Capcom Undecided on Next-Gen Game Price Increase; Q1 Financial Conference Call also Reveals Company’s COVID Strategy

While Capcom has been in the news lately for a series of high-profile employees taking their leave of the company, that doesn’t mean its all doom and gloom for the publishers of Resident Evil, Street Fighter, and more. Much like how Sony’s recent financial reports for the first quarter of 2020 revealed some surprising information about the habits of consumers in a pandemic world, Capcom and its own financial report revealed much about the company’s COVID strategy. Also of note is the Capcom stance on next-gen and PS5 game price fluctuations, whether it will bow to the trend of an increase, and more. The entire set of literature from Capcom’s Q1 reporting from August 3 can be found on the Capcom Investor Relations page.

The above tweet from industry analyst and often-retweeted Communications Manager at Wushu Studios @Shinobi602 highlights just one facet of the Q1 Capcom financial conference call Q&A from a week ago. When asked about potential risk in delaying titles currently scheduled for release, the company-line response was “The extent of COVID-19’s impact remains unforeseeable, however at this point in time we believe there are no risks of delay to development that would significantly affect our business results for this fiscal year. In the medium-term, there may be adjustments to our release lineup, however, none that we think will cause a major deviation from our medium-term plan.”

And while Capcom acknowledges that COVID has been one factor in the growing trend this year of increased digital sales, it isn’t ready to attribute digital growth solely to the pandemic. Instead, Capcom suggests that casual game audiences are playing more during this time due to restrictions on other activities. While not a revolutionary thought, it does show that publishers as large as Capcom are aware that the increase is as obvious as “people are staying inside and playing games because they cannot go outside and not play games.” Cool.

The more interesting part of this Q&A is the question regarding next-gen pricing, in which investors ask if Capcom has decided on a price increase to match other publishers such as 2K Games, which is currently the only company that has committed to a $70 price for at least one title. “We do not have a set policy at this time. We will consider our approach having analyzed both our strengths & weaknesses while closely monitoring industry trends,” responded Capcom. The answer seems to reveal that Capcom isn’t willing to be one of the first to make the move to a $70 price increase, but will make a move if the rest of the industry follows 2K. For now, that trend remains to be seen. Ubisoft has committed to $60 games, at least at next-gen launch. Take-Two has defended its pricing model, saying it will be reflected in the quality of the games and will only be on a title-by-title basis for now. Whether or not Capcom titles will follow suit is still up in the air, and perhaps dependent on other publishers as they all look to each other to see if the increase will be accepted across the industry.