India is one of the world’s biggest mobile gaming markets, and one that’s poised for future success. The country’s games market is set to generate $868 million in revenue this year, and is predicted to reach $1.6 billion in 2027.
Furthermore, with a staggering 96.8% of India’s gamers playing on mobile, it’s clear that a strong mobile focus is key to capturing the attention of the country’s gamers.
Capcom is just one of the companies hoping to make inroads in India’s mobile market, and chief operating officer Haruhiro Tsujimoto has stated that it aims to sell more games in India than in China within the next decade, reports Bloomberg. This puts India firmly at the centre of its long-term growth plans.
"The market in India will grow exponentially in five to 10 years, as college students who enjoy games grow older and the economy develops," said Tsujimoto. "India’s population has already surpassed China’s. Taking that into consideration, we can expect to do better there than in China."
Capcom’s goals in India are certainly ambitious: At present, the company’s low profile in the mobile market and limited sales efforts within the country see Capcom sell around 100,000 games a year in the country. To combat this, the developer aims to expand its mobile gaming capabilities in an effort to capture the market.
Capcom is aiming to reach an annual sales figure of around two million copies within the next decade, and such ambitious targets require a strong focus on the country’s most popular platform, mobile.
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Newzoo data shows that Capcom’s weak presence in the free-to-play market leaves it at a significant disadvantage, but rather than create its own titles within the genre, it plans to continue to license content to other developers. Earlier this month saw one game release as part of this strategy - Monster Hunter Now, developed by AR specialist Niantic. The powerhouse pair accrued five million downloads for the game in its first week.
Tsujimoto noted that free-to-play smartphone titles are "not a good fit with Capcom’s brand". As such, while the company will license its IPs for free-to-play games, the chief focus will be releasing console titles on phones.
"High-quality games should become more playable on a wider range of smartphones in the next few years, and that will give us an opportunity to reach gamers who don’t have consoles and PCs," he said.
"Finding and cultivating new markets is our own responsibility, and we will keep doing so aggressively."
The company is set to release two titles in its popular Resident Evil franchise - Resident Evil 4 Remake and Resident Evil Village - on Apple devices, and it’s likely we’ll see the strategy continue. With Capcom seemingly of the belief that mobile has finally caught up to the power of consoles and PC, we could see more and more of its hit games such as Devil May Cry, Ōkami, or Dead Rising make the move to mobile.
A focus on porting its existing titles to mobile as opposed to the in-house development of its own mobile titles is certainly a bold move, and one that may help the company stand out from its competitors in India.
Notably, Resident Evil 4's price on the iOS has been revealed as a hefty $60, in-line with the console version and emphasising Capcom's key goal of bringing console-quality titles to mobile.
Niantic recently unveiled its plans to increase monthly active users of Pokémon Go by a factor of 10 in India.