Capcom is a sequels machine. We know it, you know it, heck even Keiji Inafune knows it. The latest comment from the former Capcom employee and creator of Mega Man isn't just hot air, Capcom's portfolio of games speaks volumes by itself. It's understandable when a creative company avoids taking risks, but when there's actually a rule that 80 percent of their games are required to be sequels, then there's a problem. Not only does Capcom run the risk of over saturating the market, but eventually gamers will start to get sick of playing the same games over and over again.
That's not to say that Capcom doesn't have a fair amount of original IPs. All of their franchises had to start somewhere. Yet, after so many years, these are the only games that Capcom have stuck to: Street Fighter, Devil May Cry, Resident Evil, Mega Man, Monster Hunter and most recently, Lost Planet, Dead Rising and even Okami have been bestowed the sequel treatments. Regardless, Dragon's Dogma and Asura's Wrath would like to say hello. These two games are prime examples of brand new IPs that Capcom should be focussed on, but the problem is that Capcom would rather turn their attention to the reboots, sequels and whatnot that's lining their plate.
Dragon's Dogma Announcement Trailer, this game is an epic just waiting to happen.
Neither game has had as much coverage as the slew of Resident Evil games, or the new Devil May Cry. Yet, these are the kind of games that Capcom should really focus on. Dragon's Dogma is an entirely new game, yet it isn't something all that different from what Capcom has done before with Monster Hunter. Even then, Dragon's Dogma is set in an entirely fresh and different world teeming with hundreds of recruitable NPCs and creatures of Western mythology. The gameplay mechanics look fast-paced and the world vast and open. These are core mechanics that set it apart from the initial Monster Hunter vibes it gave off. As for Asura's Wrath, it's simply a challenge to name one game from Capcom's portfolio that last radiated of such overwhelming epicosity. Not a lot of gameplay has been shown, but CyberConnect2 is well known for its over-the-top fighters and surely this won't be any less epic.
Surely I'm not alone in thinking that Capcom needs to man up and take that leap of faith when it comes to creating new intellectual properties. Especially when games like Lost Planet and Dead Rising are spawned, both of which were ironically designed by Inafune, apparently the only risk-taker at Capcom. Lost Planet may not have been a big hit, at least critically, but that's the risk of making new games. Look at Dead Rising, it was the complete opposite. It was a success that was well received by gamers and critics alike, even earning several awards from some big names. Ironically, both games have spawned sequels.
Asura's Wrath Captivate 2011 Trailer, it's like there isn't enough testosterone in the world to contain this game.
What of the Okamis and the Viewtiful Joes? Don't answer that, it was rhetorical. How about Phoenix Wright, Dark Void and perhaps even Last Ranker? The latter never even made it outside of Japan, which is a point in and of itself: Capcom US VP Christian Svensson spoke with GamesIndustry in March, saying that fans shouldn't expect any new IPs in the West, where the developer-cum-publisher will be hellbent on "[leveraging] existing classic Capcom brands." It's not so much a question of whether Capcom is incapable of creating new IPs, Inafune was right when he said that they're just too scared to take any risks.
Capcom has reached the point where sequels or games based on existing titles are being developed by external, Western creatives, in an effort to reboot the series and garner some attention from newcomers. Case in point, Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, DmC and Dead Rising 2. Whereas games like Dragon's Dogma and Asura's Wrath get far less attention despite looking a lot more interesting, and certainly quite promising, than yet another RE or DmC.
At the very least, Capcom has claimed that they will be "taking some major new IP risks," Dragon's Dogma and Asura's Wrath are quite likely just the start of it. Yet, Capcom seem content to hype up the many Resident Evil games that are just about ready to burst out of their pipeline, as well as their Western reboots of already established franchises. If anything needs rebooting, it's Capcom's balls to take risks and focus on new and original games rather than overloading fans with too many sequels. Because we really need four Dead Rising titles released within the span of two years. E3 and TGS are coming up relatively soon, with the former set for next month. Hopefully, Capcom will announce something new in addition to what's already on their plate.
What say you? Should Capcom continue farting out sequel after sequel or should they focus their creative efforts on something new? I'm all for the latter, we could seriously do with more games like Dragon's Dogma and Asura's Wrath.