Capcom Co., Ltd. (株式会社カプコン Kabushiki-gaisha Kapukon ) is a Japanese video game developer and publisher known for creating numerous multi-million selling game franchises, including Street Fighter, Mega Man, Darkstalkers, Resident Evil, Devil May Cry, Onimusha, Ace Attorney, Monster Hunter, and Dead Rising, as well as licensed games based on crossovers, or properties such as Marvel or Disney. Established in 1979, it has become an international enterprise with subsidiaries in North America, Europe, and East Asia.
Capcom's predecessor, I.R.M Corporation, was founded on May 30, 1979 by Kenzo Tsujimoto. Tsujimoto was still president of Irem Corporation when he founded I.R.M. Tsujimoto worked concomitantly in both companies until leaving the former in 1983.
The original companies that spawned Capcom's Japanese branch were I.R.M as well as its subsidiary Japan Capsule Computers Co., Ltd., both of which were devoted to the manufacturing and distribution of electronic game machines. The two companies underwent a name change to Sambi Co., Ltd. in September 1981, while Capcom Co., Ltd. was first established on June 11, 1983 by Kenzo Tsujimoto, for the purpose of taking over the internal sales department.
In January 1989, the old affiliate company Capcom Co., Ltd. merged with Sambi Co., Ltd., resulting in the current Japanese branch. The name Capcom is a clipped compound of "Capsule Computers", a term coined by the company to describe the arcade machines it solely manufactured in its early years, designed to set themselves apart from personal computers that were becoming widespread at that time. The word capsule alludes to how Capcom likened its game software to "a capsule packed to the brim with gaming fun", as well as to the company's desire to protect its intellectual property with a hard outer shell, preventing illegal copies and inferior imitations.
While Capcom's first product was the coin-operated Little League from July 1983, its first real video game, the arcade title Vulgus, was released in May 1984. Beginning with a Nintendo Entertainment System port of 1942 published in December 1985, the company started to venture into the market of home console video games, which became its main business segment a few years later. Its division Capcom USA had a brief stint in the late 1980s as a video game publisher for the Commodore 64 and IBM PC DOS computers although the development of these arcade ports were handled by other companies. Capcom has to date created 15 multi-million-selling game series, the most successful of which is Resident Evil.
Capcom has been noted as the last major publisher to be committed to 2D games, though this was not entirely by choice. The company's commitment to the Super Nintendo Entertainment System as its platform of choice caused them to lag behind other leading publishers in developing 3D-capable arcade boards. In addition, the 2D animated cartoon-style graphics seen in games such as Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors and X-Men: Children of the Atom proved popular, leading Capcom to adopt it as a signature style and use it in more games.
In 1994, Capcom adapted its Street Fighter series of fighting games into a film of the same name. While commercially successful, it was critically panned. A 2002 adaptation of its Resident Evil series faced similar criticism but was also successful in theaters. The company sees films as a way to build sales for its video games.
Capcom partnered with Nyu Media in 2011 to publish and distribute the Japanese independent (dōjin soft) games that Nyu localized into the English language. The company works with the Polish localization company QLoc to port Capcom's games to other platforms, notably examples are DmC: Devil May Cry's PC version and its PlayStation 4 and Xbox One remasters, Dragon's Dogma's PC version released in January 2016, and Dead Rising's version on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC released on September 13, 2016.
In August 27, 2014, Capcom filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Koei Tecmo Games at the Osaka District Court for 980 million yen in damage. Capcom claimed Koei Tecmo Games infringed a patent it obtained in 2002 regarding a play feature in video games.
On April 2nd, 2020, an employee had contracted the coronavirus (COVID-19) at Capcom's headquarters in Chuo-ku, Osaka. Capcom promised to work with health authorities to try and prevent any further spread.
