- For the original NASA meaning, see capsule communicator.
is a leading Japanese international developer and publisher of video games headquartered in Osaka, Japan. It was founded in 1979 as Japan Capsule Computers, a company devoted to the manufacturing and distribution of electronic game machines.
According to Capcom,
"The name CAPCOM is an abbreviation of CAPsule COMputer. This was a phrase symbolic of an internal company objective to create a new gaming experience that would exceed that of rival personal computers which had also been increasing in popularity during the same period."
Over the years, Capcom has created some of the biggest and longest running franchises in video gaming history. The company released their first arcade game in 1984: Vulgus. Their early games were mostly arcade games such as the scrolling shooter 1942.
In the late 1980s, Yoshiki Okamoto joined the company from Konami. In 1987, Capcom released the game Street Fighter. Also in 1987, the company released the platformer Mega Man (Rockman in Japan) for the Nintendo Entertainment System.
Final Fight, a beat 'em up, was released in 1989. In 1991, Okamoto's Street Fighter II was released in the arcades.
Breath of Fire, Capcom's first major foray into the RPG genre, was released in 1994 for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.
Resident Evil (Biohazard in Japan), a successful survival horror, was released on the PlayStation in 1996.
Two Capcom development houses, Clover Studio and Flagship have created successful titles in recent years, including the Viewtiful Joe series and ''Okami.
In 2002 a movie based on the series entitled Resident Evil was released, which did well enough financially to warrant a sequel (Resident Evil: Apocalypse) in 2004. A third movie, Resident Evil: Extinction was released on September 21, 2007, and led the box office in first place.
Capcom also teamed up with Microsoft to make the successful Dead Rising in 2006, which was a popular zombie survival and adventure game and timed exclusive for the Xbox 360. However, a Wii-version is currently in production.
Beside developing games under its own brand, Capcom also developed the arcade, Dreamcast and PS2 versions of its Mobile Suit Gundam third person shoot em ups for Banpresto and also distribute many games including the Grand Theft Auto series for the Japanese market.
As of mid-2007, Capcom teamed up with Valve Corporation to release games through Valve's Steam content delivery system, being the first Japanese company to do so. At present, only three games are available, those being Onimusha 3, Devil May Cry 3 Special Edition, and Lost Planet.
Capcom's original mascot
, Captain Commando
, is a superhero
who wears a futuristic armor of unknown origin. His name forms the word Capcom when the first syllable of each word is combined in the Japanese abbreviation way. He originally appeared in the early Capcom Famicom
/NES game Section Z
(the arcade version of Section Z
has similar gameplay
, but it is not clear that the hero is the same person). Along with that, he appeared in the manuals and the back covers of Capcom's early NES games to thank players for purchasing them. He also appeared in the self named beat em up
game, Captain Commando
, in 1991. He later appeared in Marvel vs. Capcom
and Marvel vs. Capcom 2
, in which he is often considered to be an excessively powerful character. In Marvel vs. Capcom
, he still serves as a mascot, regularly shouting "Capcom!" during fights and relaying Capcom-themed messages after winning. He displays the ability to quickly change from regular clothing, including a cowboy hat, into his armor, suggesting a secret identity
. Captain Commando's storyline is not connected to that of Commando
and Bionic Commando
, despite the similar name.
Mega Man has superseded Captain Commando as Capcom's official mascot, primarily because of the immense popularity of the Mega Man series.
Also, Ryu of the Street Fighter series is one of the more prominent Capcom characters and is not only the face of Capcom's fighting games, but is generally associated with the fighting genre.
The Yashichi is an item found in many Capcom video games. It often restores the player's health or acts as a bonus point item. The symbol is a red circle decorated with a stylised white cross that resembles a pinwheel.
The item appeared first in 1984, in Capcom's first title, Vulgus, as an enemy (it was also featured in Capcom's fifth title, Exed Exes, in a similar role). It also appeared in Mega Man (Rockman in Japan) as an item which fully restored health and weapon energy. Since then, it has been featured in many other games in a far more benign role.
Capcom Production Studios
Each Capcom Production Studio
is the developer
behind Capcom's games. The studios are divided into different sections and named after numbers, except for the independent Clover Studio
(now defunct) and Flagship
which is funded by Capcom of Japan.
Subsidiaries and related corporations
- Capcom Entertainment, Inc.
