From the NES days all the way through to the PS2/Xbox/GC era, I always looked forward to Capcom titles. Whether Capcom revisited a classic series or put something new out, it's safe to say that for a very long time, Capcom was my favorite game development studio.
Not pictured: 14-year-old me screaming with joy
Recently, though, Capcom's been very hit-or-miss. Sure, Street Fighter IV and its upgrades were an absolute blast, but between cancelling development on Mega Man Legends 3 and the Street Fighter X Tekken DLC fiasco, fans have lost a lot of faith in Capcom, leading to underperforming sales on major titles.
While we already know that Capcom is re-evaluating their DLC delivery methods, Capcom CEO Kenzo Tsujimoto recently outlined five steps the company is taking to improve their standing, with the goal of being the world's #1 provider of digital content.
Shorten development times. While it will increase development costs, reducing development times on titles from an average of 3-4 years down to 2.5 years is something Capcom hopes will keep them competitive, by regularly releasing quality product.
Hint hint, Capcom.
Consistently release sequels while also releasing brand-new games. Popular franchises will get regular sequel turnaround, with new titles being released just as frequently. Capcom is aware that newer IPs won't do as well the first time around due to low brand recognition, but hopes to recoup losses on strong newcomers with sequels.
Increase development staff. Over this ten-year plan, Capcom intends to hire about 1,000 employees--about 100 new developers per year. This will allow for faster production on new titles as well as sequels of existing franchises.
Spread into more social/online games for mobile and PC. Like it or not, there's money to be made in mobile and social games, and developers can't afford to ignore these platforms. Capcom expects the market for mobile content to double in the next four years, and for the PC gaming market to take a 126% jump.
Continue DLC as add-on content for traditional games. While Capcom has set high goals for mobile and PC gaming, they don't expect packaged software sales to go up. However, after factoring in DLC sales, they expect a 26% increase.
Following these steps, Capcom plans to have company-wide record sales for 2012. Honestly, though? I don't think this is all that smart. Capcom's had to do a lot of damage control after the whole SFxT debacle, and in light of all the fan backlash, maybe announcing how they plan to make even more money might not have been the best PR move. While the steps they're taking are sound, their timing could have been better.
What do you think? Does Capcom have the right plan to dig themselves out of this hole they've made and come out on top, or is there something they're still missing?