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Developer Interview 2011

Yoichi Egawa / Managing Corporate Officer / Head of P&S Business Division

The steady build-up of know-how in the three years since Capcom introduced it's own machines has paved the way for major hits.

- First of all, I was wondering if you could tell us the current state of the pachinko and pachislo market.
"Egawa"
Sales in the pachinko market are rather sluggish because machines aren't being replaced soon enough. That being said, the volume of sales and delivered machines in the pachislo market indicate that a gradual recovery is in progress. A while back we worked on the image development of Rodeo's "Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams" as a subcontracted developer. This title was a major hit in FY2010 and won a number of awards from various members of the pachinko and pachislo industry. We're really proud that our work helped put the market back on the road to recovery.
- What made "Onimusha" such a big hit?
"Egawa"
We highlighted the "ART" (Assist Replay Time) mode, in which players can win the opportunity to play another high winning rate mode, by effectively combining it with visual effects. I believe this gave players the feeling of speed and exhilaration which made the machine such a blast to play. This ultimately succeeded in getting a lot of people to give Onimusha a try.
- You also released your own original "Sengoku BASARA 2" machine in February 2010, straight on the heels of the massively successful "Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams"
"Egawa"
That's right. Enterrise, one of our group companies, had already released three versions of this series, but we felt we needed to go back to square one and create a new product capable of reinventing the brand. "Sengoku BASARA 2" represents the realization of this drive. Unlike the machines made by Enterrise, we were incredibly particular about how the machine looked. To create a stylish machine, we added original decorations that incorporated visual expressions from the console version. The most attractive payout feature of the machine is the "cherry combo system". We set up different configurations for small winnings in normal mode and ART mode to make it possible for players to win a sequential payout.
*Small winnings: Non-jackpot winnings (bells, cherries).
- What would you say are the main selling points of the effects scenes?
"Egawa"
To fully maximize the appeal and allure of the Sengoku BASARA series, we got information from the console game development team that enabled us to reproduce the high quality graphics game makers create. We also spent a lot of time on the effects, such as the sound effects and number changes, in an effort to deliver the experience slot lovers expect when they sit down at a machine.
- How have sales been?
"Egawa"
The machine has sold 16,000 units, going far beyond our original projections. The operation rate, one of the key indicators of how popular a machine is, also met the specified level. Thanks to all the hard work of everyone involved, "Sengoku BASARA 2" succeeded in becoming the first Enterrise slot model to establish itself as a major hit.
- Did the success of "Sengoku BASARA 2" change the attitudes of employees?
"Egawa"
Definitely. With their first major hit under their belts, you could definitely see how "Sengoku BASARA 2" changed the thinking of Enterrise employees. The distributor Fields had nothing but good things to say about the machine, which was a major boost to the developers' confidence.
- Have you made any changes in the development structure, such as taking on new staff members?
"Egawa"
Not really. Currently we have about 80 employees on staff. Rather than take on new staff, we examining ways to deploy the employees we have and bring out the best their abilities.
- Would you mind telling us about your tie-up with Fields Fields Corporation?
"Egawa"
Fields handles the sales of our machines. They have a clear understanding of what parlors want and what they tend to purchase, which enables them to provide us with a wealth of useful information. Their unrivalled sales prowess in the industry means we can leave the marketing to them and concentrate on developing quality products. We owe a lot to Fields for the success of "Sengoku BASARA 2".
- Did you have a hard time procuring parts and supplies following the Great East Japan Earthquake in March?
"Egawa"
The earthquake really didn't have that great of an impact on our business. Amusement machines, however, are subjected to a screening system designed to ensure model consistency. This system prevents us from using substitute parts even when certain components are unavailable. We were fortunate this time around, but if one our parts suppliers was hit by an earthquake and suffered a lot of damage, it'd be a major setback for us.
- What division is in charge of procuring materials?
"Egawa"
The production division handles the procurement of materials for both the P&S business and amusement machine business. I guess you could say that is the most logical choice, for they are the ones that manufacture our amusement machines. They also work with us on the production aspect of the Amusement Equipments business division.
Back to Developer Interview 2011 Top Page
  1. 08.Katsuhiko Ichii
  2. 07.Masaru Ijuin
  3. 06.Masachika Kawata
  4. 05.Hiroyuki Kobayashi
  5. 04.Yoshinori Ono
  6. 03.Yoichi Egawa
  7. 02.Manabu Seko
  8. 01.Takeshi Tezuka

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