Capcom Co., Ltd. (hereinafter “Capcom”, which includes its subsidiaries) ensures that its risk management system functions across the organization with internal Risk Management Regulations set forth to minimize damages, losses or the loss of trust by carrying out the appropriate measures in preparation to prevent various, foreseeable emergencies or in the event that an unforeseeable situation arises. Of the items relating to the status of its businesses and financial position as listed in its annual securities report*, Capcom is exposed to risks that may affect its operating results, financial status and cash flow, including but not limited to those stated in writing below. Also, while it is possible that there have been both negative and positive effects from the spread of COVID-19 on its businesses, the Capcom Group has judged that any impact on its business results, stock price, financial position etc., has been limited.
However, forecasts have been omitted because, should the aforementioned risks manifest, it will be difficult to make rational forecasts regarding the impact on the Capcom Group’s financial position, management results and cash flow situation. Further, items listed in the following text regarding the future were judged by the Capcom Group as of the end of the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021.
*Available in Japanese only
1. Risks Relating to Digital Contents
(1) Increase in Development Costs
Development costs have been rising steeply in recent years for home video games, driven by factors including the introduction of new technologies and functional advancements in devices. As such, there is a risk that we will be unable to recoup the development costs for some titles, such as for those that do not reach their target unit sales.
To address this, Capcom is focusing on controlling development costs by both improving quality and improving development efficiency. It is doing this through maintaining proprietary game development engines, as well as with efficient assignment of developers and a bolstered workforce.
(2) Obsolescence of Game Software
Being a luxury good, video games face intense competition from other industries whose consumer segments overlap with our own, and the purchasing trends for video games can be affected by strong consumer interest in other forms of leisure. Further, long product life for physical, packaged games is not guaranteed. Given this, product obsolescence can occur quickly, and we might face the risk of increased inventories and irrecoverable development costs.
To address this, Capcom is endeavoring to secure long-term revenue streams by reducing product inventories with stronger digital sales and through continuously leveraging our major intellectual property with rereleases of past titles and in spin-off products.
(3) Dependency on Popular Series
Capcom has released many games, and a portion of these have tended to be more popular than others. Sales for our established franchises show limited volatility and help stabilize our business performance; however, if the market environment changes or if there are any defects or issues with these games, we face the risk of losing users, which could have an adverse effect on our future business strategies, performance and financial condition.
To address this, in addition to regularly releasing major titles that utilize our core IP while creating new IP, we are pursuing increased brand value for our IP through capturing new customers via our Single Content Multiple Usage strategy.
(4) Violent Scenes and Depictions
Some of our popular games contain scenes of violence, grotesque imagery, or other provocative depictions. When violent crimes or crimes involving juveniles occur, certain members of the media often claim that games have an effect on or relationship to these incidents. Because of this, we may be subject to defamation in public or possible regulatory action by governing bodies, which may have an adverse effect on our business performance or financial condition.
To address this, Capcom strictly follows the guidelines of age-based rating systems for video game software while working to raise awareness among children, students, schools and guardians through carrying out guest lectures and company visits.
(5) Seasonal Fluctuations
The market experiences peak demand from the Christmas season through the New Year’s holiday. Accordingly, trends in the demand for games fluctuate substantially throughout the year and there is a risk that business performance may substantially fluctuate from quarter to quarter.
To address this, we endeavor to extend the product lives of our games and stabilize revenue by strengthening digital sales and through flexible pricing strategies.
(6) Trends in Home Video Game Console Adoption
We provide video game titles primarily for home video game consoles made by Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc., Nintendo Co., Ltd., and the Microsoft Corporation in the United States. Therefore, depending upon home console adoption trends or the existence of defects or other issues in game consoles, there is a risk that our business strategies, performance and financial condition may be adversely affected. To address this, in addition to basing estimates for our future outlook on investigation and analysis of the home video game market, Capcom diversifies revenue risk by releasing titles on multiple platforms.
