Capcom today announced that it has established a new Mobile Business Division to reorganize its current mobile game development. The purpose of the new division is to "aggressively" make new mobile titles using the company's existing brands. The company is also planning on expanding its licensed content in Asia.
This is not the first time that Capcom has bought into mobile significantly. Back in 2011, Capcom created Beeline Interactive, a subsidiary focused on making mobile titles. The idea at that time was to build upon the unexpected success of mobile games like Smurf's Village and Zombie Cafe. The intention was to keep Beeline and Capcom separate.
"The content and target markets of these overseas social games, distributed mainly by subsidiaries in Europe and North America, are very different from Capcom's conventional video game operations," Capcom said in a corporate statement at the time.
"As a result, the overseas social game business must be differentiated from the Capcom brand. Therefore, Capcom decided to create a second brand called "Beeline" for the development and distribution of social games on smartphones. Capcom believes that this brand will help better appeal to the desired target market and help maximize the earnings of the entire Capcom Group."
Unfortunately, Beeline did not continue to see success. Mobile revenue at Capcom fell 40 percent year-over-year in fiscal year 2013, despite the launch of Monster Hunter Big Game Hunting Quest during the nine-month period. It fell again in the following year. Under the new plan, Beeline is being reintegrated into Capcom and Beeline Interactive Japan has been renamed to Capcom Mobile, Ltd.
It's clear that Capcom Mobile will be looking beyond just Japan into Asia as a growth area. A number of traditional Japanese game developers have seen success in creating premium mobile titles based on their existing IP. Square Enix is doing well with games like Final Fantasy Record Keeper, Final Fantasy Brave Exvius, Mobius Final Fantasy, Hitman Go, and Lara Croft Go. Nintendo just launched its first mobile title, Miitomo, in the United States yesterday. Capcom itself has seen rebranded mobile title Monster Hunter Explore reach over 3.5 million downloads since launch and the company is forecasting sales of 3.5 billion yen ($31.3 million) for this fiscal year.
Capcom is planning to release four mobile titles within the fiscal year ending on March 31, 2017. Those titles include Monster Hunter, Mega Man, and Sengoku Basara titles. Likely, Resident Evil/Biohazard is not far behind. So, I guess the only new Mega Man game we're getting is going to be for mobile platforms. Shame.