The lights are on
Capcom has reported its first quarter fiscal year 2013 results, and the numbers show significant drops year-over-year. The company is still in a positive net income position, but compared to last year, the results aren't good.
The company is reporting a 6.2 percent drop in net sales at ¥17.5 billion ($177.4 million). At the same time, the costs of good sold increased 11.5 percent, which creates an even wider gap in performance from last year's same quarter.
Operating income has decreased by 72.9 percent, with the digital sector exceeding that drop with 82.4 percent lower performance than last year. Sales of Resident Evil: Revelations came close to meeting expectations, and Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen performed well but didn't motivate an increase in overall sales.
Two Asia-specific titles, Monster Hunter Frontier G and browser-based Onimusha Soul did well, with the later getting off to a strong launch. The publisher's mobile offerings fell significantly short due to the absence of major titles, according to Capcom.
During its year-end 2012 reporting three months ago, Capcom was one of the few publishers to report an expected significant uptick in development costs for the generation transition. At that time, it also only reported one major title for the coming months, Lost Planet 3.
Since then, we have learned about Dead Rising 3 for Xbox One and Ultra Street Fighter IV. The former is expected in November, with the latest iteration of Capcom's popular fighting series due out next year.
Capcom has not revised its expectations for the current fiscal year, and the company still expects to end the year with ¥6.8 billion ($69 million), a 128.7 percent increase in net income over fiscal year 2012.
Our TakeCapcom must have some aces up its sleeve. First quarter performance dipped significantly in comparison across years, and the company doesn't have enough announced to warrant the level of confidence in the forecast.
Dead Rising 3 will likely sell well, especially as a launch title. Monster Hunter 4 on 3DS in Japan is going to be a very strong mover. I also expect that Ultra Street Fighter IV will be a hit. Lost Planet 3 is a lost cause, and unless there is some big news from Capcom at Gamescom, PAX, or TGS, I'm not sure how the company will reach its targets. Perhaps Strider Hiryu and Scrooge McDuck are going to kick in more than any of us realize.