On 2 November 2020, the company reported that its servers were affected by a ransomware attack, scrambling its data, and the threat actors have allegedly stolen 1TB of sensitive corporation data and were blackmailing Capcom to pay them to remove the ransomware. By mid-November, the group began putting information from the hack online, which included contact information for up to 350,000 employees and partners of the company as well as plans for upcoming games, indicating that Capcom opted to not pay the group. Capcom did affirm that no credit card or similar financial information was obtained by the hack.
In the first few years after its establishment, the Japanese branch of Capcom had three development groups referred to as "Planning Rooms", led by Tokuro Fujiwara, Takashi Nishiyama and Yoshiki Okamoto, respectively. Later, games developed internally used to be created by several numbered "Production Studios", each assigned to different games. Starting in 2002, the development process was reformed to better share technologies and expertise, and all of the individual studios were gradually restructured into bigger departments responsible for different tasks. While there are self-contained departments for the creation of arcade, pachinko and pachislo, online, and mobile games, the Consumer Games R&D Division instead is an amalgamation of subsections in charge of various game development stages.
Capcom has three internal divisions to make games. Those are Consumer games division 1 with Resident Evil and Devil May Cry focusing on worldwide franchises, Consumer games division 2 with Street Fighter, Marvel vs. Capcom and other online focused games and Consumer games division 3 with Ace Attorney, Monster Hunter and Sengoku Basara with more traditional IP.
In addition to these internal teams, Capcom also commissions outside development studios to ensure a steady output of titles. However, following poor sales of Dark Void and Bionic Commando, the company's management has decided to limit outsourcing to sequels and newer versions of installments in existing franchises, reserving the development of original titles for its in-house teams. The production of games, budgets, and platforms supported are decided upon in development approval meetings, attended by the company management and the marketing, sales, and quality control departments.
Branches and subsidiaries
Apart from the head office building and the R&D building of Capcom Co., Ltd., both located in Chūō-ku, Osaka, the Japanese parent company also has a branch office in the Shinjuku Mitsui Building in Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku, Tokyo. It also has the Ueno Facility, a branch office in Iga, Mie Prefecture.
The international Capcom Group encompasses 15 subsidiaries in Japan, North America, Europe, and East Asia. Affiliated companies include Koko Capcom Co., Ltd. in South Korea, Street Fighter Film, LLC in the United States, and Dellgamadas Co., Ltd.
In addition to the development and publishing of home, online, mobile, arcade, pachinko, and pachislot games, the company publishes strategy guides, maintains its own arcade centers in Japan known as Plaza Capcom, and licenses its franchise and character properties for use in tie-in products, movies, television series, and stage performances.
Suleputer, an in-house marketing and music label established in cooperation with Sony Music Entertainment Intermedia in 1998, publishes CDs, DVDs, and other media based on Capcom's games. An annual private media summit called Captivate, renamed from Gamers Day in 2008, is traditionally used as a platform for new game and business announcements.
On 4th January 2022 Capcom announced "Capcom Creators", a content creator program designed to "celebrate and connect with" fans of the company's titles. Creators who are part of the program will be granted access to newsletters that will highlight new games and content creation opportunities, as well as a dedicated private Discord server to connect with program managers and fellow creators. They'll also have the chance to have their work shared on Capcom's official social channels, and could receive extra exclusive incentives such as digital asset packs and care packages featuring "special merchandise".
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Capcom vs. Osamu Tezuka Characters
Capcom vs. Osamu Tezuka Characters is an art exhibit that is held from October 23, 2020 to February 23, 2021. The exhibition features Capcom characters illustrated by Tezuka Productions staff, and characters created by Osamu Tezuka illustrated by Capcom staff.
Criticism and controversy
In 2012, Capcom came under criticism for controversial sales tactics, such as the implementation of disc-locked content, which requires players to pay for additional content that is already available within the game's files, most notably in Street Fighter X Tekken. The company has defended the practice. It has also been criticized for other business decisions, such as not releasing certain games outside Japan (most notably the Sengoku Basara series), abruptly cancelling anticipated projects (most notably Mega Man Legends 3), and shutting down Clover Studio.
