Capcom Co., Ltd. (Japanese: 株式会社カプコン, Hepburn: Kabushiki-gaisha Kapukon) is a Japanese video game developer and publisher.[4] It has created a number of multi-million-selling game franchises, with its most commercially successful being Resident Evil, Monster Hunter, Street Fighter, Mega Man, Devil May Cry, and Dead Rising. Established in 1979,[5] it has become an international enterprise with subsidiaries in Asia, Europe, and North America.[6]

Capcom Co., Ltd.
Native name
Kabushiki-gaisha Kapukon
TypePublic KK
TYO: 9697
IndustryVideo games
FoundedMay 30, 1979; 42 years ago (1979-05-30)[1]
FounderKenzo Tsujimoto
HeadquartersChūō-ku, Osaka, Japan
Key people
  • Kenzo Tsujimoto (Chairman and CEO)
  • Haruhiro Tsujimoto (President and COO)
ProductsComplete list of games
RevenueIncrease ¥94.5 billion (2019)[2]
Increase ¥18.1 billion (2019)[2]
Increase ¥12.6 billion (2019)[2]
OwnerTsujimoto family (around 22.71%)
Number of employees
2,832 (2019)[3]
DivisionsDevelopment Division 1
Development Division 2
Development Division 3
SubsidiariesBlue Harvest
Capcom Asia
Capcom U.S.A
Capcom Entertainment Europe
Capcom Mobile USA
Capcom Europe
Capcom Asia
Capcom Entertainment Korea
Captron Co
Enterrise Co., Ltd.
K2 Inc.


Capcom's predecessor, I.R.M. Corporation, was founded on May 30, 1979[7] by Kenzo Tsujimoto. Tsujimoto was still president of Irem Corporation when he founded I.R.M. Tsujimoto worked concomitantly in both companies until leaving the former in 1983.

The original companies that spawned Capcom's Japanese branch were I.R.M. as well as its subsidiary Japan Capsule Computers Co., Ltd., both of which were devoted to the manufacturing and distribution of electronic game machines.[5] The two companies underwent a name change to Sanbi Co., Ltd. in September 1981,[5] while Capcom Co., Ltd. was first established on June 11, 1983 by Kenzo Tsujimoto,[7] for the purpose of taking over the internal sales department.[8]

In January 1989, the old affiliate company Capcom Co., Ltd. merged with Sanbi Co., Ltd., resulting in the current Japanese branch.[5] The name Capcom is a clipped compound of "Capsule Computers", a term coined by the company to describe the arcade machines it solely manufactured in its early years, designed to set themselves apart from personal computers that were becoming widespread at that time.[9] The word capsule alludes to how Capcom likened its game software to "a capsule packed to the brim with gaming fun", as well as to the company's desire to protect its intellectual property with a hard outer shell, preventing illegal copies and inferior imitations.[9]

While Capcom's first product was the coin-operated arcade game Little League from July 1983, its first real arcade video game, Vulgus, was released in May 1984.[5] Starting with arcade hit 1942 (1984), Capcom began designing games with international markets in mind.[10] The success of 1985 arcade games Commando and Ghosts 'n Goblins have been credited as the products "that shot" Capcom to "8-bit silicon stardom" in the mid-1980s. Starting with Commando in late 1985, Capcom began licensing their arcade games for release on home computers, notably to British software houses Elite Systems and U.S. Gold in the late 1980s.[11]

Beginning with a Nintendo Entertainment System port of 1942 published in December 1985, the company started to venture into the market of home console video games,[5] which would eventually become its main business segment in later decades.[12] Its division Capcom USA had a brief stint in the late 1980s as a video game publisher for the Commodore 64 and IBM PC DOS computers although the development of these arcade ports were handled by other companies. Capcom went on to create 15 multi-million-selling home video game franchises, with the best-selling franchise being Resident Evil, introduced in 1996.[13] Capcom's highest-grossing video game is the fighting game Street Fighter II (1991), largely driven by its success in arcades.[14]

Capcom has been noted as the last major publisher to be committed to 2D games, though this was not entirely by choice. The company's commitment to the Super Nintendo Entertainment System as its platform of choice caused them to lag behind other leading publishers in developing 3D-capable arcade boards.[15] In addition, the 2D animated cartoon-style graphics seen in games such as Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors and X-Men: Children of the Atom proved popular, leading Capcom to adopt it as a signature style and use it in more games.[15]

In 1994, Capcom adapted its Street Fighter series of fighting games into a film of the same name. While commercially successful, it was critically panned. A 2002 adaptation of its Resident Evil series faced similar criticism but was also successful in theaters. The company sees films as a way to build sales for its video games.[16]

Capcom partnered with Nyu Media in 2011 to publish and distribute the Japanese independent (dōjin soft) games that Nyu localized into the English language.[17] The company works with the Polish localization company QLoc to port Capcom's games to other platforms,[18] notably examples are DmC: Devil May Cry's PC version and its PlayStation 4 and Xbox One remasters, Dragon's Dogma's PC version released in January 2016, and Dead Rising's version on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC released on September 13, 2016.