- Capcom USA, Inc. was established in California as the official North American subsidiary of Capcom in August 1985.
- Capcom Asia Co., Ltd. was established in Hong Kong as the official Asian subsidiary of Capcom in July 1993.
- Capcom Eurosoft Ltd. was established in United Kingdom as the official European subsidiary of Capcom in July 1998.
- KOKO Capcom Asia Co., Ltd. the official South Korean subsidiary of Capcom in July 2001.
- CE Europe Ltd. was established in London in November 2002.
- CEG Interactive Entertainment GmbH was established in Germany in February 2003.
- Capcom Interactive Canada is a division of Capcom and their focus is developing games for mobile platforms.
- Capcom Charbo Co., Ltd. manages the rental, maintenance and lease of electronic game machines.
- Captron Co., Ltd. manages the rent, lease and operation of real estate properties.
- Suleputer was established to market and distribute games and related merchandising (books, music, anime, etc.) in Asia. Their current name is a conjunction of Capsule Computer.
- Nude Maker Co., Ltd. is the development studio that made Clock Tower 1, 2 games on the PlayStation and Xbox and Steel Battalion only available on the Xbox.
- Nintendo Australia Pty Ltd, the Australian subsidiary of Nintendo Co., Ltd. is the main distributor for a majority of Capcom's products in Australia for Nintendo Consoles nd source Capcom's products from the UK due to the PAL situation, and Nintendo Australia will continue to do so because DVB-T, 1 digital television format that will replace PAL in Australia in 2012 is shared with the UK.
- Ubisoft Australia Ltd distributes some of Capcom's products in Australia.
- Red Ant Enterprises Pty Ltd distributes Capcom's lower end games in Australia.
- PlatinumGames is a new studio comprised of former Clover Studio employees. It was formerly known as SEEDS. It is not part of Capcom and they have a publishing agreement with Sega.
- Arika formed in 1996 by former Capcom employees. The name of the company is the reverse of the name of the company's founder, Akira Nishitani, who (along with Akiman) created Street Fighter II. First game was Street Fighter EX and new properties of their own are Everblue and Endless Ocean.
- Nickel City is a chain of video arcades once owned by Capcom where the machines ran on nickels or on free play. It was sold in 2004 and continues to operate under independent ownership.
Influence in general media
Capcom's games and characters therein have been featured in a number of anime, cartoons, theatrical movies, etc. Some of which include:
- The company mascot, Mega Man, played a supporting role in a Nintendo inspired TV-show Captain N: The Game Master and has later been featured in three separate cartoons: Mega Man produced by Ruby-Spears, and the two anime series MegaMan NT Warrior and Mega Man Star Force. He also starred in three OVAs originally released in Japan in 1993, released later on DVD in North America, and the NT Warrior anime series spawned a 48-minute feature film (only in Japan) entitled Rockman EXE: The Program of Light and Dark, Mega Man's first ever appearance on the big-screen.
- Street Fighter II has also been a popular source for films, anime, and cartoons. A popular anime adaptation was made, followed by live action adaptation, both in 1994. Shortly afterwards, two different animated series, a Japanese series and an American series were produced in 1995.
- The fighting game Darkstalkers was made into two animated adaptations, in Japan and in the United States.
- Another fighting game, Power Stone, saw an anime adaptation.
- So far the most successful series of films has been based on Capcom's popular survivor horror series Resident Evil. The first film was received well at the box office, earning a solid 102 million worldwide. Its VHS and DVD sales were even stronger leading Screen Gems and Sony to make a sequel, which also proved to be a financial success. The third and final part Resident Evil: Extinction was released in Fall 2007.
- An anime series based on Viewtiful Joe was made in 2004. It consists of 52 episodes and is based loosely around the first and second games. It features new characters, such as Captain Blue Jr. and Sprocket, who were later introduced into the GameCube and PSP game, Viewtiful Joe: Red Hot Rumble. Viewtiful Joe the anime series used to air on Kids' WB! on Saturdays at 8:00 AM, and later 11:30 AM but was cancelled shortly before the network changed to The CW.
- An anime based on the series Devil May Cry aired in Japan for 12 episodes. It was handled by Madhouse.
- Three films based upon the Capcom franchises Devil May Cry, Clock Tower and Biohazard (Resident Evil) are currently in production and scheduled to be released in 2008.
- A manga version of the courtroom drama action series Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney is being produced in Japan.