Capcom profits soar with help from record AAA game sales

Good ol' video games came through for Capcom over the twelve months ending March 31, 2011. The company reported "a history-making milestone" of five million-seller titles in the period, with Monster Hunter Freedom 3 (4.6 million units shipped) leading the pack. Additionally, Dead Rising 2 (2.2M units), Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (2M units), Super Street Fighter IV (1.6M units) and Lost Planet 2 (1.5M units) racked up high shipment numbers, and each surpassed the million-mark in pure sales.

In all, net sales in Capcom's "Consumer Online Games" division increased 60.8 percent over the previous fiscal year to ¥70.3 billion (about $873 million). But the sales success of so-called "major titles" wasn't the only contributing factor in Capcom's record bottom line for a fiscal year, which showed a net income increase of 257.6 percent over the previous year to ¥7.75 billion -- roughly $96.3 million in profit!

Despite reported losses of ¥1.45 billion due to restructuring and another ¥105 million filed under "disaster" -- the Great East Japan Earthquake knocked out ten of Capcom's arcades -- all of the company's business units recorded operating income gains for the year. Notably, the "Mobile Contents" division enjoyed some highlights, with downloads of The Smurfs' Village Facebook game exceeding expectations "by far" and the Japan-only iPhone version of Ghost Trick faring "well."

Capcom tempered its jubilation, however, noting that the forecast for the current fiscal year (ending March 31, 2012) calls for "lower sales and earnings." The company anticipates "immeasurable economic losses" in Japan due to the earthquake and its aftermath, as well as a "downturn in consumer confidence" in the game industry at large -- not to mention Capcom's weaker offering of AAA titles this year. Dead Rising 2 ... again?

"We will focus more than ever before on our global operations as the environment surrounding the industry rapidly changes," Capcom said, observing that "the rise of social games [is] fueling the growth of new competitors in the industry."

This article was originally published on Joystiq.