The Head of Development Discusses Strategy

Yoichi Egawa

Creative Report

Generating and
cultivating popular IPs
Promoting an
enhanced digital strategy

Yoichi Egawa

Director and Executive Corporate
Officer in charge of Development
Divisions and Pachinko & Pachislo
Business Divisions of the Company

  1. Overall development policy

    As we usher in the age of cloud computing and 5G, the global trend of being able to play games anytime, anywhere is accelerating. Furthermore, with the spread of social media, anyone can be an influencer, and the formula for turning a game into a hit is also changing. In this environment, it is essential that we develop games while taking into consideration expanding online services and coordinating with marketing divisions. Meanwhile, it remains crucial that we continue to produce one-of-a-kind content that can be successful in the global market.

    Capcom aims to be the world’s best game content company. It goes without saying that we are putting great effort into producing games of world-class quality, but we are also striving to create fans via ongoing services that continuously stimulate user interest with strategic digital sales and the steady release of additional content to support that quality.

    On top of the know-how we have amassed thus far, looking to the future, we are challenging ourselves to create games that will pioneer the next generation of Capcom quality with visual technology that produces impactful graphics and improved network technology that supports various devices and cross-platform play.

  2. Development strategy

    Based on our medium-term goals, as the head of development, I am striving to fulfill my revenue responsibilities by allocating 80% of the development investment budget to steaily developing popular IP series such as Resident Evil and Monster Hunter for various platforms. At the same time, we are also working on creating new IPs utilizing the talent pool we have expanded through our proactive hiring efforts. Most recently, we announced the action adventure title PRAGMATA for the new generation of consoles, and we are making steady progress on its development.

    Our proprietary game development engine, RE ENGINE, is an integral part of Capcom’s content development. RE ENGINE is an outstanding game engine that not only makes it possible to develop high quality games while reducing development costs, it maximizes the performance of each piece of hardware. For example, in Monster Hunter Rise it enables seamless cooperative play without interuptions due to data loading. We will continue to evolve this proprietary engine while promoting Capcom’s unique approach to game creation.

    Further, we will drive our customer management to understand the playing trends and preferences of users while also building a business model for online operations, taking into account the situation of our free additional DLC for titles such as Monster Hunter Rise and Resident Evil Village.

  3. Cooperative technology approach

    I believe that hit titles are not the product of chance, but that they are the result of the entire development organization’s collaborative efforts.

    Game development at Capcom takes place on a large scale. One team can consist of more than 300 people. That is why we need an organization that is optimized for sharing knowledge and technology. In that respect, the division of Capcom that performs technology research, which is the foundation for title development, is the key to our success. RE ENGINE, which was created by the R&D Foundational Technology Department, made its debut with Resident Evil 7 biohazard, and most recently it was utilized in Monster Hunter Rise. These two brands are different in terms of both game characteristics and user demographics. In order to fully express the respective characteristics of each title while adapting them for multiple platforms, those in charge of technical development transcend departmental boundaries in their engagement with title development teams to provide the optimal development environement for each title. One of the biggest advantages of using a proprietary engine is that it provides an environement that allows our development team to focus on high quality game creation.

    Monster Hunter Rise, which was developed in this environment, exceeded expectations in sales and has been well received among users. Going forward, we will continue to create high-quality titles that win over players across the globe by maximizing and evolving the use of RE ENGINE in our world-class development environment.

  4. Training developers

    The starting point for creating an interesting game is people. At Capcom, we believe game development is the development of people, so we focus a lot of effort on hiring, training, and advancing our human resources. In terms of hiring, since 2013, we have strategically hired approximately 100 developers each year, and we soon plan to have 2,500 people in our ranks of developers. Newly hired young employees are given the chance to acquire know-how and skills through hands-on experience in the field as they are assigned to the development of popular IPs and major titles. PRAGMATA is just one such endeavor for our young employees. I feel that incorporating the youthful sensibilities of digital natives adds a new appeal to IP. In addition, the framework we have introduced ensures that that our highly capable younger employees are supported and trained by their teams so that for the next title they work on, they can take on the role of a core member leading its overall development. In this way, we are steadily training the next generation of leadership candidates.

    Development amid the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a series a of trials and errors, as it was last year, but the pursuit of something through trial and error is also the very essence of craftsmanship.

