After explaining Capcom’s struggles to reach out to the Western market, “Resident Evil 5” producer Jun Takeuchi proposed that his company has figured out, finally, how to reach North America and Europe. Here are the new rules he said today are helping Capcom become a Japanese studio whose games resonate with the West.
The 10 Commandments of Capcom Development
1. Keep staff turnover below 10 percent per annum.
2. Maintain the ability (and cash reserves) to increase personnel by 10 percent each year.
3. Keeping the firs two points in mind, keep development cost fluctuation within 10%.
4. Investment in new IP needs ot be kept within 20% of total development budget. (Takeuchi feels this is unique to Capcom, which has tried hard with “Dead Rising,” “Lost Planet,” and “Zack and Wiki.”)
5. The structure and organization of the company needs the flexibility to change in response to growth, goals and objectives must constantly be reviewed.
6. Goals and objectives must be adaptable to external forces. (Takeuchi cited as a positive example, Square-Enix moving the “Dragon Quest” series to the Nintendo DS.)
7. Objectives and aims must always be set from the top down. (Takeuchi: “When a problem occurs in a development company it almost always comes from the developers… having the developers work from the bottom up to reform how they do things things, management must also maintain flexibility.”)
8. Reform must always be undertaken from the bottom up.
9. There should be no taboo areas when it comes to reform. Reform must be undertaken at all costs. (Takeuchi said this was learned from Toyota. Problems within the developers and development team would be most costly, so management and workers need to learn to work and change together.)
10. Don’t set unachievable targets
Bonus from Takeuchi – One word trumps all these rules: “fun.” Users better enjoy what they’re playing. “The most important thing to remember out games is they must be fun and the uer must enjoy them. If you can’t do that then I think you lose the reason for your company to exist. This is the never-changing spirit of Capcom.”