In 2015, the PlayStation 4 version of Ultra Street Fighter IV was pulled from the Capcom Pro Tour due to numerous technical issues and gameplay bugs. In 2016, Capcom released Street Fighter V with very limited single player content. At launch, there were stability issues with the game's network that booted players mid-game even when they were not playing in an online mode. Street Fighter V failed to meet its sales target of 2 million in March 2016.
In March 2021, reports stated that Capcom allegedly forced its employees to work on-site during the global COVID-19 pandemic, ignoring Japan's corona rules.
Artist and author Judy A. Juracek filed a lawsuit in June 2021 against Capcom for copyright infringement. In the court filings Juracek asserted that Capcom had used images from her 1996 book Surfaces in various parts of their cover art and other assets for Resident Evil 4, Devil May Cry and other games. This was discovered due to the 2020 Capcom data breach, with several files and images matching those that were included within the book's companion CD-ROM. The court filings noted one image file of a metal surface, named ME0009 in Capcoms files, to have the same exact name on the books CD-ROM. Juracek has sought over $12 million in damages and $2,500 to $25,000 in false copyright management for each used photograph from Capcom. There is currently no date set for when the trial will commence. This comes on the heels of Capcom being accused by dutch movie director Richard Raaphorst of copying the monster design from his movie Frankenstein's Army into their game Resident Evil Village.
- Capcom Entertainment, Inc.
- Capcom U.S.A., Inc. was established in California as the official North American subsidiary of Capcom in August 1985.
- Capcom Studio 8, Inc. was established as the R&D division of Capcom USA, Inc. in June 1995. The studio was closed in 2006.
- Capcom Asia Co., Ltd. was established in Hong Kong as the official Asian subsidiary of Capcom in July 1993.
- Capcom Eurosoft Ltd. was established in United Kingdom as the official European subsidiary of Capcom in July 1998.
- KOKO Capcom Asia Co., Ltd. is the official South Korean subsidiary of Capcom, established in July 2001.
- Suleputer was established to market and distribute games and related merchandising (books, music, anime, etc.) in Asia. Their current name is a conjunction of CapSULE ComPUTER.
- Captron Co., Ltd. manages the rent, lease and operation of real estate properties.
- Flagship Co., Ltd. is the development studio that made Onimusha Tactics and the Zelda games on the Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance, most recently releasing The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap.
- Capcom Charbo Co., Ltd. manages the rental, maintenance and lease of electronic game machines.
- CE Europe Ltd. was established in London in November 2002.
- CEG Interactive Entertainment GmbH was established in Germany in February 2003.
- Nude Maker Co., Ltd. is the development studio that made Clock Tower 1 and 2 games on the PlayStation and Xbox and Steel Battalion only in Xbox.
- Clover Studio Co., Ltd. was a development studio based in Osaka. It was founded in July 2004, and was dissolved in March 2007. They created the Viewtiful Joe series, as well as Okami and God Hand. Later merged with another company to form Platinum Games.
- Nickel City is a chain of video arcades once owned by Capcom where the machines ran on nickels or for free. It was sold in 2004 and continues to operate under independent ownership.
- Capcom Interactive Canada is a division of Capcom and their focus is developing games for mobile platforms.
- Capcom Vancouver, formerly Blue Castle Games, the company was acquired by Capcom after the release of Dead Rising 2. They were at one point working with Epic Games to utilize the latter's Unreal Engine 4 for several projects. The company also aided in support for Puzzle Fighter. The company was officialy shut down in September 2018.
- QLoc is Capcom's localization team.
- Capcom Mobile focus on creating hit mobile titles in both Japan, as well as the rest of the world. The company hopes to do this by leveraging their most popular IPs, with a particular focus of utilizing licensed content in Asia. This subdivision will integrate both Capcom brands and the Capcom-owned Beeline Interactive, which allows for quicker decisions and publishing of games that use Capcom IPs, worldwide.
