Summit News

Capcom to unveil more iPhone titles

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese video game maker Capcom Co Ltd said it plans to launch more than 10 titles for Apple Inc’s highly popular iPhone in the year to March, cashing in on growing demand for mobile gaming.

Capcom Chief Financial Officer Kazuhiko Abe poses during the 2008 E3 Media & Business Summit in Los Angeles July 15, 2008. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

The company, which produces “Monster Hunter” and “Street Fighter,” earlier this month launched “Resident Evil: Degeneration” action horror game for iPhone and iPod touch as its first title for the Apple gadgets.

Speaking at the Reuters Global Technology Summit in Tokyo, Capcom Chief Financial Officer Kazuhiko Abe said sales of its “Resident Evil 5” survival horror game are likely to reach 1 million units in the current financial year, exceeding the company’s own forecast of 800,000 units.

“Resident Evil 5,” designed for Microsoft Corp’s Xbox 360 and Sony Corp’s PlayStation 3, went on sale in March, and Capcom sold 4.4 million units by the end of the month.

“We are still enjoying strong demand, very strong demand, that is,” Abe said on Thursday. “In the single month of April, sales came to as many as 570,000 units.”

Capcom posted an 11 percent jump in operating profit in the year ended March 31 as it enjoyed strong sales of “Resident Evil 5” and “Street Fighter IV” fighting game.

For the current financial year to March 2010, it forecast a 6 percent rise in operating profit to a record 15.5 billion yen ($164 million).

Abe said the company aims to drive its overseas sales by offering titles that appeal to the expanding U.S. and European markets but has no plans of pursuing acquisitions.

Seeking growth overseas is important for Japanese software publishers as the video game market is shrinking at home.

Square Enix Holdings Co Ltd, creator of role-playing game series such as “Dragon Quest” and “Final Fantasy,” which earlier this year bought British video game maker Eidos, said it too was not considering acquisitions for the time being.

“We aim to achieve 10 percent growth in sales and hit an operating margin of 15 percent each year. But acquisitions are not how we are going to do that, at least for now,” Abe said.

“We plan to strengthen our own business first, and only after completing that process, we will think about things like acquisitions.”

Ahead of Abe’s comments, shares in Capcom closed up 4.1 percent at 1,774 yen, outperforming the benchmark Nikkei average, which fell 0.9 percent.

($1=94.75 Yen)

Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka and Reiji Murai; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Mike Nesbit