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Famitsu Interviews Capcom Producer Shinji Mikami

by Bakudan Yoshinoya - November 24, 2002, 1:47 pm PST
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Mikami speaks on Capcom's new lineup, creating new game concepts, and Biohazard 4 (RE4).

The latest issue of Famitsu featured an interview with Producer Mikami from Capcom. Highlights translated below:

Famitsu: If you’d let me give my opinion, honestly, I want a Cube now!

Mikami-san: Your words are very kind. Please buy a Cube! Buy two of them, even three!

F: Well, I already have one. I want to buy it for other people. The image that the Cube is for kids was strong, but when you look at this new lineup, you have erased that image.

M: The gaming industry is not made up of a market that is driven by hardware, but rather a market made up of good software. To return to that point, we did the impossible and brought out these 5 titles. And after this, if we can bring out Devil May Cry and DinoCrisis and Tekki, and Gykuten Saiban…

F: (Laughs)

F: From the press conference, we can really feel the theme (focusing on original titles). Isn’t it all original titles? We really felt your persistence.

M: If you don’t have that persistence, it is impossible. If you become obsessed over numbers, you cannot do it. Because even if you forecast how much you sell, you really don’t know until the game is released.

F: That’s why the idea of series are much more stable and able to sell easier and stronger in the market.

M: That is correct. In contrast, within the mannerism of that kind of market, rebels like us make noise. We ask, “You guys are only making series. You’re not going to stop yet?”

F: The number of creators that want to challenge themselves to make entirely new games has become less because of the directions of companies. Right?

M: Yes. But speaking very simply, if you tell creators to make something you like, sequels are not supposed to be a result of the past.

F: Right.

M: However, now we start looking at revenues when the planning starts. I think it is the source of the mistake. Currently, one game costs about 100 million yen to produce at least. If it is a big game, it is around 1 billion yen.

F: That is right.

M: As a result, it is only logical that you start thinking about the return. That is why Viewtiful Joe has relatively few people working on it. Gyakuten Saiban is the same. The balance is good. The efficiency is good. It is easier for the blood of the director to reach the blood vessels of the staff when there are less people.

F: I see. Your concept gets across right?

M: Yes. When production becomes a big team of 50 people, it intervenes with the blood flow in the end. Due to that, it is actually easier to make the level of a creation higher when you have less people.

F: Regarding Biohazard 4, I would like to ask some questions about it. We did not think that the footage would appear in this kind of form.

M: If you refer to age regarding Biohazard, it is already like a grandfather. That is why this time in order to rejuvenate, we inserted new DNA. Regarding 4, we are challenging ourselves to make a new “Biohazard”.

F: Is that so?

M: We want users to anticipate the game instead of buying it just because it is the latest game in the series. Wasn’t Dragon Quest like that in the Famicom era? To do that, we injected new DNA by pulling directors and asking them to try to change Biohazard. We are in the process of a full model change. The goal is not to change the style, but to have a game that would make players raise their voices and exclaim, “ohh!” like in the original Biohazard. This time around, we do not say much at the front line. We only use our brakes when it is really to the point of abuse for them.

F: (laughs)

F: The thing I am concerned with is if this lineup will really release?

M: It will be released! We will release it!

F: Spring, summer, winter of 2003?

M: About every three months. I wonder when Biohazard 4 will come out.

F: (laughs)

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