Buoyed by hits like Snoopy’s Street Fair and growth in the local Japanese market, Capcom’s mobile revenue climbed 68 percent year-over-year to 4 billion yen ($52.6 million) in the first nine months of this fiscal year. Profit or net income was up almost threefold year-over-year at 1.4 billion yen ($17.9 million).
The Tokyo-based company’s mobile unit has done well for itself by licensing out well-known brands and building casual, freemium mobile games around them. It plans to leverage another family-friendly brand this quarter with the launch of Shrek’s Fairytale Kingdom. Capcom also said a Japanese mobile title, Monhan Tankenki Maboroshi no Shima did well on the GREE platform along with another game, Resident Evil: Outbreak Survive.
Capcom’s mobile and social gaming studio Beeline Interactive has now seen 46 million cumulative downloads. Monthly active users have also grown by 30 percent over the last three months, likely due to Apple’s strong quarterly sales of more than 37 million iPhones.
For the fiscal year, Capcom says it expects to see $25 million in net income on $78.8 million in revenue from its Beeline unit. Yesterday we saw that Gameloft’s smartphone and tablet games produced $25.4 million in revenue for the company. Both of these figures underscore remarkable growth for the entire mobile gaming industry.
Mobile was one of the brightest spots in what was otherwise a difficult year for Capcom. Overall net sales, including arcade and video game revenues, were down 29 percent to 50.3 billion yen ($660 million). Net income declined 52.6 percent to $42.6 million as sales of video games declined. During the same quarter a year ago, Capcom said it released a number of flagship titles for consoles which it didn’t do this holiday period.
At the same time Capcom is confronting what every other major video game maker is seeing — the rapid shift away from handheld gaming devices to smartphones. Yesterday, Electronic Arts’ earnings revealed that its Nintendo DS business has fallen by more than two-thirds in the last year to $15 million last quarter from $49 million a year earlier.
Capcom said in its statement today: “The trend of structural change washes over the video game industry, with the rapid growth of affordable and easily accessible social games attributable to the rise of mobile phones and smart phone.”