Capcom Suffer Poor Sales – It’s Time They Upped Their Game!

/ 4 years ago

capcomCapcom, in trouble?! You don’t believe me!

If you were asked to name a developer who you thought might be in trouble, I doubt the first name you would give would be Capcom. It has therefore been met with some significant concerns that Capcom, despite some big releases in the last year, is well below expectations for sales.

When it comes to intellectual properties, Capcom has it made (you would think). Devil May Cry, Street Fighter, Resident Evil, Dead Rising just to name a few. On top of these, with just these 4 games, the last year has seen a new installation for 3 of them. Sales figures released by Capcom, however, have shown that despite having these Golden Egg laying geese, sales are massively below expectations.

Street Fighter 5 Capcom

Cutting through the sales figures for you, here are the details in brief. Between January-March 2017, Capcom released figures expecting game sales in the region of 4 million units. Actual figures for this period, however, reveal that they didn’t even come close to this. While 3.5 million units would be a dream to most publishers, as I mentioned above, these figures are awful. Consider that in the last 12 months (more or less) we’ve seen a brand new Resident Evil, Street Fighter and Dead Rising. These are franchises that seemingly never fail to achieve sales and despite some criticisms of Street Fighter 5, all were received quite warmly.

Is it time, therefore, for Capcom to be worried?

Should Capcom be worried?

Yes and no. The sales failure of these 3 releases in the last year is highly surprising. While I wouldn’t be expecting Capcom to be filing for bankruptcy anytime soon, given the cost of creating a game these days, you can not suffer from lack of success for too long.

Looking at the matter objectively, there are reasons for why the sales of these most recent games might be poor.

  • Street Fighter 5 – The lack of an arcade mode on release was a horrible, horrible mistake.
  • Dead Rising 4 – Sorry, but how is this really any different to 3?
  • Resident Evil 7 – Suffered from Capcom lack of direction in the series.

In regards to that latter point, I would like to expand a little. Resident Evil 7 is a great game. I’ve played the bejesus out of it, even clocking in a respectable PC speedrunning time of 1 hour 37 minutes. The problem was the previous games. Resident Evil 5 and 6 were not Resident Evil games. They were action games which although debatably good, did not fit the remit of the franchise. There are always occasions where an IP needs to be taken in new directions. Resident 7 was this done correctly, Resident 5 and 6 was this done awfully. In addition to Resident Evil 7, the delays in DLC and the lukewarm reception to that which has come hasn’t helped.

It’s not the time to write a eulogy for Capcom, but the sales figures are going to have, to coin an expression, some bums in head office twitching.

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