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Capcom, publisher of such long-running franchises as Mega Man and Resident Evil, has recently released its annual report, and it contains some interesting information on how the Japanese company intends to alter its game-development cycle going forward. Basically, it’s hoping you’re a big fan of such long-running franchises as Mega Man and Resident Evil…because it plans on releasing more games in these series.
As described in the annual report (and analyzed by GamesIndustry International), Capcom outlined its plan to release 15 games over the next 10 years. To accomplish this, it’s shortening the time between sequels from an average of three to four years to only two and a half, with multiple DLC offerings in the intervening years. This means you’ll most likely be picking up a copy of Resident Evil 7 in March of 2015, so you might as well preorder it today.
Another facet of this shortened cycle is smaller development teams. Capcom is limiting the number of in-house developers working on a major title to 100, which frees up more staff to work on more sequels. The idea is that smaller teams mean better teams that make better titles. Of course, if that doesn’t work, another game will be coming out in a few months…and it will probably be a sequel to something.
But it’s not all about sequels, as Capcom has also decided to allocate 20 percent of its development funds on new games. Obviously wanting to avoid turning into nothing more than a company that makes constant sequels, this decision enables Capcom to leave the door open for original titles (like this year’s Dragon’s Dogma, which should have a sequel coming in November 2014) to come in and build a fan base of their own. Except that Capcom explicitly states in the report that it’s doing this to make more sequels: “The reason is because popular games have a solid fan base, and when they become a series, there is a high probability that users and retailers will purchase and stock the sequel based on past game content and sales performance, which, in turn, increases the likelihood of a string of hits.”
Sequels for everyone!
You can read Capcom’s report here, but there will probably be a sequel soon anyway.