Capcom has killed Capcom Vancouver. The studio director confirmed that the publisher closed the studio today in a post on Twitter. Capcom Vancouver is best known for overseeing the Dead Rising series, which is about fighting zombies in wacky ways.
“Unfortunately, Capcom Vancouver shuttered today,” studio boss Aidan Scanlan wrote on Twitter. “I’m in a bit of a shock. But if you know of anyone looking for an 18-year-experienced game designer, send them my way. Spread the word.”
The Vancouver team was working on a number of games. But Capcom sent a notice to investors today that it was pulling the plug on all of those projects. The company had to report those losses to comply with securities regulations because it expects to incur losses that it will not recoup.
Here’s a piece of that notice:
“In consideration of this process, as a result of reviewing titles in development at Capcom Game Studio Vancouver, Inc., Capcom now expects to record losses from the termination of development projects of approximately 4.5 billion yen under cost of sales in its consolidated financial results for the six months of the fiscal year ending March 31, 2019.”
Capcom has not shared any plans for the future of Dead Rising or any other Capcom Vancouver projects.
Focusing on Japanese development
If you’re looking for an explanation for why this happened, Capcom says it wants to bring its development resources back to Japan.
Here’s how it put it in its public statement:
“Capcom is currently reviewing the allocation of its development resources that support the production of world-class content. Capcom has been focused on increasing the efficiency and growth of its game development operations. To support this objective, new R&D facilities and annual hiring have been underway at the Osaka headquarters. In consideration of this process, as a result of reviewing titles in development at Capcom Vancouver, Capcom has decided to cancel the development projects at this studio and will concentrate development of major titles in Japan.
“We appreciate the hard work and contributions of all the studio team members in creating unforgettable gameplay experiences for the Dead Rising series and Puzzle Fighter.”
Put another way, Capcom thinks its biggest hits are those that it makes in Japan. Or even the games that are the most Japanese. Monster Hunter: World is the best example of this. It makes that game for Japanese gamers, but it is one of the most popular games around the globe right now. It is still one of the most-played games on Steam.
Capcom likely plans to put more money toward games like Monster Hunter (and more Monster Hunter) to capitalize on the appeal of its core products. Therefore, Vancouver and Dead Rising don’t fit anymore.