Following on from the recent successes of Resident Evil 7: Biohazard and Monster Hunter World, Capcom seems to be a confident place, with expectations buoyed further by the reaction to the changes made in the Resident Evil 2 Remake which stole the show for many during E3 in June.
This upturn points to an evolution in the company's philosophy, something which Capcom pair Stuart Turner and Antoine Molant have been discussing recently, with the emphasis shifting towards increased quality at the same time as the publisher looks to make the most impact with the timing of its releases.
"While we have shareholders to appease, it's not just about commercial performance," Capcom's European COO Stuart Turner told GamesIndustry. "There is an artistic element that always comes in where we know this is the right way. And while if we compare RE7 to RE6 the absolute numbers are not the same, in terms of the profitability... it's completely fine. It ticked all of our boxes internally. It was really well received. And in some respects, getting some very good review scores counts as much for Capcom as a game that sells millions and millions and millions. We'd prefer a game that got a 9 and sold less, than got a 6 but sold more."
EMEA marketing director Antoine Molant then added: "We are less focused on Day One sales these days, too. We are looking much more at the long-term. And in that case RE7 is performing amazingly. Even now, after almost two years, it's still the VR flagship title. That helps keep the game selling well."
During the same interview, the pair also touched on the publisher's growing focus on releasing titles in January when the schedule is less bloated with other triple-A titles.
"We know our titles and our audience, and we know the appeal we have, and we also know what our competitors try and do. We're not going to stand up to those companies dropping tens of millions on marketing. We are, in some respects, a boutique publisher, and that January window fits with us," Turner told the site.
"There are rewards that can come in launching before Christmas, but that also comes with inherent risks. And culturally, you could say, as a Japanese publisher we like to avoid risk rather than gamble on having a massive success. That's not to say that at some point we won't go: 'Hey, next Monster Hunter, let's make it a Christmas title'. But at the moment January represents low risk and high returns, and now we're starting to see other publishers in there."
Molant then added: "At least we're not February 22nd."
That date is a reference to a jam-packed day for retailers and players alike, as it's when Metro Exodus, Days Gone, Crackdown 3, and Anthem are all scheduled to launch. And yes, February 22 is probably a date best avoided given the embarrassment of riches set to launch that day.