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IR Top Page > Developer Interview 2011 > vol04.Yoshinori Ono
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Developer Interview 2011

Yoshinori Ono / Deputy Head Consumer Games Development

A pivotal series driving Capcom’s global expansion - Finding the best approach to global marketing and sales

- How are you marketing this globally popular series outside of Asia?
We actually presented Street Fighter in Russia last year at the Moscow version of the "Japan Expo" held in France. The Moscow exhibition has been held for two times. When we went last year for the second exhibition we even had the honor of being invited to the Japanese embassy. At the exhibition venue a lot more fans showed up than we originally anticipated. This reminded me again of how popular the series is. Though there is a problem with unit pricing of packaged games, I believe there is still a business opportunity. If we're guaranteed to sell a certain number of games, we'll consider promoting the game in Russia, Eastern Europe, and other parts of Asia even if we have to lower the price.
- What's the regional distribution of fans for this series like?
Generally, North America accounts for about 60%, Europe 30%, and Japan and Asia 10%.
- Wow, North America makes up a huge chunk of the fan base.
Yeah, it's massive. We want to boost our share in Europe, but all the regional problems have kept this number right around 30%. The thing about Europe is that it's not one country but a collection of 30, so that means we need to have the marketing ability to fine-tune our promotional campaigns for each individual country. Currently our subsidiaries in Britain, France, and Germany are able to provide specially tailored marketing to some extent, but its important for us is to extend this marketing network to other European countries.
- It seems that Street Fighter has been widely popular in North America for a number of years.
Part of this popularity stems from the past success of the series, but I think the major reason can be attributed to the strategy we adopted. In North America establishing a connection with fans and their communities is considered to be extremely important, so that means companies need to continuously provide fans with information. For a series like Street Fighter, which has such a large and loyal fan base, maintaining that fan community is probably the most important issue for marketing. One of the ways in which we do that is by regularly holding what we call "Fight Club" events. Although fans can interact with each other online, what they want to do most is see some "super play" fighting action and have a chance to talk with developers about the game. That's why we're always trying to create opportunities for them to do just that. We've set up various kinds of large and small events that demonstrate our support for fans, such as fighting game competitions, and will continue to do so in the future. I feel that these consistent efforts are what have solidified the series' popularity in North America.
- What are the sales like in Asia?
Up until recently sales in Asia have been pretty close to zero, but they have been gradually going up over the last few years.
- Is Street Fighter well-known in Asia?
We've sold some arcade machines around Asia, so people are somewhat familiar with the series. But because PC online gaming is where all the major companies battle it out, people kind of tend to think that it's hard to sell home game consoles in Asia. Still, it never hurts us to broaden the range of our contents, so in that regard we'd like to discuss options for strategic expansion for the future.
- What's your take on the potential of the online games?
There's huge market potential. We recently announced "Street Fighter X Tekken" for PlayStation®Vita, but because online play through the PS3, Xbox 360, and other game consoles has pretty much become the norm, I want to explore the different elements of fun this type of gameplay offers. Online gaming, including the online PC games, still has room for future expansion of online playing, and as computer networks become more widespread, we'll even be able to distribute our contents in emerging countries where game consoles are currently not sold. Moving into the future online-oriented business are definitely going to be more important.
- Do you think the sales of network download versions will increase?
The crucial difference between a packaged version and a download version is how each is distributed. Not every region has the same type of distribution networks or inventory control methods that we see in developed countries. That's why we think online distribution is so attractive, because it allows us to centralize distribution and sales management. Another advantage is the efficiency of quality control and being able to provide regular updates. Even if you people living in the backwoods deep in the mountains, as long as a network environment is in place, the possibilities for doing business are extremely good.
- Seems like you got a pretty good business approach lined up. Thanks again for all the wonderful insight. Any last words for our fans out there?
The release of "Street Fighter IV" was our first new title in the series after taking a ten year hiatus. Looking at the series now, it's no exaggeration to say it has become one of the key franchises pushing Capcom forward. I believe "Street Fighter X Tekken" has the potential to take the series to new heights, and hope you all have a blast playing this game. The project that produced this game certainly felt like a party to us, and it wouldn't have been possible without the amazing collaboration of Namco. We hope this game sets a spark to fighting games and allows us to exploit past assets of this great genre. I believe we can expand our contents into areas such as anime and movies, as well as online gaming. We're fully committed to ensuring that the Street Fighter series retains its place as one of Capcom's leading franchises. Stay tuned for more great things to come from this series!
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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