Featured Post: Early Video Games & Me (and CAPCOM)

Today I’m gonna write about Capcom ie short for Capsule Computers and one of the biggest video game software/content developers in the country.

According to their website, they have a 7.6% share of the Japanese gaming market which puts them in fourth place after Bandai Namco Games (18.6%), Nintendo (18.4%) and Square Enix (9.6%).

Now, even though I’m a girl and I’m from a family with majority of the members being female, I was quite into video games from a very young age due to my elder brother’s influence. My parents were also relatively liberal with video games, those were the days where playing video games was still fun even if you didn’t spend 18 hours playing them. Even if you did, there probably weren’t enough difficulty levels for you to go through. It was generally just a past-time and it did just that – pass the time. 
I vividly remember playing the Super Mario series although like many of you (maybe), I never realized he was a plumber until much later although he was obviously always jumping in and out of pipes during those bonus rounds. Did you know that he’s also Italian? I mean, it’s a given considering the name Mario but honestly, who cares about the nationality of a fictional game character? Just like how I really didn’t like finding out that Hello Kitty is British. 
Yep. But that’s another story for a another post.
Other video games which held prominent existences in my childhood include 
Street Fighter. Each of my siblings was assigned a character. I was the evil policeman guy for some reason, Teng was Dhalsim, my brother was Ken, eldest sister was Chun Li, and I can’t remember who my middle sister was.
Final Fight. I only used the girl because she’s so pretty! And gosh those thugs bring back sweet memories haha.
Resident Evil.  My favorite game EVER. More about this later.
Suikoden. Also one of my favorite games. We got to collect people and put them in a tower. I also liked to use the pretty girls with magic powers in my group of 6. The soundtrack was amazing too.
Crash. No rules, all-out sabotage FUN.
Other games include Final Fantasy, Tekken, Zelda, Toy Story, Potpourri (not sure if this was the real name) and of course, the game that ultimately screwed up my vision because I was playing it day and night, Harvest Moon.
Ring ring! Ring the bell to bring the cows in. 
Later in my teen years, I also got into the The Sims, Clock Tower, Dance Dance Revolution series (I kick ass in that, btw) and GTA (sadly, not as kick ass), etc. 
Now, out of these few games that I’ve mentioned (I’ve dabbled in a lot more, no thanks to my brother) Resident Evil, Street Fighter, and Final Fight were developed by Capcom. Even Clock Tower was eventually sold to Capcom and Sunsoft after the original creator folded. 
One of my earliest memories of Resident Evil (or Biohazard, the original title and how it’s known here in Japan) is that of my whole family gathering around my dad’s new projector screen (yeah we had an old school home theater before it became cool!) with my brother’s PS plugged into the system. I am not kidding, the family was watching my brother play a video game and it was SO fun. Man, how times have changed and the perception of video games along with it.
And in the game there’s this significant cut scene showing how Jill Valentine and her colleagues are stranded in a big mansion with a bright red carpet. 
“Wow, what a mansion!”
Little did they know, the place was infested with zombies infected by the T virus. So once she goes investigating in the other rooms in her clickity-clack high heeled boots, she discovers a zombie kneeling down with his back to her, eating some dead body’s brains. I remember crawling under the blanket with Teng and watching this on the projector screen so clearly that I think this will be one of the scenes that will flash before my eyes before I die.

Exactly. This scene EXACTLY is definitely etched in my memory forever haha. Thanks, first zombie to ever appear in the Resident Evil/Biohazard series. 
Heck, the third installment of the game ie Resident Evil: Nemesis starring Jill as the main character in a sexy blue tube top, is the ONLY game I’ve ever beaten. EVER. Although I did have to do it with the help of a walkthrough (those books that show you a step-by-step guide for beating the game).

What is it about me and pretty video game heroines haha. Girl power!

This is the part where it gets boring. From now on are company details that may bore you lest you’re super interested in Capcom / the Japanese gaming industry Even if you’ve stayed with me thus far, you may wanna skip this part.

***

Just to clarify, my purpose for this is company research, and it’s way easier to manage all the information I’ve gathered off their Japanese website by making it a report that has an audience speaking from experience. The best way to reaffirm your knowledge is by teaching it to another person.

So Capcom was founded in 1979 and officially started its gaming business in 1983 (same as Cempaka!) in this building in central Osaka.

It has a bout 2000 employees under the current CEO and founder, Kenzo Tsujimoto. His son, Haruhiro Tsujimoto is the COO. The company’s motto is 「遊文化をクリエイトする、感性開発企業・カプコン」 which means to be the creator of entertainment culture and bringing excitement to people’s lives through original video games/software.

