Capcom saw record-breaking profits for another year, with net sales up 14.4% - to ¥125,930 ($938m) - for the company behind such major series as Resident Evil and Monster Hunter, their latest financials have revealed.
Huge sales for new releases along with consistent sales for older titles have contributed to not only a record-breaking share price but also record profits and the company’s tenth consecutive year of growth.
Resident Evil 7 for example, previously released in 2017, has continued to bring in over a million units in sales each year since, with Resident Evil 4 Remake selling 200,000 more units than 7 at launch. Net income has also almost quadrupled since 2015, from ¥105m to ¥400m this year, growth that Capcom hopes to keep at least above 10% in the long-term.
However, mobile still remains a relatively small part of the business…for now. But it looks as if that's set to change with a major new title coming later in 2023.
Of course it’s unsurprising that console and PC are the major focus-point for Capcom as the company has historically thrived, and continues to, in this market. But that doesn't mean mobile isn't on their priority list. Monster Hunter Now, the new AR title from Niantic adapting the Monster Hunter franchise - which is Capcom’s highest-selling console release - is a primary focus and lynchpin of Capcom’s mobile ambitions.
MvC (Macroeconomics vs Capcom)
There is another underrepresented segment of Capcom’s business that may indicate a further focus on mobile in future. Arcades and attractions have also historically been a focus for Capcom and fighting games - especially in Japan, for example - have always had a reputation as arcade-first titles. However, in the wake of the Covid pandemic this has slowly changed. Although closures of arcades have now slowed and new arcades have opened, arcade generally is in decline and it's clear that mobile, on the other hand, represents a place for growth.
Instead, Capcom reports that arcade games represent "stable earnings" while mobile seems to be a new but increasing focus for the game maker. At the present, most of Capcom’s brands such as Devil May Cry and Street Fighter only appear on mobile through adaptations by third parties, such as Street Fighter: Duel and Devil May Cry: Peak of Combat, neither of which received any mention in the financials. But they do show that building a presence on mobile has been a part of their strategy for a significant amount of time.
“Character, Media, Mobile, eSports. Build these businesses to grow brands,” is the stated plan in Capcom’s financial report. So far, this appoach may seem similar to another Japanese games heavyweight, Nintendo, and their approach to mobile as a purely promotional tool. But with a major franchise like Monster Hunter Now coming to mobile this seems set to change. Monster Hunter Now may be a litmus test for bringing the rest of their major franchises to mobile.
It’s certainly one way to test the waters. But given the difficulty faced by other AR titles outside of heavyweights such as Pokemon Go, fans and observers alike will be watching closely when Monster Hunter Now drops later in 2023. Will its AR focus herald a stronger interest in mobile, or stymie it completely? We’ll have to wait and see.