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Capcom Japan prepared to take "major new IP risks"

But publisher also careful not to "oversaturate" market with core franchises

Capcom Japan will be taking some "major new IP risks" in the near future, according to the company's US vice president Christian Svensson.

Svensson spoke to GamesIndustry.biz for a frank interview at last week's GDC in San Francisco, where he responded openly to questions about the rotation of Capcom's extensive IP catalogue and the possibility of any new franchises emerging in the face of so much winnowing from other publishers.

"Well, to clarify a bit," said Svensson, when questioned about Capcom not creating any new products for the forseeable future. "When I say no more new IP, I mean no new IP in the West. I think you will see us actually taking some major new IP risks."

North American operations are still very much focused on existing properties, and Svensson said not to expect too many surprises from those regions soon.

"I think we're a ways away from that" the VP responded to the question of new US IP. "The remit at the moment is still to leverage existing classic Capcom brands - I think you see that in bigger ways than perhaps you've seen from us before. New IP for the near term? No go."

However, Svensson did also hint that there would be some respite in store for at least some of Capcom's heavy hitters, pointing out that brand fatigue was very much a possibility in the face of over-exposure.

"We have loads of things which we're still noodling which we haven't touched in years and years and years. We really still think there's value in trying some stuff with them. Obviously we're heavily reliant right now on a narrower range of core brands. We're looking at ways to not over-saturate the market with them.

"I think that care has to be taken to avoid brand fatigue. Not to name names, I think some people are better or worse at that. We have some concerns internally about, 'are we doing too much of something?'

"You may see some other stuff, which we we've been quite prolific with, take a little rest for a while whilst we update some stuff that hasn't been looked at for a while."

Read the full interview, including Svensson's predictions for social gaming and the new handheld generation, on the front page.

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Dan Pearson