Is Capcom turning cold on Western collaboration?

Is Capcom turning cold on Western collaboration?

By Rob Crossley

December 8th 2009 at 10:09AM

Head developer Jun Takeuchi cites grating cultural differences between East and West

A senior designer at Capcom’s Japanese headquarters has expressed doubt on the firm’s collaboration with Western studios.

Jun Takeuchi, general manager at Capcom’s R&D division, claimed that “cultural differences” between Eastern and Western developers interfere with the development process.

He offered his view at an internal investor relations Q&A after confirming that the majority of Lost Planet 2’s production was conducted in Japan.

“The core elements of [Lost Planet 2] were developed in Japan, while the music and some of the language details were handled overseas", he said.

"Cultural differences don't allow for the smooth collaboration between Japan and developers overseas."

Takeuchi speaks after Capcom has made significant efforts to collaborate with Western studios.

Seattle-based Airtight Games is finishing up production of Dark Void, while Vancouver-based Blue Castle Games is working on the group’s Dead Rising franchise.

Adding to the list is Scottish indie talent Proper Games, which worked with Capcom on the XBLA title Flock and is now entrusted with porting a longstanding Capcom series – Final Fight – to digital platforms.

A less successful collaboration was established with Swedish outfit GRIN, which developed a full 3D edition of Bionic Commando to critical indifference and commercial disappointment. GRIN was subsequently “forced” to permanently close for good after allegations of missed payments.

Capcom’s UK office told Develop that the fallen developer “were very helpful” in collaborating, and offered assurance that the Anderson brothers would return.

The series of events exemplify Japan’s increasing stretch for the Western market, with publishing giants such as Square Enix speaking in global terms and collaborating with numerous studios.