Earlier in the year, Capcom announced their long-term game release strategy in a management report. One of the initiatives of their three-pronged strategy is to release a popular game every quarter of every year, and to release a sequel from a popular franchise every year. In their annual report, they elaborate on this strategy further.
Capcom currently release sequels for popular games about every two years. Development time for hit games, they say, is about 3-4 years at present, which is a risky prospect if games don’t perform the way the expect them to. Capcom say there are two solutions to this problem:
1. Maintain a large number of popular brands.
2. Shorten the development time for hit games, so as to release a popular sequel every year.
Dragon’s Dogma and Asura’s Wrath are being positioned as new brands, meant to build up their own fanbase. Once they are, it sounds like sequels will follow, since Capcom point out that retailers are more willing to stock games if they are sequels to titles that have performed well.
As far as shortening development time goes, Capcom will be hiring more staff to strengthen in-house development, but teams developing major games will be limited to 100 members. Core portions of major games will be handled in-house, while process-work will be outsourced to external companies. The increase in recruitment will allow for a large-scale development structure where multiple sequel titles will be in development at the same time.
As previously reported, Capcom are also looking to form further alliances with western game development studios in an effort to expand overseas game sales.