On Capcom’s “death”

Lately, the gaming news mill has circulated shocking reports of Capcom’s bank reserves running dry. While this certainly doesn’t bode well for a once-mighty name that held dominion in both the arcade and the home, dwindling reserve funds do not necessarily mean that Capcom is about to keel over just yet. These reports seem to be fueled by current sour sentiments toward a blundering shell of a former giant, and the numbers appear to reinforce the fulfillment of this spite. A recent article’s closing remark:


As I stated in our earlier reports, I personally cannot feel sorry for the company. What goes around comes around. This is what happens when you betray your fans and kill off beloved franchises.

What are these “beloved franchises” the article speaks of? If it’s Megaman, MM has a fervently vocal fanbase, but its success is often exaggerated. On Capcom’s all-time sales charts, MM2 places at 33rd, with a few other star titles like MMX trailing behind it:


Resident Evil, Monster Hunter, Devil may Cry, and Street Fighter have historically fared better. Monster Hunter will keep Capcom solvent in Japan for at least a little while, and Ultra SF4 will give them a boost in sales.

I’m not defending Capcom’s recent business decisions, or saying that they aren’t facing financial trouble. In fact, I find much to disagree with their approach to handling downloadable game content (On-disc DLC is by no means a recent development in video gaming; PC gamers have been dealing with buying “keys” to unlock content for a while now). But it’s sensational pandering to outright declare that the company will die soon and that franchises they no longer give much attention to are implied to have been their lifeblood.

EDIT: I forgot to mention Dead Rising 3, which is receiving backing from Microsoft and will likely generate more sales. Perhaps Capcom would see more success if it returned to producing more A and B titles rather than attempting AAAs (or port  Dragon’s Dogma to PC with improved framerates, but that’s a topic for another time)? In any case, any ‘death’ of Capcom would echo other ‘fallen’ companies, where it would likely become just a developing company requiring a publisher. It’s not going to simply vanish.

He looks so happy.

(From a Japanese Rockman 1 commercial. I can’t find an exact date.)


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