Capcom has 5 major types of business segments:

  • Consumer Online Gaming Business 
  • Mobile Contents Business
  • Amusement Facilities/Arcade Business
  • Arcade Games Business 
  • Others 
Consumer Online Gaming
Highest percentage of company revenue (65.2%). Mainly developing and distributing software for video game consoles alongside development and management of online PC games. Capcom is particularly famous for the Action/Adventure genre. One of Capcom’s strategies is the “one content, multi use” strategy, ie producing spin offs from the already successful titles. The best example can be seen with Resident Evil/Biohazard with its long seller video games series (6 has just been released), 5 movies (speaking of, I haven’t watched the 5th one yet!) and even a novelty restaurant in Shibuya. Other notable titles include Street Fighter, Devil May Cry, Monster Hunter, Lost Planet, and the lesser known Devil Kings. 
Mobile Contents
Generating 7.7% of revenue. This refers to games catered to smartphones and social media games that are all the buzz right now. Beeline Brands is Capcom’s alias in the social media gaming industry, creating games like Smurf Village. This sector is expected to grow exponentially seeing as everyone owns a smartphone and fiddles with it 24//7. 
Amusement Facilities
14.3% of revenue. Basically managing arcade centers called Plaza Capcom. I wonder why it’s not Capcom Plaza but the other way round? Plaza Capcom sounds very Malaysian haha. Capcom has a total of 36 of these arcade centers throughout the country.
Arcade Games
9.3%. Pachinko and Pachislot machines designed based on the themes of Capcom’s famous video game titles. 
Others
Movies, character goods, the walkthrough guide which helped me beat Resident Evil 3 as mentioned above, drama series, etc. One content, multi-use indeed! Despite the Resident Evil (earlier) movies being such huge Hollywood hits, this business only contributes the remaining 3.5% of the company’s profits. 
The first two ie video games software are Capcom’s growing enterprises 成長事業, whereas the last 3 are the stable enterprises 安定事業. 
This chart explains Capcom’s company structure based on its different departments. This was pulled from the official Capcom website and I’ve added the English labels. 
The company is driven by 5-year plans with specific goals. They are currently in the 2011~2015 plan andthe main objective is to achieve a profit increase by at least 15% by the end of this plan. 3 strategies for growth include:

成長戦略

  • Expanding the market of online gaming
  • Increasing the frequency of content creation (every 2.5 years) to join the ranks of the longsellers and strengthen Capcom’s portfolio
  • One content, multi-use
The map below shows the global Capcom groups:
Corporate Group Map
According to Ko ba san, the HR staff, Capcom has locations in 11 countries but I could only list 10 ie Japan, Canada, United States, Germany, France, United Kingdom, South Korea, Thailand, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
Capcom is constantly coming up with new contents and here are some of their newest titles:
DmC (newest title in the Devil May Cry series) on PS3 and XBox. I vaguely remember my brother playing one of the earlier versions of this.
Monster Hunter 3 for Wii U. Never played this series before although I might’ve peeked into somebody’s PSP or Nintendo Wii on the train while they were playing it.
Biohazard 6: I wonder how the story’s evolved. 

***
I haven’t been playing any video games recently, I bet they’re super difficult to beat now! I’ve been thinking a lot about starting The Sims again though haha. And writing this post made me feel like playing the Clock Tower series again – it’s the scariest shit because you control a defenseless girl who has to solve mysteries involving murderous spirits only by running and hiding.

I REMEMBER THIS GIRL. I would never listen to Chopin’s Fantasie Impromptu the same way ever again because of this very cut scene.

Scissorman and Scissorwoman. Still freaky.

Another similar game around that time was Fatal Frame. The screenshots are a bit too horrifying to post up here. Thank goodness I’m typing this in midday. By the way, I gave up on these two games (quit super early in Fatal Frame) because they were ultimately too scary for me orz.

On the other hand, although I don’t play Resident Evil anymore I am still a HUGE fan of the movies especially for its soundtrack and Milla Jovovich!Like I said, I haven’t seen the latest movie but Resident Evil 4: Afterlife imho was really laughably bad. I can only remember how hilarious it was that they introduced Wentworth Miller aka Michael Scofield locked in a prison cell and he has to prison break his way out again. Talk about typecasting. Another hilarious thing from Resident Evil is this (scroll down to the video). Gotta love her.

 「プリズンブレイク?アフターライフ?今どっちだっけ」
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4 thoughts on “Featured Post: Early Video Games & Me (and CAPCOM)”

  1. Oh my gosh, you make me just wanna replay everything that you've mentioned! Haha, miss those games!!!
    Good info, didn't know Mario was Italian! Haha~ fun times!

    Yeah remember you used to like playing Clock Tower, even I was too timid to play. Haha!

    Like

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