- Capcom-Unity - Capcom's official English community site.
- E-Capcom - Capcom of Japan's official goods shop site.
- Capcom Fighters Network - Capcom's website mainly dedicated to Street Fighter V as well as the Street Fighter franchise in general.
- Shadaloo Combat Research Institute (シャドルー格闘家研究所 Shadorū Kakutō-ka Kenkyūjo?, "Shadaloo Fighter Institute") - Also referred to as the Shadaloo C.R.I. (シャド研 Shadoken?) for short, it is a section of the Capcom Fighters Network website dedicated to Street Fighter V, featuring extra content related to the game. The site is presented as if it were a database used by members of Shadaloo, with each of the posts being authored by different Shadaloo soldiers. In addition, the site features "Activity Reports", columns which cover various topics (such as profiles, unused stages and characters, concept art, and interviews). The art in the profiles and most key art in "Activity Reports" are done by KIKI, one of Street Fighter V's lead artists.
- Capcom Online Games - Capcom's Japanese site for online games.
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- Capcom Pro Tour
Media and merchandise
|Arika||1 November, 1995||Founded by Akira Nishitani as ARMtech.|
|Crafts & Meister||1 June, 2004||Founded by Noritaka Funamizu and Katsuhiro Sudo.|
|Game Republic||1 July, 2003||Founded by Yoshiki Okamoto.|
|Inti Creates||8 May, 1996||Founded by Takuya Aizu.|
|Level-5 Comcept||1 December, 2010||Founded by Keiji Inafune as Comcept.|
|PlatinumGames||1 October, 2007||Founded by Shinji Mikami, Atsushi Inaba, Hideki Kamiya and Tatsuya Minami.|
|Tango Gameworks||1 March, 2010||Founded by Shinji Mikami.|
|UTV Ignition Games||26 September, 2001||Takeyasu Sawaki joined Ignition Tokyo, a subsidiary of UTV Ignition Games.|
- According to the "Universal Videogame List", the company's maximum output, in terms of games they developed or produced, was in 2000 with 49 games that year. Also, maybe not surprisingly, out of the large number of games they released, most of them were fighting games.
- cite magazine|title=Capcom |magazine=Next Generation|issue=17|publisher=Imagine Media|date=May 1996|pages=67–69
- Gaudiosi, John. "Capcom Seeks More Playtime in HWood." Hollywood Reporter 397 (2006): 4,4,29. ProQuest Research Library. Web. 30 May 2012.
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- cite journal |journal=Gameside |script-title=ja:ゲーム業界を"爆発"させた"ストライダー"の父 「四井浩一」 ディスコグラフィー |date=February 2009 |issue=16 |language=Japanese |publisher=Micro Magazine
- cite video game |title=Strider Hiryū |developer=Capcom Co., Ltd |publisher=Capcom Co., Ltd. |date=March 7, 1989 |scene=staff credits
- "Locations|webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20111007130308/http://www.capcom.co.jp/ir/english/company/map.html |date=October 7, 2011 ." Capcom. Retrieved on August 12, 2011. "3-1-3 Uchihirano-machi, Chuo-ku, Osaka [], Japan" and "Shinjuku Mitsui Building 2-1-1 Nishi Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo"
- https://www.destructoid.com/mega-man-legends-fan-community-releases-documentary-video-to-commemorate-game-s-cancellation-379260.phtml%7Ctitle=Mega Man Legends fan community releases documentary video to commemorate game's cancellation
- Capcom World Japan - Capcom Japan's official site.
- E-Capcom - Capcom Japan's online shop.
- Capcom US - Capcom USA's official site.
- Capcom Shop - Also known as "The Capcom Store", official shop site.
- Capcom Europe - Capcom Europe's official site.
- Capcom-Unity - Capcom's official community site.
- Capcom Fighters Network site (available on both Japanese and English)