The series as a whole has seen sales in excess of 10 million units. Capcom also initiated its Monster Hunter series in 2004. The games have seen sales of over 20 million units on a variety of consoles.
The company is often maligned for its reliance on existing franchises even though Capcom published and developed several titles for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii, based on original intellectual property: Lost Planet, Dead Rising, Dragon's Dogma, Asura's Wrath and Zack and Wiki. During this period, Capcom also helped publish several original titles from then up and coming Western developers in titles like Remember Me, Dark Void and Spyborgs, titles that many other publishers were not willing to take a chance on. Also of note are the titles Ōkami, Ōkamiden and Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective. Currently, Capcom is working on its latest new IP, Deep Down, an exclusive title for the PS4.
In recent years, Capcom has been criticized for controversial sales tactics, such as having to pay for additional content which is already available within the game's files, most notably in Street Fighter X Tekken. Capcom has defended the practice. The company has also been criticized for other questionable business decisions, such as not releasing certain games outside Japan, abruptly cancelling anticipated projects (most notably Mega Man Legends 3), and shutting down Clover Studio.