As a result of organizational restructuring conducted in February 2015, COO Haruhiro Tsujimoto was appointed Representative director in charge of the Consumer Games Business for the company. With the president leading development in this new structure, what are Capcom's next steps?
President and Chief Operating Officer (COO)
Representative director in charge of Consumer Games Business
Appointed as a Director in 1997. After serving as Managing Director and Senior Managing Director, in 2004 appointed as Director and Executive Corporate Officer in charge of company-wide structural reforms, engaging in the organizational restructuring of Home Video Games and other businesses. In 2006, appointed as Director and Executive Vice President of the Company. In 2007, appointed as Representative Director, President and Chief Operating Officer (COO).
Taking the Lead to Drive Innovation
From the spread of new platforms, such as tablets and smartphones, to the rise of freemium apps and new microtransaction systems, the environment surrounding the games industry continues to undergo rapid changes.
The advancement of internet-connected game consoles is also substantially changing the business model. In light of these changes in the market environment, the aim of our organizational restructuring was to position myself closer to development, driving company-wide innovation to return Capcom to a growth trajectory.
During the past few years, we have increased the ratio of titles developed in-house. There are several reasons for this, but the most important is to support the transformation of our business model.
Unlike the past, when we focused on selling through stock of packaged games, the game business today demands diversified support, both paid and free, after a game is sold.
Thus, there is a limit to what we can achieve by outsourcing. Also, we must cultivate internal resources to respond to this new business model. Furthermore, Capcom is considering the deployment of a completely new approach in the games industry, for which stronger in-house development capabilities are absolutely imperative.
Providing Society with Games Users Think Are Interesting
Be that as it may, we remain true to our nature in terms of doing what must be done.
What is the essence of Capcom's business?
The conclusion I have arrived at based on my years of management experience is simple: Creating high-quality, entertaining games that are enjoyed by as many users as possible. This is my relentless demand to all of our staff, as the head of development.
Games differ from basic needs like food, clothing and shelter in that people can get by without them. Games require users to dedicate their time and concentrate all their senses on playing. Why do users choose such a product? Users sometimes give up sleep and food to play games because games provide enjoyment and entertainment value like no other product.
Conversely, if games were not able to provide such value, they would not be accepted by society. Providing society with games that users think are entertaining is the linchpin of Capcom's corporate value.
Fostering an Environment Where All Staff Can Move Projects Forward Easily
How are entertaining games created? In principle, I think this should be left up to the development staff. People are Capcom's biggest asset. The numerous hit titles we have created up to now are the fruits of our gifted creators' labor.
What is my role? My main role is twofold: Creating an environment enabling all staff in the development organization to dedicate themselves to production, and adherence to deadlines and costs.
I provide support for the creation of quality games through the provision of cutting-edge development facilities and tools, as well as the creation of systems that make working easier.
Of course, it is also important to adhere to the schedules promised to users, and we cannot allow the company to become unprofitable. In other words, we must maintain a balance, satisfying both groups of people.
To this end, I am prepared to build consensus as the head of development, engaging in active discussions with management in some situations and the development department in others.
Maintaining Success in an Unpredictable World
In the past, I also served as the head of the Development department. What has changed since then is the accumulation of experience beyond my years. I said this is the age of a great transformation, but looking back, numerous innovations have taken place leading up to the present. From the era of arcade games, to the introduction of home video game consoles, to internet-connected online games, I have witnessed all of these transitions up to now. In light of the history of these transformations, I take pride in the experience that enables me to see the way ahead by understanding what stage we currently find ourselves in, and what our next steps should be.
Our industry, which is deeply connected to cutting-edge IT, is an unpredictable world where major transformations continually occur whether we want them to or not. However, this also means that our industry has a future. The market environment will continue to change. There is no guarantee that those who are successful today will continue being successful tomorrow. With this in mind, we will continue moving forward one step at a time, doing what must be done to be a successful game maker.