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Capcom's David Reeves

The COO discusses how Capcom is slowly adapting for new European markets

Capcom hired long-time Sony veteran David Reeves earlier this year, with the remit of expanding its European operations through new regional opportunities and emerging business models. The popular executive helped establish a rock solid foundation for the original PlayStation through to PlayStation 3 and the PSP, and it's this care and attention to the complex European markets that could potentially transform Capcom's success across the continent.

In this exclusive interview with GamesIndustry.biz, he discusses how Capcom fits into the wider industry as it slowly changes its business, why it's essential that Microsoft and Sony reach out to family audiences with motion controllers, adapting intellectual property for Move, Kinect and 3D, and why it's all only a stop-gap until the next generation of consoles comes along.

GamesIndustry.biz What are your impressions of the motion controllers now that we know more about them, and the way Sony and Microsoft are trying to reposition themselves for a casual audience?
David Reeves

If you map it out the Xbox 360 is right up in the corner and it has certain types of games associated with it. And Microsoft knows that in ten years time they can't be there, they have to be appealing to families. And I reckon that strategically it's absolutely the right move. It's almost like two steps back and one step forward. They are right to separate Kinect from everything else.

GamesIndustry.biz What did you think to Microsoft's Cirque Du Soliel event at E3? That certainly gave the impression Kinect is almost a separate games business for them...
David Reeves

Only when Star Wars came up and the dancing game (Harmonix' Dance Central) were there cheers. It fell a little bit short to be honest. If you look at the industry over the past five years and ask yourself where has the money been made, it's been made on Wii Fit, Brain Training, SingStar, even Guitar Hero. And then on the other side you've got the Activision and EA hardcore titles. They're in a box. Publishers don't want to give up their core values but they need to reach out to this wider market.

GamesIndustry.biz The Xbox 360 seems to be the least family-friendly of the three consoles, Sony is still able to trade on its heritage of the PlayStation 2...
David Reeves

But they've got to do it to make that move before they bring out the new systems. I think long-term it's the right move but they realise they're going to upset a lot of users.

GamesIndustry.biz Do you think that family market is still there? Those people that bought the Wii for the family to play, those stories about grandma playing Brain Training – are they going to buy an Xbox 360 for Kinect?
David Reeves

Call it social gaming or family gaming but it's always going to be there. With Guitar Hero there's always new music, with SingStar there's always new songs. With Wii Fit you can always add new games and reflect trends and fads in fitness.

Where it has to get creative is with games like Grand Theft Auto and Halo, you've got to reinvent yourself for a new generation, and that's difficult, especially as these games cost $50-$70 million. In terms of downloadable content as long as the content holders – the labels, the artists – aren't too greedy, that's really where the money is. Because otherwise you're spending $60 million to create a new game. To produce Rock Band the guys at Harmonix are brilliant. They're not doing a lot of graphical work, it's not very expensive for them. SingStar was exactly the same, it becomes a licensing business in a way.

Capcom is in the same position as the hardcore crowd. Whether it's Resident Evil or Street Fighter or whatever comes next, it's still going to cost a lot of money to put those games together. Red Dead Redemption cost an enormous amount to put together but it was probably worth it.

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Matt Martin

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Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.