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Capcom's Profits Plummet, Lost Planet 2 'Substantially' Disappoints

Poor console game sales and a strong yen continue to challenge Capcom. Struggles for games like Lost Planet 2 played a role in the company's stunning 90 percent first-quarter profit decline, while the company eyes mobile and online markets.
Poor console game sales and a strong yen continue to challenge Capcom. After closing 2009 with a 73 percent profit drop, its results for the fiscal first quarter ended June 30 were also weak, with profits down 90 percent to 2.2 billion yen ($25.3 million). Sales fell 2.4 per cent to 19.03 billion yen ($217.7 million). While in its game segment alone (Capcom has multiple businesses, including arcade operations) sales were slightly up, it had little impact on the profit declines. In particular, the company said Monster Hunter Tri for the Wii has been "sluggish". Further, "While U.S. and European markets are shrinking under the stagnating economy, performance of our flagship title Lost Planet 2 struggled to grow in these regions," the company claimed -- adding that Lost Planet 2 "underperformed its projection substantially." Capcom said Monster Hunter Online and Super Street Fighter IV were growing, however. The company pointed to the "rapid growth of network games and new devices" driven by smartphones and devices like iPad: "Under these circumstances, Capcom focused on the development of games targeted for overseas markets and online games," it explained. It exemplified this strategy through Resident Evil 4 iPad Edition, which it says has seen downoads "increasing gradually", and iPhone/iPad releases of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney and Street Fighter IV, which "achieved their projected sales." Recently, Capcom discussed its console sales challenges and said it planned to square off against market declines by releasing editions of its most popular brands, like Resident Evil and Street Fighter, more frequently.

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