(7) License Agreements with Console Manufacturers
We take a multi-platform approach, which involves providing home video game software titles on major current-generation game platforms.
Accordingly, we have licenses for manufacturing and distributing game software from Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc., Nintendo Co., Ltd., and the Microsoft Corporation in the United States, who are also our competitors. However, there is a risk that amendments to the licensing agreements and new terms and conditions of the agreements may have an adverse effect on our future development strategies, business performance and financial condition.
To address this, in addition to home video game consoles we are also focusing on sales of games for the PC platform while pursuing revenue growth globally.
(8) The Home Video Game Platform Cycle
In the past, new home video game platforms have been released every three to seven years. Consumers tend to be reluctant to purchase new software during transitions between hardware generations. Therefore, there is a risk that our business performance and financial condition may be adversely affected by sluggish sales during these transitional stages.
To address this, Capcom aims to increase sales volume by lengthening the life cycles of our games via digital sales ratio improvements, bolstered catalog sales and flexible pricing policies.
(9) Mobile Market
The game market has been expanding following the wide adoption of smartphones and other mobile devices; however, failing to adapt to new technology quickly enough has been known to disrupt IP holders’ ability to provide content. Further, in-game purchasing systems have become a social issue, introducing the risk of government regulation. In addition to this, if the number of users were to decline due to more diverse entertainment options or consumer needs, there is a risk that our performance and financial situation could be adversely affected.
To address this, we are working to provide games that utilize our popular IP and capture new customers through monetization methods that do not pressure players for in-game purchases.
2. Risks Relating to Other Businesses
(1) Arcade Operations
There is a risk that our business results and financial condition may be adversely affected by the popularity of machines, the diversification of entertainment options, the falling birth rate, intensified competition, changes in the market environment and other such factors.
To address this, in addition to expanding into new formats such as themed stores and showrooms specializing in character merchandise, we are working to capture new fan demographics and raise brand awareness by introducing new technology, such as VR corners, as well as installing attractions for young children and holding events.
(2) Amusement Equipments
Regarding sales of Pachislo machines, under the provision of The Entertainment and Amusement Trades Rationalizing Act, we are allowed to sell only those machines that meet Security Electronics and Communications Technology Association requirements. Performance in this business segment may be significantly affected by the aforementioned systemic industry factors. As a result, there is a risk that our performance and financial condition may be adversely affected.
To address this, through our membership in Nichidenkyo, we have worked to build a structure where we are able to ascertain the movements of the regulatory authorities and quickly adapt to changes in regulations.
3. Risks Relating to Overseas Operations
1．There is a risk that our business strategies, performance and financial condition may be adversely affected by market trends and the existence of competitors, as well as other various country risks including political, economic, legislative, cultural, religious, customary and foreign currency risks in overseas markets.
To address this, Capcom maintains steady communications with our overseas subsidiaries and distributors to understand the market trends of each region and carry out marketing that suits local needs.
2．As the volume of overseas transaction expands, it is possible that losses or expense burdens will increase depending on regulations or the interpretation of the accounting laws by the customs or taxation authorities. The operating results and financial position of Capcom may be affected negatively by these conditions.
To address this, we work closely with our overseas subsidiaries and distributors to promote legal compliance.
3．There is a risk that our business performance may be adversely affected by the increase in expenses and the failure to recover overseas investment in the event of unforeseeable circumstances which cannot be predicted by feasibility studies.
4. Risks Relating to Financial Status and Operating Results
1．Although digital downloads have grown, our principle business of home video games is exposed to the risk of short product life, which hastens obsolescence and drives increased inventories. There is a risk that our business results and financial condition may be adversely affected by this.
2．Our business performance may substantially fluctuate from quarter to quarter, as the market environment may change throughout the year in our industry. Also, we may not be able to generate cash flows as originally planned due to declines in sales, changes in management strategies and other factors, which may have an adverse effect on our business results and financial condition in the years following.
