Capcom Ditching Platform Exclusives
If the simultaneous release of games like Devil May Cry 4 on both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 wasn’t enough evidence, Capcom has laid out its strategy for “all major titles launched during the next fiscal year” to be “developed as multiplatform games” in its annual report for its 2008 fiscal year, which ended on March 31, 2008.
Outlining its strategy to increase market share in regions outside of Japan, the report (via Joystiq) stated:
“[W]e will be promoting business expansion mainly centered on 1) Completing implementation of multi-platform development on major titles; 2) Expanding our development lines; and 3) Reforming our European sales structure.
‘Completing implementation of multi-platform development on major titles’ means that all major titles launched during the next fiscal year or thereafter will be developed as multi-platform games. We will aim to increase revenue and dramatically increase the number of users by launching, for example, Resident Evil 5, the newest addition to our biggest franchise (projected 2.3 million units), Street Fighter IV (projected 1.7 million units) and Bionic Commando (projected 1.5 million units).
…we are also planning on expanding into new genres as well as refining and improving home video games intended for overseas markets by collaborating with important foreign development companies. We will also bolster the recruiting process of new developers as well as staff education and training and improve the Development Department in order to respond to the demand of the market experiencing a growth period and increase the number of titles.”
It’s hard to be surprised by the news; moving towards multiplatform development on big-budget games is more of an inevitability than anything else. Even so, it’ll be interesting to see how the Wii factors into this strategy. Nintendo’s console continues to sell extremely well worldwide and if the trend continues it’ll be interesting to see if shareholders push for Capcom to release Wii versions of heavy hitters like Resident Evil 5 and Street Fighter IV. It seems unlikely, but stranger things have happened. If nothing else, the Wii’s unique development challenges (like developing on an interesting control scheme rather than creating cutting-edge graphics) should provide Capcom with some interesting internal debates.