Capcom Co., Ltd. (Japanese: 株式会社カプコン Hepburn: Kabushiki-gaisha Kapukon) is a Japanese video game developer and publisher  known for creating numerous multi-million selling game franchises, including Street Fighter, Mega Man, Resident Evil, Devil May Cry, Monster Hunter, Sengoku BASARA, Ace Attorney, Onimusha, Breath of Fire, Okami, as well as games based on the Disney animated properties. Established in 1979, it has become an international enterprise with subsidiaries in North America, Europe, and Japan.
Capcom's predecessor, I.R.M Corporation, was founded on May 30, 1979 by Kenzo Tsujimoto. Tsujimoto was still president of Irem Corporation when he founded I.R.M. Tsujimoto worked concomitantly in both companies until leaving the former in 1983.
The original companies that spawned Capcom's Japanese branch were I.R.M as well as its subsidiary Japan Capsule Computers Co., Ltd., both of which were devoted to the manufacturing and distribution of electronic game machines. The two companies underwent a name change to Sambi Co., Ltd. in September 1981, while Capcom Co., Ltd. was first established on June 11, 1983 by Kenzo Tsujimoto, for the purpose of taking over the internal sales department.
In January 1989, the old affiliate company Capcom Co., Ltd. merged with Sambi Co., Ltd., resulting in the current Japanese branch. The name Capcom is a clipped compound of "Capsule Computers", a term coined by the company to describe the arcade machines it solely manufactured in its early years, designed to set themselves apart from personal computers that were becoming widespread at that time. The word capsule alludes to how Capcom likened its game software to "a capsule packed to the brim with gaming fun", as well as to the company's desire to protect its intellectual property with a hard outer shell, preventing illegal copies and inferior imitations.
While Capcom's first product was the coin-operated Little League from July 1983, its first real video game, the arcade title Vulgus, was released in May 1984. Beginning with a Nintendo Entertainment System port of 1942 published in December 1985, the company started to venture into the market of home console video games, which became its main business segment a few years later. Its division Capcom USA had a brief stint in the late 1980s as a video game publisher for the Commodore 64 and IBM PC DOS computers although the development of these arcade ports were handled by other companies. Capcom has created 15 multi-million-selling game series, the most successful of which is Resident Evil.
Capcom has been noted as the last major publisher to be committed to 2D games, though this was not entirely by choice. The company's commitment to the Super Nintendo Entertainment System as its platform of choice caused them to lag behind other leading publishers in developing 3D-capable arcade boards. In addition, the 2D animated cartoon-style graphics seen in games such as Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors and X-Men: Children of the Atom proved popular, leading Capcom to adopt it as a signature style and use it in more games.
In 1994, Capcom adapted its Street Fighter series of fighting games into a film of the same name. While commercially successful, it was critically panned. A 2002 adaptation of its Resident Evil series faced similar criticism but was also successful in theaters. The company sees films as a way to build sales for its video games.
Capcom partnered with Nyu Media in 2011 to publish and distribute the Japanese independent (dōjin soft) games that Nyu localized into the English language. The company works with the Polish localization company QLoc to port Capcom's games to other platforms, notably examples are DmC: Devil May Cry's PC version and its PlayStation 4 and Xbox One remasters, Dragon's Dogma's PC version released in January 2016, and Dead Rising's version on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC released on September 13, 2016.
On August 27, 2014, Capcom filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Koei Tecmo Games at the Osaka District Court for 980 million yen in damage. Capcom claimed Koei Tecmo Games infringed a patent it obtained in 2002 regarding a play feature in video games.
In the first few years after its establishment, the Japanese branch of Capcom had three development groups referred to as "Planning Rooms", led by Tokuro Fujiwara, Takashi Nishiyama and Yoshiki Okamoto, respectively. Later, games developed internally used to be created by several numbered "Production Studios", each assigned to different games. Starting in 2002, the development process was reformed to better share technologies and expertise, and all of the individual studios were gradually restructured into bigger departments responsible for different tasks. While there are self-contained departments for the creation of arcade, pachinko and pachislo, online, and mobile games, the Consumer Games R&D Division instead is an amalgamation of subsections in charge of various game development stages.
Capcom has three internal divisions to make games. Those are Consumer games division 1 with Resident Evil, Devil May Cry, Dead Rising, and other worldwide franchises (usually targeted towards North American and European audiences), Consumer games division 2 with Street Fighter, Marvel vs. Capcom, and other online focused franchises (usually targeted towards worldwide audiences), and Consumer games division 3 with Monster Hunter, Sengoku BASARA, Ace Attorney, and other franchises with more traditional IP (usually targeted towards Japanese audiences).
In addition to these internal teams, Capcom also commissions outside development studios to ensure a steady output of titles. However, following poor sales of Dark Void and Bionic Commando, the company's management has decided to limit outsourcing to sequels and newer versions of installments in existing franchises, reserving the development of original titles for its in-house teams. The production of games, budgets, and platforms supported are decided upon in development approval meetings, attended by the company management and the marketing, sales, and quality control departments.
Branches and subsidiaries
Apart from the head office building and the R&D building of Capcom Co., Ltd., both located in Chūō-ku, Osaka, the Japanese parent company also has a branch office in the Shinjuku Mitsui Building in Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku, Tokyo. It also has the Ueno Facility, a branch office in Iga, Mie Prefecture.
The international Capcom Group encompasses 15 subsidiaries in Japan, North America, Europe, and East Asia. Affiliated companies include Koko Capcom Co., Ltd. in South Korea, Street Fighter Film, LLC in the United States, and Dellgamadas Co., Ltd.
In addition to the development and publishing of home, online, mobile, arcade, pachinko, and pachislo games, the company publishes strategy guides, maintains its own arcade centers in Japan known as Plaza Capcom, and licenses its franchise and character properties for use in tie-in products, movies, television series, and stage performances.
Suleputer, an in-house marketing and music label established in cooperation with Sony Music Entertainment Intermedia in 1998, publishes CDs, DVDs, and other media based on Capcom's games. An annual private media summit called Captivate, renamed from Gamers Day in 2008, is traditionally used as a platform for new game and business announcements.
Capcom started its Street Fighter franchise in 1987. The series of fighting games are among the most popular in their genre. Having sold over 30 million units, the series serves as Capcom's flagship franchise. That same year, the company introduced its Mega Man series, which also sells nearly 30 million units.
The company released the first entry in its Resident Evil survival horror series in 1996. The series has achieved financial success, selling over 90 million units. Following work on the second entry in the Resident Evil series, Capcom began work on a Resident Evil game for the PlayStation 2. Radically different from the existing series, Capcom decided to spin off the game into its own series, Devil May Cry. While it released the first two entries exclusively for the PlayStation 2, the company brought further entries to non-Sony consoles. The series as a whole has seen sales in excess of 10 million units. Capcom began its Monster Hunter series in 2004. The series has seen sales of over 45 million units on a variety of consoles.
Although the company often relies on existing franchises, it also published and developed several titles for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii, based on original intellectual property: Lost Planet: Extreme Condition, Dead Rising, Dragon's Dogma, Asura's Wrath and Zack and Wiki. During this period, Capcom also helped publish several original titles from up and coming Western developers with titles like Remember Me, Dark Void and Spyborgs, titles that many other publishers were not willing to take a chance on. Also of note are the titles Ōkami, Ōkamiden and Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective. Currently, Capcom is working on its latest new intellectual property, Deep Down, for the PlayStation 4.