5. Risks Relating to Development Technologies
Products relating to game machines, including home video games, are subject to rapid technological progress. Therefore, there is a risk that sales opportunities may be lost due to any delays with technological progress, which may have an adverse effect on our business results and financial condition.
To address this, we are ceaselessly focused on development enabled by cutting-edge technology and provide a state-of-the-art work environment while employing top-tier developers.
6. Legislative Risks
Our Arcade Operations business is subject to the Entertainment Establishments Control Law and its related regulations and ordinances. In the event of any amendments or the establishment of laws and ordinances in the future, the scope of our business activities may be subject to change, or the preliminary examinations, inspections and other procedures carried out by regulatory agencies may become stricter. There is a risk that this may result in impeding our business plans, and adversely affecting our business results and financial condition.
To address this, we work to collect information from police and administrators while carrying out strict legal compliance with the aim of maintaining a safe and healthy work environment at our stores.
7. Risks Relating to Intellectual Property Rights
The development and distribution of products including game software and pachislo machines involves intellectual property rights such as patent rights, trademark rights, utility model rights, design rights, copyrights, etc. Because of this, it is probable that the development and distribution of game software will become difficult if we cannot acquire intellectual property rights. Also, we cannot rule out the risk of a third party’s intellectual property rights being violated by us. These factors pose a risk that may adversely affect our business results and financial condition.
To address this, we aim to protect our intellectual property by carrying out management of intellectual property rights in each country or region in addition to raising awareness of preventing infringement internally.
8. Risks Relating to Lawsuits
In the past, Capcom has both sued and been sued over copyright infringement. In addition, as the company expands its business domain, it is possible Capcom may be taken to court in the future over product liability, labor or intellectual property rights related issues. As a result, depending on the type of lawsuit and the amount claimed in the lawsuit, there is a risk of this adversely affecting our business results and financial position.
To address this, we have been taking a variety of measures to reduce the risk of litigation globally.
9. Risks Relating to Information Leaks
It is possible for our hardware, software and databases to be compromised through unauthorized access via computer viruses, technology exceeding our assumptions or other unforeseeable events. Accordingly, in the event that confidential information related to individual persons or game development was leaked, damages may have to be paid, our image may be tarnished and development may be brought to a halt. Therefore, these incidents may negatively affect the operating results and financial position of Capcom.
Capcom confirmed in November 2020 that it had been the victim of an attack due to unauthorized access to its network and that some personal information and corporate information had been compromised.
To address this, we carried out an investigation into the incident with the cooperation of external specialist companies while taking a variety of measures to strengthen security and prevent any reoccurrence under the guidance and advice of the Information Technology Oversight Committee, which was established as an advisory group with external experts.
With the cooperation of the Committee, going forward we will work to further bolster our management and oversight as well as our information security on an ongoing basis.
10. Development and Retention of Human Resources
The mobility of personnel is relatively high in the game industry, and it is possible that our business activities will be disturbed if any of our talented employees decide to resign or move to our competitors. As such, these factors may negatively affect the business results and financial condition of Capcom.
To address this, Capcom is actively engaged in recruiting, educating and retaining excellent human resources. Additionally, we are working to build a comfortable environment through promoting flexible work arrangements and the proactive use of paid leave, as well as with the establishment of on-site childcare.
11. Risks Relating to Unforeseeable Events
In the case that an unforeseeable event arises, either in Japan or overseas, it is possible that it may negatively affect the Capcom Group’s business performance and financial position. Some examples of these events include: social unrest due to natural disasters such as typhoons, earthquakes and tsunamis or the outbreak or unchecked spread of disease and pandemics; economic crises due to unstable financial and asset markets; political disorder due to violence or terrorism.
To address this, we are working to prevent crises and minimize any impact should an unforeseeable event occur with crisis management regulations and an organization-wide risk management system.
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