Key IP will be made in Japan, publisher claims

Capcom to adjust overseas dev deals

Capcom believes that its partnership with fallen Swedish studio Grin had “demonstrated the difficulty” of outsourcing projects to thirdparties outside of its native Japan.

The international publisher said in an investor Q&A that it would change the way it handles thirdparty partnerships, and that the company will delegate new IP projects primarily to its Japanese studios.

“Overseas companies may be used mostly to develop titles for existing game series with well-established characters and universal themes,” said the firm.

Capcom had signed an agreement with independent developer Grin to create a number of multiplatform titles – such as a mysterious Final Fantasy game as well as the poorly-received Bionic Commando.

After poor sales of the latter title, Grin finally buckled under sustained financial pressure and – back in August 2009 – closed its doors completely.

According to a statement from the company’s founding brothers – Bo and Ulf Andersson – the group has been “forced” to shut down due to “too many publishers delaying their payments”, causing an “unbearable” cash flow situation.

In wake of the turmoil, Capcom has now revealed that “[our] experience with Bionic Commando has demonstrated the difficulty of outsourcing the development of new title to overseas companies.”

The firm claimed that, nevertheless, it “cannot develop a sufficient number of titles without using the resources of these companies. This is why we plan to continue using these alliances.”

The Q&A was first cited by news site Joystiq, and can be downloaded in full here (pdf).

Elsewhere in document, Capcom admitted that its delaying of AAA titles into 2010 was a “strategic decision”.

Recently, a senior designer at Capcom’s Japanese headquarters had expressed doubt on the firm’s collaboration with Western studios.

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