Deep Down Producer and Capcom’s General Manager of Division 2 Kazunori Sugiura feels that associating games with a console of a platform may be outdated, as he explained in an internal interview published for the company’s investors:
As I said before, future games will be increasingly independent of platforms. For example, social games will not be necessarily designed for smartphones. This doesn’t mean that this game is fun to play because it is for smartphones or consoles. The manufacturers are providing hardware platforms allowing us to design and develop “entertaining games” that attract users. I think the success of games will depend on how well they incorporate social elements in the future. So, we are providing as many playing environments and opportunities as possible.
According to Sugiura-san this doesn’t mean that consoles are going the way of the dodo, but cross-platform development will become more and more widespread:
If we have content, we can distribute it to any platform. In that sense, the consoles that we excel at still have possibilities. For example, we are developing portable device versions of apps, and I think cross-platform development will go mainstream in the future.
He also mentioned that the mobile app version of a game isn’t necessarily in competition with its console release, but it helps building brand value instead:
Many fundamental IPs are originally from home video game consoles, and this trend will continue in the future. I don’t think a mobile app competes with its original console version. Instead, they build one brand value as the network business and thus strengthen the brand power. In this context, I would like to create a new IP from scratch someday.
As a final message Sugiura-san explained that online and social games are now the focus market for the company in order to drive growth:
Over the past few years, the number of new graduates is increasing at the Second Development Department, and I’m surprised that many of them study hard and learn network technologies, as they want to create social and online games. For Capcom, online and social games are the most important business segment as a key driver for growth. We would like to use these young staff members and our experience to expand the business. We are planning to port our released titles to consoles, smartphones, and tablets, and to accelerate overseas operations. 2014 will be an exciting year for us.
This is actually quite interesting when applied to the upcoming Deep Down. Could Capcom be planning to port it to other consoles and platforms in the future? It’s very possible that we’ll see a companion app for smartphones as well, given the nature of the game.
Even more importantly, since the company plans to accelerate overseas operations, will we hear about a western release any time soon?