Earlier this year, it was reported that the popular game developer Capcom was cutting its forecast of their annual earnings by half. It was staggering news to see a company that was once among the most recognisable brands in gaming fall on hard times. The reason for their dire financial situation quickly became clear; while the company was doing well with their Nintento 3DS products, their mobile sales were brutally low.
Most companies in Capcom’s predicament – the developers are looking at a loss or around $48 million for the year – would make it a top priority to turn matters around with their mobile releases. They would pay more attention to the smartphone marketplace where profits are not being made, now one of the most popular mediums for playing games, and tap into that. Capcom’s only real successes for smartphone were Monster Hunter and Onimusha Soul.
However, it seems that Capcom are not most companies. The Japan based company told the media this week that they had no intentions of making any real commitments to the smartphone market until the devices are ‘more advanced’. A spokesman described how, like the arcade market 30 years ago, the mobile one is a boom that has engulfed many consumers, but its popularity will not last forever. Capcom, therefore, believes that the best option is to develop content that will generate revenue a few years down the line, waiting until mobile phones can achieve much more. This doesn’t mean they won’t be creating new mobile games for the next few years; it simply means that their attentions will be on the years after that.
It is a bold move by Capcom, to attempt to predict how the smartphone market will evolve in the years to come and create games based on those estimated advances. One can’t help but wish them success for attempting to be forward-thinking. However, this might not be the best decision for a company that has suffered losses in the way that Capcom have. The smartphone gaming industry is beginning to bring games into the mainstream in a way that has never been done before. They should be capitalising on that.