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Svensson: Capcom Still Committed To Western Development

Capcom Japan recently said it would only work with Western devs on existing IP, but Capcom U.S. exec Christian Svensson clarifies that the company has "more and bigger"
Earlier this year, Capcom COO Haruhiro Tsujumoto told analysts that the Osaka, Japan-based publisher would only work with Western developers on existing IP. The comment came after lackluster sales of Dark Void and Bionic Commando, two Western-developed titles. But Capcom U.S. VP of strategic planning and business development Christian Svensson said in a new Gamasutra feature interview that Capcom is still committed to a Western-inclusive business strategy. "I'm not exactly sure what the intent of [Tsujumoto]'s statements were, but I also know that I saw how they were taken by a lot of media, and I think they were not quite interpreted the right way," said Svensson. "Haru made a statement of something to the effect of 'new IPs are going to be developed in Japan, not in the West,'" Svensson continued. "And I think that is a fair statement. What I think a lot of people interpret that as is Capcom's turned its back on Western development." He explained, "And I think if you ask [R&D head Keiji] Inafune-san, that's actually far from the truth. We probably have more and bigger projects in development or soon to be in development with Western developers than we've ever had. But, they aren't new IP." Svensson also explained why 2009's Bionic Commando, developed by now-closed Swedish developer Grin, fell into the "new IP" category for Capcom, even though the series originally released in the 1980s. "For whatever reason, Bionic Commando was looked at internally as for all intents and purposes as a new IP in the fact that it was a long-dormant franchise that really had no broad awareness," he said. "I would certainly not categorize it as a new IP necessarily, but the effort to re-launch it was not that much unlike what a new IP would've been." Svensson also said that January's Dark Void, developed by Airtight Games, is "moving along, sales-wise. We're not completely dissatisfied with where it is as a first time at establishing a new property for Capcom." But he added that development for the game was "a bit longer than we had expected." "...That was, I think, part of what [COO] Haru is harping in on is if we aren't investing in new IP, hopefully we'll not necessarily have a three-plus year project kicking around, so maybe [we'd prefer a] shorter cycle with a quicker path to market."

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