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Capcom's Svensson Talks WiiWare, Developer Acquisitions

As part of an in-depth Gamasutra interview, Capcom VP Christian Svensson has suggested that he "fully expects" the company to be publishing WiiWare games in the
As part of an in-depth Gamasutra interview, Capcom VP Christian Svensson has suggested that he "fully expects" the company to be publishing WiiWare games in the West soon, also revealing he'd be surprised if Capcom doesn't acquire a Western developer in the next two years. Svensson, whose official title is vice president of strategic planning & business development, discussed WiiWare as part of a wider-ranging interview discussing the state of the Street Fighter creator and its burgeoning Western division. He noted in particular, when asked about Capcom's plans for Nintendo's downloadable WiiWare service, given their already extensive support of Xbox Live Arcade and PSN with titles like Plunder and Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix: "I'm going to lump WiiWare in with PSP e-distribution, in that we're looking for the right content first -- a lot of the content we have now isn't quite right in value or approach or interface for WiiWare. I fully expect us to be doing some WiiWare titles very shortly in the west. I won't speak for Japan on that particular issue, but there are interesting things happening at some point there, maybe. WiiWare has some interesting challenges in terms of interface. I shouldn't say challenges: both challenges and benefits. The controls are different and frankly we'd like to make good use of the Wii Remote. We have a couple of concepts internally that I think would be perfect for Wii, as well as other platforms. The other part of this is we're trying to get a better handle on the online services that are going to be available to us on WiiWare. One of our hot buttons here across PC, PS3, and 360 is that we're trying for feature parity across all platforms. That's not a trivial task, especially when it comes down to user-created content. Let's say at some time we get into clan and guild support, or other aspects of user-created content propagation, that becomes a more interesting challenge on the Wii. Does that mean we couldn't do WiiWare stuff that doesn't have feature parity? Yeah, we could do that, but we have a couple of things where we might not have to cut anything. Let's talk again next year about that." In addition, the subject of Capcom acquiring Western developers came up later in the interview, since the veteran Japanese-headquartered company closed its Studio 8 internal California development studio in 2006, and has no directly-employed development talent. Svensson mused: "My take on acquisition -- and I've said this internally many times -- is that we're not going to acquire anyone that we haven't done a game with. Chemistry is so critical. That said, I would be sort of surprised if we didn't acquire a Western studio in the next two years. I think it's just sort of a given." The full Gamasutra interview with Svensson is now available, including lots more detail on the company's Western expansion plans, as well as the state of key Japanese franchise Monster Hunter and the state of digital downloads in today's market.

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