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Capcom's David Reeves

The COO discusses how Capcom is slowly adapting for new European markets
GamesIndustry.biz So what's Capcom's official stance on the motion controllers and how can they help change the Capcom business?
David Reeves

Capcom is embracing it, we're working with Microsoft and with Sony on both sides and trying to match up the IPs we have with what the first-parties want. It's not a forced fit. In some ways it's quite a natural way of progressing. Capcom is definitely going to embrace it and just as the first-parties are doing, we see it as another blip before we come into the next cycle. 3D gaming is the same. Anything they can add to revive and pique interest in the games until we have another clash of the titans in two years time.

GamesIndustry.biz Do you think it's going to be that soon that we'll see two new home consoles on the market?
David Reeves

Two to three years, I reckon so. I don't have any inside information. All the first-parties have got to be working on something. The tricky thing is when do you put a stake in the ground on technology? That's the problem. You can be waiting a few extra months to implement something, but you've got to set a date to go with a certain chip at a certain point otherwise you're going to miss the key milestones.

GamesIndustry.biz Is there a danger of forcing Capcom IP to incorporate motion control? Pushing IP to include motion control that it doesn't really need, doing the technology a disservice and also harming the franchise?
David Reeves

Initially, yes, because you've got two new controllers and then you've got a line up of IPs and it's almost like trying to line up boys and girls. You can do that to some extend but in the end it's the ones that are built from the bottom up – purpose built for Kinect and Move – that are going to be successful. Sony did it with the EyeToy camera, all those games were built from the bottom up. We had some terrible games on that but eventually it worked out. First-parties will come out with good stuff.

I honestly think in two or three years' time we're going to see much more of a breakthrough in terms of the way we control games. Much more than Kinect or Move are offering. A lot of people are working on that type of thing in Scandinavia, Japan and the US. How to control games in a much more accurate way. I know from working on Move, which started four or five years ago, when we had a big box in a room to get the whole thing working. It's come down to something much smaller now.

It's like chips in a computer, it's going to get faster and faster and smaller and smaller. After all, what has brought people into gaming over the past few years has been the leaning back, not the leaning forward. Leaning forward is someone playing with a controller in a bedroom playing intensely, and the image the games industry had was of a geeky individual who was very much a loner.

Leaning back, whether SingStar, Lips or Brain Training, was much more about at a party you don't even recognise people are playing a particular format, they're just playing a game. Or it's not even considered a game. Most consumers looked at this and realised videogaming isn't so bad, it's not so exclusive, there's some fun ideas here. There's room for both. Capcom at the moment is still leaning forward because that's their core competency.

GamesIndustry.biz But that's your remit isn't it, to look for new opportunities in Europe – what are you looking at there, in terms of new trends and business models for Capcom?
David Reeves

Capcom has been one of the slower publishers to embrace the digital era, and what we've had in terms of Resident Evil DLC has come one month later rather than three months later. Whereas Activision, EA, Microsoft and Sony would have it out in three months after the boxed release. They understand that the consumer engages even after he's played the game. And that can continue until the next game comes out.

GamesIndustry.biz How have you found that – do you release quickly, while the product is still hot on the shelves and take advantage of the buzz, or do you wait until sales have calmed down and you reinvigorate the game with digital content released later?
David Reeves

Capcom is a company that is relatively conservative but they are like an armadillo. It's so strong financially in terms of their IP and their controls and the quality they produce. Even if it's a force seven storm or a volcano, Capcom will come through it and out the other side. They do change gradually, they have embraced DLC quite slowly, but in a very professional way. They keep the fans on board.

EA is like seven year-old boys playing soccer, they all run after the ball. When Wii or DS was the thing to have they all ran over to it and by the time they got there the ball had moved. Whereas Capcom is going through gradually and it gets there eventually. It's not changing strategies all the time and it keeps its feet on the ground. We do have to move into that area because after all digital downloading does increase your profitability by a significant amount. You don't have to press discs, you don't have to ship them.

From a profitability point of view that's great. From a European point of view a lot of Japanese IPs from Capcom have worked very well but others do not. So going forward the opportunity to do smaller games which we can develop into big games is there. Not just in Europe, but also in the US. Capcom is looking around to see what's there. That's the typical Capcom style. I like to think it's thought out. It's not being late to the party.

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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.