Name a big game development studios and they will have had their share of industry ups and downs. Over the past six months, Bethesda has had problems with Fallout76. BioWare has a rough time with Anthem, and Ubisoft has been doing ok so far with The Division 2. But think of the legendary studios and one household name that comes to mind almost immediately is Capcom. Granted, Capcom has had their share of problems, most recently with Street Fighter V and it’s in-game advertising. However, they have fixed whatever the problems were and appear to be on the onset of a second Golden Age.
The Recent History
Capcom’s 2018 Monster Hunter World proved that they were not out of touch and that they could continue the success of their IPs. It set company records for worldwide sales and a slew of successful ports to the Nintendo Switch. 2019 has been great so far with the remake of classic Resident Evil 2 (RE2), and the release of Devil May Cry 5 (DMC5). These successes prove that Capcom has turned a corner for the better.
Resident Evil 2 is a remake on a timeless story and easily one of the bestselling remakes ever made. DMC5 is a return of polished style and quality that many felt was lacking in the franchises previous title. Honestly, both games are must-play titles for the year 2019, and DMC5 may be a year-end award winner. Fans have been noticing the quality coming out of Capcom for the past few years.
Capcom’s Second Golden Age
For the past few years, Capcom has been putting out quality products. No matter the IP or Genre, all of their games are well polished, designed and provide a great gaming experience. Capcom has worked incredibly hard to remove the tarnish of the one-off failure Street Fighter V. They took a calculated risk and it did not pay off. This happens. It’s part and parcel of development.
Capcom Still Taking Risks
The industry has in many ways stopped evolving and progressing. Most publishers are not willing to take risks and try something new. Companies like EA try to cash-in on the “safety” of a Destiny-style shooter-looter (Anthem). Others take their IP into a “new” direction that others have already done such as Bethesda and Fallout76.
However, Capcom is not just following trends but has taken well thought and calculated risks. Resident Evil 2 was a total rebuilt. Devil May Cry 5 introduced a new character and a never before seen style of combat. It worked. Stunningly well.
Monster Hunter World did not reinvent. It made gameplay, balance, and quality of life changes, going farther than any of its predecessors. Resident Evil 2 and Devil May Cry 5 both followed, breaking new ground while being true to their origins. That is what made unique and special in the first place. Provided Capcom continues to calculate before taking risks, it is likely that the majority of risks taken will pay off.
Hot Streak set to Continue
Capcom continues to do with it does and was judged to be the best gaming publisher of 2018 by MetaCritic. Other franchises that could certainly benefit from the Devil May Cry, Resident Evil, and Monster Hunter type reinvigoration. Lost Planet is one such franchise. Another is Dead Rising.
Stereotyping is easy and that makes it easy to shove a developer or publisher into a neat little box. Capcom has let go of its past, and it is time for the rest of us to do the same. It is no longer fair to say that Capcom does not know what it’s doing or where it going next.
Capcom was wise enough to give its talented people the time to produce games of quality. Their work is enough to prove they are doing the right thing. It should be enough to vindicate those that stuck to Capcom during their few lost in the wilderness years. It’s time to trust Capcom again as a development studio that does what is best for its players.