    We will never give up on our commitment to create entertaining games so that even more people around the world can experience Capcom’s content.

Home video game software sales trends (units in ten thousands)

Human resources strategy and our propriety program training the people who will lead Capcom’s future

Keiko Ichikawa

Aiming for stable growth with a staff of 2,500

The path Capcom has chosen to ensure stable growth into the future is consolidating game development technology and knowledge within the company and steadily passing Capcom’s DNA to the next generation. There are some titles that are developed by smaller sized teams, but these days hundreds of people are needed during the peak development of a major title. We are actively hiring and training human resources ourselves. By doing so, we are able to improve quality and expand our lineup in addition to making games even more interesting by incorporating the sensibilities of the younger generation in each title. That is the aim of our human resources strategy to create a development team 2,500 people strong.

Three human resource development policies to strengthen employee capabilities

Our three human resource policies are early development of talent, putting the right person in the right place, and self-learning.

First, regarding early development of talent, when we hire new graduates, upon joining the company they attend a short-term concentrated program based on their job type, and we teach them specialized skills to develop talent early. Later, they are assigned to actual projects, and under the guidance of those in charge of training, they develop their skills and individuality by experiencing Capcom’s craftsmanship firsthand.

Next, our policy to put the right person in the right place is an effort to strengthen the training of managers so that they can manage human resources appropriately while we make efforts to centralize and analyze personnel information to be used in human resource development and strive to ensure strategic talent management.

And finally, the most important policy is self-learning. We propose and implement human resources training measures based on an approach which holds that people cannot grow on the basis of coercion from others, but rather only through their own aspirations. This is embodied by our Virtual Muchaburi Dojo (roughly meaning, “virtual audacious training ground”), which is a program for training mid- level development personnel. This hands-on educational program was developed jointly by the human resources and development departments that clearly defines the thinking and behavioral characteristics common to model employees and allows participants to experience simulated situations that mimic development situations. The goal is for participants to gain awareness autonomously through this program. It has been well-received among participants who have said that the level design is wonderful and that they were completely engrossed and enjoyed it immensely. Our unique program encourages autonomous learning while honing awareness.

Transforming employee insight into customer delight, all around the world!

“I want to devote my life to the pursuit of fun.” Capcom is looking for people with such ambitions. I am happy to say that we are receiving an increasing number of applications from students who specialized in AI, networks, data analysis, and other areas essential to next-generation game development in their studies. We have high expectations that they will make Capcom’s craftsmanship even more robust.

Capcom has the potential to be the best game company in the world. We can turn the insights of each of our employees into pure joy for players across the world! The human resources department will do everything we can to support our employees and provide a place where they can shine.

Capcom boasts the latest in creative development equipment

  • World-class 3D scanner and motion capture capable of reproducing realistic movement

    World-class 3D scanner and motion capture capable of reproducing realistic movement

    Our 3D scanning studio is one of the world’s largest equipped with approximately 130 cameras. Photographing objects from 360°, enables us to scan them as 3D objects. This significantly shortens the CG modeling process and allows to pursue an even higher level of precision and quality.

    We have built one of the largest motion capture studios in Japan, boasting a 7-meter-high ceiling, which is equipped with infrared cameras to detect and film humans performing and then converts the footage into computer data. This enables us to pursue action that incorporates different heights and other realistic movements of characters.

  • Dynamic Mixing Stage,  a 3D sound booth recreating reality!

    Dynamic Mixing Stage, a 3D sound booth recreating reality!

    We use a cutting-edge Dolby Atmos system, which can also be found in movie theaters, and which uses binaural technology capable of reproducing sounds with such reality you feel as if you are right there. It also supports aural changes that are happening in real-time and can reproduce any sound or voice from the front or back, or left or right sides, enhancing visual experiences with more realistic acoustics.

  • Capcom’s continuously  evolving propriety development engine, RE ENGINE

    Capcom’s continuously evolving propriety development engine, RE ENGINE

    It not only enables expressions that appear to be live action, but it is also compatible with the latest technologies, such as VR. In addition, it has dramatically reduced the time required for each process in game development. Another advantage of our proprietary development engine manufactured in-house is that we are able to constantly evolve its specifications with the cooperation of the game development team. It is an important element in the foundation of our ability to achieve world-class quality.

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