It's been a rough year for many game companies, so Capcom isn't alone in reflecting on what went wrong and what can be done to fix it. Spurred by lower-than-projected sales for Resident Evil 6 and DmC Devil May Cry, Capcom is taking a long, hard look at what got them to this point, and where to go from here.
New estimates for how many copies have been moved of both aforementioned games puts Resident Evil 6 at 4.9 million—down from 5 million, which was originally projected at 7 million—and DmC Devil May Cry at 1.2 million—down from 1.5 million and an original projection of 2 million.
Before we get into whether or not these should really be considered failures, let's first look at what Capcom took from all this. They've narrowed the issues down to a delayed response to the expanding digital contents market, a decline in quality due to outsourced development, and poor coordination between marketing and game divisions in overseas markets.
One of those sounds more or less as if they're throwing folks like DmC developer Ninja Theory under the bus, but whatever.
To counter these shortcomings, Capcom plans to strengthen digital business by, you guessed it, an increase in the creation and promotion of downloadable content.
They also plan to move toward more in-house development. They'll be reevaluating work-in-progress games, discontinuing certain titles for failing to meet the market's needs, and nixing certain outsourced games due to incompatibility with their current business strategy.
Finally, Capcom aims to solve the third problem by improving global coordination between development and marketing divisions.
Capcom's reevaluation of certain in-development titles has led to them reporting a 7.2 billion yen "special loss." Hopefully their upcoming games can get them back on track, but it's hard to deny that, much like Square Enix, there are some unrealistic expectations and straight up poor business decisions at play here.
The latest episode of Jim Sterling's Jimquisition series over at The Escapist touched on this very issue, using Dark Souls as an example of a game that succeeded due to smart spending and realistic projections.