- - I hear that you're really into online gaming yourself.
Yeah, I love online games, but work has kept me so busy recently that I barely have time to play anymore. Not so long ago, I was the type of person who would prepare three meals in the morning and then stay in my room all day playing online for 20 hours (laughs). That experience has served me well in my current line of work.
- - Do you play online games put out by other companies?
Of course. I play their games to research what the competition is making. It also helps me learn how to deal with game management problems.
- - People say that you make an active effort to communicate with users.
"Transparent management environment" is the catch phrase that describes how we aim to communicate with users. We post game management reports on our websites, as well as videos with information that is especially relevant to users (such as reports on adjustments made to weapons that had an unfair advantage). These videos enable us to offer detailed explanations about game-related topics and convey our feelings directly to users. They also make it easier for them to understand our intentions. About three years ago we began a journey through all 47 prefectures in Japan in an effort to interact directly with the fans of our games. Just this past July we completed this adventure, holding the final event in the remaining prefecture on our nationwide road trip. Rather than merely interacting with users online, these events provided us with a wonderful opportunity to speak with people directly. We conducted a number of user-oriented services, such as competitions where players battled it out in a test of game skill. After these competitions, I would take the stage and give a presentation, as well answer questions from people in the audience when giving the final send off for the event. Through these kinds of measures, we make every effort to shorten the distance between ourselves and the fans that play our games. In recent years, we have received a lot of wonderful messages from users, expressing their support and encouragement for the work we do.
- - It's clearly important to set up opportunities for speaking face-to-face with people.
You're absolutely right about that. Online games business is basically that offers services, which is why communicating with our customers is one of the most important things we do. We strive for excellence by approaching things from not only the perspective of a game company, but also as a company that offers Internet-based services. We draw upon examples from other industries, aiming to train staff members that pay special attention to user needs and flexibly respond on a personal level, rather than attempting to solve problems by reciting a manual like a machine recording. We believe these efforts will help us to cultivate greater expertise in the field of game management.
- - It's been a pleasure speaking with you today. Any last words for the stakeholders and fans?
The online and social game business sector is currently the hottest and most rapidly-evolving in the industry, and we are fully confident we can consistently produce great results in this sector. Moving beyond fiscal year 2012, we will continue our efforts as leader in the industry to regularly deliver games and services that capture the attention of the public and get people talking. Just a short while ago we announced our plans to launch the online game "Monster Hunter Frontier G", and already the page-view count for the official website has reached a record-high. As for social games, "Minna to Monhan Card Master" has been well-received by fans, winning the "Mobage Award 2011 Gold Prize*" in April 2012, while "Resident Evil: Clan Master", our newest title, has already equaled the record for the number of preregistered users. We aim to channel this momentum and use it as the energy of our organization to drive the Tokyo R&D Department forward. Be on the lookout for bigger and better things to come from Capcom's online and social game business.
* The "Mobage Award 2011" is a special award given in recognition of the outstanding work of the developers involved in games released on the Mobage Open Platform during fiscal year 2011 that were highly rated and played by a large number of users.