Capcom CEO Kenzo Tsujimoto announced last week that he wants to reduce the amount of time needed to develop new games. Starting with franchises like Lost Planet and Devil May Cry, they want to “reduce the time needed to develop major titles from the usual three-to-four years to only 2.5 years”. He goes on to state that it will “probably raise the cost”, but that it will be “vital to Capcom’s ability to survive by overcoming intense global competition”.
It’s a bit understandable about why they’d want to shorten the cycle from a 3-4 year endeavor to 2.5 years. While the cost to develop the games might increase, if more games are released in a slightly shorter amount of time that means that there will be more money coming into the company. However, that’s assuming that the games quality won’t suffer.
The problem I have with an approach to shorten development times is that things end up being rushed out to hit a release date. While Blizzard and Valve are notorious for taking their sweet time to get a game out, you know that for the most part, barring some problem they haven’t been able to properly account for (I’m looking at you, Diablo III servers!) those companies will release a high quality product. Even if a company puts more resources into a game’s development team, you can only have so many chefs in the kitchen before they all start arguing about what direction the game needs to go in. We’ll see if this plan of Capcom’s will work out.