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Developer Interview 2011

Manabu Seko / President - Beeline Interactive Japan, Inc.

Development focused on casual games Creating content that appeals to people of all ages and genders around the world

- First of all, I was wondering if you could give me an overview of this new brand Beeline.
Beeline is made up of three companies: "Beeline Interactive Japan Co., Ltd." in Japan, "Beeline Interactive Canada, Inc." in Toronto, Canada, and "Beeline Interactive, Inc.", located in Los Angeles. Beeline Interactive, Inc. acts as the head office, and is responsible for sales and marketing. In addition to my duties as the head of the development division in Canada, I also serve as the president of the Japanese arm of Beeline. Although the corporation is split along national lines into three different companies, Beeline Interactive Canada, Inc. operates as the development division of Beeline Interactive, Inc. in Los Angeles. We also have another development office in London.
Before Beeline was born the firm was known as "Capcom Interactive, Inc." We decided to change the name in April 2011 in order to establish a separate brand independent of Capcom with its own original concepts.
- What's the story behind the creation of Beeline?
In recent years mobile phones have become increasingly more common around the world, with the market for sophisticated smartphones in particular experiencing explosive growth. Research indicates that the number of smartphones and tablet PCs in use will surpass that of conventional desktop and laptop computers within the next two to three years. Considering the fact that everyone these days has a cell phone, I realized that we needed to broaden our targeted user base rather than cater to specific user segments.
Stellar titles such as Resident Evil, Street Fighter, and Monster Hunter are what make hard-core gamers gravitate towards a highly recognized brand like Capcom. As good as these games are, not everyone can pick them up and get into them right away. Women or elderly consumers that have little experience playing games would probably find these titles overly complex and difficult to play. That's where Beeline comes in. We wanted to distinguish ourselves from Capcom and create a brand that focuses on producing casual games for mobile phones that appeal to people of all ages and genders.
- How many developers do you have on staff?
We have in total 50 developers between our offices in Los Angeles, Canada Toronto, and London. This term we're also planning to hire developers in Japan.
- And the Los Angeles headquarter also has a development division.
Yes, but they are in charge of quality control, contract development, publishing, and localization.
- Operating as a separate company, you won't be using Capcom's contents. Does this mean Beeline will create its own contents, or use the licenses of other brands?
Both are possibilities. Because it costs a lot to acquire licenses, most of what we make will be our original content. Ideally the best thing to do would be to use some popular, licensed characters in our titles to attract users and get them playing our original games regularly.
- What titles can we expect to see from Beeline in the near future ?
We're planning to release eight titles during FY 2011. Our own original contents include "Smurfs' Grabber," "Dream Park," and "Monster Pet Shop." We are also going to release licensed products such as "Snoopy (temporary)," which is scheduled to be distributed in the fall this year, as well as other titles under development.
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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