Capcom: In It For The Money

Yes, in this top-secret document I am here to tell you the news that so many have suspected for so long. I've heard it said high and low, over message board and chat room, in great disgust. "Capcom is in it for the money!" they yell, bringing to light a grave injustice. What are we to do when Capcom is obviously out to make money? How can we let this injustice go on? For those unfamiliar with Capcom they're a video game company that... wait a minute. Okay, let me try this over: for those unfamiliar with Capcom, they're a video game compan--there's that word again. They specialize in many series, including our beloved Mega Man series that this site focuses on. They are one of the foremost and eldest video game companies... why does that word keep coming up?

Company...? Hm, this puts a whole new spin on things, it seems. Just what is a company? According to the dictionary, it's a business enterprise. And of course, business thrives on capitalism. The goal of capitalism is: make money. So, by definition, doesn't Capcom's place as a company make them, as accused, out to make money? I sincerely doubt that Capcom representatives would even deny this allegation. "Yes," one might say, "we are out to make money. We're a company. That's what companies do."

That's what companies do. Interesting statement, is it not? Pepsi-Cola, Nabisco, GE, Dell; they're all companies. They all do their best to please the customers, but probably not because they have an intense love for the customers and their wishes. This isn't meant to be accusatory, simply bluntly realistic. The desire to please customers is a means to an end; if the customers are pleased, they will buy the product, and therefore the company will make more money. Pleasing customers is an unavoidable part of the goal of a company, and it is therefore focused on, but it is not the ultimate goal. It is the means to get there.

Now consider, for a moment, if Capcom weren't out to make money. Consider with me, if you will, that Capcom got a new CEO who decided their ultimate goal in existence would be to please us, the hardcore fanbase. They use manpower, have to pay people to do polls and ask questions and see what we want. Then they release what we want. But what we want, unfortunately, is not always what the public wants. Our desires, as hardcore fans, are much different than the public desire. And while we are devoted, and while I'm sure we are appreciated for our devotion, we still only make up about 5-10% of the total buying members of the Mega Man games that Capcom releases. Our devotion notwithstanding, this simply would not do. Consider a little further, that Capcom does release games that cater to our wills, but they don't go over well with the general population. Suddenly, Capcom consistently makes only 5-10% of the amount of money it usually makes. The company dies. We have no more Mega Man games. Ever.

Those who want Capcom to cater specifically to us simply aren't seeing in the long run. Sure, it'd be nice to have a game or two with the plotline, the graphics, the play control, exactly as we'd like it. But they'd only manage one or two games before they died. No one wants that.

This isn't to say that Capcom throws our cares aside, of course. We've seen evidence in the past of them truly listening to our concerns and making choice decisions based on them. Mega Man X7, which is looking more and more to be a potentially great game, is evidence of this. But we cannot blame Capcom for not taking all of our suggestions and requests, and we cannot blame them for not wanting them all the time. They are a company. They've been doing this for years, and they know how to make the most money to stay profitable (the goal of a company) while also trying not to isolate the fans. Some, who insist on having their way, have felt isolated regardless. But I say, we can't blame Capcom for this. They're a company. They're doing their job. I, for one, won't fault them for it.

-Reeve, who recognizes that capitalism isn't a four-letter word