On August 27, 2014, Capcom filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Koei Tecmo Games at the Osaka District Court for 980 million yen in damage. Capcom claimed Koei Tecmo Games infringed a patent it obtained in 2002 regarding a play feature in video games.[19]

On 2 November 2020, the company reported that its servers were affected by ransomware, scrambling its data, and the threat actors, the Ragnar Locker hacker group, have allegedly stolen 1TB of sensitive corporation data and were blackmailing Capcom to pay them to remove the ransomware. By mid-November, the group began putting information from the hack online, which included contact information for up to 350,000 employees and partners of the company as well as plans for upcoming games, indicating that Capcom opted to not pay the group. Capcom did affirm that no credit card or similar financial information was obtained by the hack.[20]

Corporate structureEdit

Development studiosEdit

In the first few years after its establishment, the Japanese branch of Capcom had three development groups referred to as "Planning Rooms", led by Tokuro Fujiwara, Takashi Nishiyama and Yoshiki Okamoto, respectively.[21][22] Later, games developed internally used to be created by several numbered "Production Studios", each assigned to different games.[23][24] Starting in 2002, the development process was reformed to better share technologies and expertise, and all of the individual studios were gradually restructured into bigger departments responsible for different tasks.[24] While there are self-contained departments for the creation of arcade, pachinko and pachislo, online, and mobile games, the Consumer Games R&D Division instead is an amalgamation of subsections in charge of various game development stages.[24][25][26]

Capcom has three internal divisions to develop games. Those are Consumer Games Development Division 1 headed by Jun Takeuchi with Resident Evil, Mega Man, Devil May Cry, Dead Rising, and other major franchises (usually targeted towards a global audience), Consumer Games Development Division 2 headed by Ryozo Tsujimoto (who also heads Mobile Online Development Division) with Monster Hunter, Onimusha, Ace Attorney, Sengoku Basara, and other franchises with more traditional IP (usually targeted towards audiences in Asia), and Consumer Games Development Division 3 with Street Fighter, Marvel vs. Capcom, Lost Planet, Dragon's Dogma, and other online focused franchises (games that are mainly focused on online multiplayer, and/or tournaments).[27][28][29]

In addition to these internal teams, Capcom also commissions outside development studios to ensure a steady output of titles.[30][31] However, following poor sales of Dark Void and Bionic Commando, the company's management has decided to limit outsourcing to sequels and newer versions of installments in existing franchises, reserving the development of original titles for its in-house teams.[32] The production of games, budgets, and platforms supported are decided upon in development approval meetings, attended by the company management and the marketing, sales, and quality control departments.[24]

Branches and subsidiariesEdit

Apart from the head office building and the R&D building of Capcom Co., Ltd., both located in Chūō-ku, Osaka,[6] the Japanese parent company also has a branch office in the Shinjuku Mitsui Building in Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku, Tokyo.[33] It also has the Ueno Facility, a branch office in Iga, Mie Prefecture.[6]

The international Capcom Group encompasses 15 subsidiaries in Japan, North America, Europe, and East Asia.[6][24] Affiliated companies include Koko Capcom Co., Ltd. in South Korea, Street Fighter Film, LLC in the United States, and Dellgamadas Co., Ltd.[24]

Game-related mediaEdit

In addition to the development and publishing of home, online, mobile, arcade, pachinko, and pachislo games, the company publishes strategy guides,[5] maintains its own arcade centers in Japan known as Plaza Capcom, and licenses its franchise and character properties for use in tie-in products, movies, television series, and stage performances.[12]

Suleputer, an in-house marketing and music label established in cooperation with Sony Music Entertainment Intermedia in 1998, publishes CDs, DVDs, and other media based on Capcom's games.[34] An annual private media summit called Captivate, renamed from Gamers Day in 2008, is traditionally used as a platform for new game and business announcements.[35]


Capcom's top 10 multi-million selling franchises
(as of March 31, 2021)[36]
Franchise First release Sales (m)
Resident Evil 1996 110.0
Monster Hunter 2004 72.0
Street Fighter 1987 46.0
Mega Man 1987 36.0
Devil May Cry 2001 23.0
Dead Rising 2006 14.0
Marvel vs. Capcom 1996 9.9
Onimusha 2001 8.4
Ace Attorney 2001 8.1
Lost Planet 2006 6.3

Capcom started its Street Fighter franchise in 1987. The series of fighting games are among the most popular in their genre. Having sold almost 50 million units, the series serves as one of Capcom's flagship franchises. That same year, the company introduced its Mega Man series, which has sold almost 40 million units.

