Capcom to shorten development and sales cycles, outsource process work

Capcom's strategy for growth involves the company shortening the amount of time it takes to develop games and also shortening the amount of time between games, the publisher and developer revealed in its annual report today.

Capcom's strategy for growth involves the company shortening the amount of time it takes to develop games and also shortening the amount of time between games, the publisher and developer revealed in its annual report today.

The company said that a title in a popular series presently takes three to four years to develop – Capcom wants to bring that down to two and a half years and make better use of downloadable content (DLC) to fill in content that wouldn't be developed during that time frame.

In addition, Capcom plans to shorten the sales cycle of games. At present, players have to wait three to four years for a follow-up to a major Capcom release. During this time, the company details that many people lose interest if they have to wait too long for a sequel, which then creates a sales risk for the following title. Capcom's updated plan involves a game being released in the first year with DLC support through to the second year, and the follow-up game launching two and a half years after the original. This, according to Capcom's plan, increases fan numbers by retaining the fans who enjoyed the first game, while also drawing new fans, which increases earnings.

"Core portions of the project are developed in-house by Capcom and the process-work is outsourced to outside development companies"

The change in strategy means that for major series like Monster Hunter, Street Fighter, Resident Evil, Devil May Cry, Dead Rising, Lost Planet, and more, less time will be given for game development and more titles will be released more frequently with the support of DLC.

The annual report states that Capcom will promote the shortening of sales cycles of the aforementiond games "in the pursuit of further earnings and stabilization and growth."

In addition: "... teams developing major titles will be limited to 100 members, with multiple sequel titles developed at the same time. Also, as it will be necessary to create a large-scale development structure for shortening the development process, we will strengthen in-house development staff recruitment.

"... We will increase the number of titles released in a single year and expand earnings using a hybrid development model whereby the core portions of the project are developed in-house by Capcom and the process-work is outsourced to outside development companies."

Capcom predicts that the change in strategy will see the company launch 15 titles in 10 years compared to the existing 10 titles in 10 years.

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The company released its annual earnings report earlier this year and reported a 16 percent drop in earnings from the previous fiscal year.

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