By Jared Newman | Friday, May 22, 2009 at 2:30 pm
After wading carefully into the waters of the iPhone and iPod Touch with a mobile take on Resident Evil, Capcom plans to go full bore with 10 more iPhone games between now and next March, Reuters reports.
The publisher only released Resident Evil: Degeneration earlier this month, but presumably it likes what it’s seeing so far.
Still, 10 games is a tall order, and as major game publishers go, only Electronic Arts has greater ambitions, planning 14 titles for the future. Even so, Capcom is distinct from EA and other heavyweights like Namco because of the kind of games it produces.
Aside from Resident Evil, Capcom is best known for the Street Fighter and Mega Man franchises. New hits include the futuristic shoot-em-up Lost Planet and the zombie game Dead Rising. These are neither casual games such as EA’s Tiger Woods and The Sims franchises nor popular rehashes such as Namco’s Pac-Man and Pole Position. Capcom’s games have always been geared towards the devoted gamer set, and unless a big change is coming, the company’s commitment to the iPhone could be significant.
It means that the kind of games you can play on the iPhone are changing. I haven’t tried Resident Evil: Degeneration, but I understand that it’s a bite-sized version the franchise’s hallmark zombie thrills. It may be “diversionary,” as Sony marketing executive Peter Dille once called iPhone gaming, but it could also signal the beginning of a shift away from Solitaire clones and bowling simulators.
That depends on whether other major publishers follow suit. A recent report by CNBC notes that Activision and Take Two have shied away from the iPhone because it isn’t a major profit generator for such large businesses — not yet, at least. Those two publishers are more akin to Capcom than EA, lacking a stable of casual games (with the exception of Activision’s Guitar Hero).
Capcom must see something in the iPhone that these other publishers don’t. The company’s success or failure will factor greatly into how the iPhone evolves as a gaming platform.