The company released the first entry in its Resident Evil survival horror series in 1996. The series has achieved financial success and become its most successful video game series, selling more than 100 million units. Following work on the second entry in the Resident Evil series, Capcom began work on a Resident Evil game for the PlayStation 2. Radically different from the existing series, Capcom decided to spin off the game into its own series, Devil May Cry. While it released the first three entries exclusively for the PlayStation 2, the company brought further entries to non-Sony consoles. The series as a whole has seen sales of over 20 million units. Capcom began its Monster Hunter series in 2004. The series has seen sales of more than 60 million units on a variety of consoles.

Although the company often relies on existing franchises, it also published and developed several titles for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii, based on original intellectual property: Lost Planet: Extreme Condition, Dead Rising, Dragon's Dogma, Asura's Wrath and Zack and Wiki.[37] During this period, Capcom also helped publish several original titles from up and coming Western developers with titles like Remember Me, Dark Void and Spyborgs, titles that many other publishers were not willing to take a chance on.[38][39] Also of note are the titles Ōkami, Ōkamiden and Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective.

Platinum TitlesEdit

Capcom compiles a list, which is updated on a quarterly basis, of its games that have exceeded one million copies sold, called "Platinum Titles". The list contains over 100 video games. The following list contains the top ten titles by sold copies as of March 31, 2021.[40]

  Including digital distribution
Title Release date Platform(s) considered Sales (m)
Monster Hunter World   January 2018 PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC 17.1
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard   January 2017 PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC 9.0
Resident Evil 2 Remake   January 2019 PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC 8.1
Resident Evil 5   March 2009 PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 7.8
Resident Evil 6   October 2012 PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 7.8
Monster Hunter World: Iceborne   September 2019 PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC 7.7
Street Fighter II June 1992 Super Nintendo Entertainment System 6.3
Street Fighter V   February 2016 PlayStation 4, PC 5.5
Resident Evil 2 January 1998 PlayStation 4.96
Monster Hunter Freedom 3   December 2010 PlayStation Portable 4.9

Criticism and controversyEdit

In 2012, Capcom came under criticism for controversial sales tactics, such as the implementation of disc-locked content, which requires players to pay for additional content that is already available within the game's files, most notably in Street Fighter X Tekken. The company has defended the practice.[41] It has also been criticized for other business decisions, such as not releasing certain games outside Japan (most notably the Sengoku Basara series), abruptly cancelling anticipated projects (most notably Mega Man Legends 3), and shutting down Clover Studio.[42][43][44]

In 2015, the PlayStation 4 version of Ultra Street Fighter IV was pulled from the Capcom Pro Tour due to numerous technical issues and gameplay bugs.[45] In 2016, Capcom released Street Fighter V with very limited single player content. At launch, there were stability issues with the game's network that booted players mid-game even when they were not playing in an online mode.[46] Street Fighter V failed to meet its sales target of 2 million in March 2016.[47]

Copyright infringementEdit

Artist and author Judy A. Juracek filed a lawsuit in June 2021 against Capcom for copyright infringement. In the court filings Juracek asserted that Capcom had used images from her 1996 book Surfaces[48] in various parts of their cover art and other assets for Resident Evil 4, Devil May Cry and other games. This was discovered due to the 2020 Capcom data breach, with several files and images matching those that were included within the book's companion CD-ROM. The court filings noted one image file of a metal surface, named ME0009 in Capcoms files, to have the same exact name on the books CD-ROM. Juracek has sought over $12 million in damages and $2,500 to $25,000 in false copyright management for each used photograph from Capcom.[49] There is currently no date set for when the trial will commence. This comes on the heels of Capcom being accused by dutch movie director Richard Raaphorst of copying the monster design from his movie Frankenstein's Army into their game Resident Evil Village.[50]

See alsoEdit


Companies founded by ex-Capcom employeesEdit

Name Foundation Affiliation
Crafts & Meister June 1, 2004 Founded by Noritaka Funamizu and Katsuhiro Sudo
Game Republic July 1, 2003 Founded by Yoshiki Okamoto
Inti Creates May 8, 1996 Founded by Takuya Aizu
Level-5 Comcept December 1, 2010 Founded by Keiji Inafune as Comcept
PlatinumGames October 1, 2007 Founded by Shinji Mikami, Atsushi Inaba, Hideki Kamiya, and Tatsuya Minami
Tango Gameworks March 1, 2010 Founded by Shinji Mikami
UTV Ignition Games September 26, 2001 Sawaki Takeyasu joined Ignition Tokyo, a subsidiary of UTV Ignition Games


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External linksEdit