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Capcom expands social focus company-wide

Street Fighter and Monster Hunter producers lead social development push

Street Fighter IV producer Yoshinori Ono and Monster Hunter producer Kazunori Sugiura will lead a company-wide social games push at Capcom.

In an interview with the Japanese games magazine Famitsu, as translated by 1up, Ono explained that Capcom is now looking at social games, "from the scope of the entire company."

"Instead of framing it in its own section like consoles or mobile games, it's something that all of Capcom development is involved with," he said.

"When it came to be decided who would lead this effort, the baton went to myself since I had a great deal of experience with game communities and to Kazunori Sugiura due to the knowledge he learned about customer service through his experience with [MMORPG] Monster Hunter Frontier."

Ono acknowledged Capcom's uneven track record in social development, but insisted that the company now has a better idea of how to leverage its existing IP to "knock on the door of social gaming." The ultimate goal is to create more crossover between Capcom's customers on different platforms.

"We want to use what we have already, and there will be some name recognition among social gamers for our titles, though naturally we'll have to think about original content in the future as well."

Capcom recently announced that the next game in the popular Monster Hunter franchise will be a mobile game, distributed through Gree's social gaming network in Japan. In the interview, Sugiura said he doesn't, "feel any anxiety about devoting resources into social gaming."

Social and mobile games have played an increasingly important role in Capcom's recent performance, with the iOS hit Smurfs' Village credited as the "driving force" behind its latest financial results.

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Matthew Handrahan

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Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.

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