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Capcom is a developer and publisher located in Osaka, Japan. Capcom was founded on May 30, 1979, then known as Japan Capsule Computers, a company dedicated to developed electronic game machines. Capcom is an abbreviation of CAPsule COMputers, according to the company. As of 2008, Capcom is one of the top fifty largest software companies in the world. Capcom has many incredibly famous franchises, such as Street Fighter, Mega Man, and Resident Evil. They also distribute some popular North American games on the Japanese market, such as Grand Theft Auto.
Many of Capcom's franchises have been adapted into other forms of media. Resident Evil has had the most movie adaptations, with the latest film being Resident Evil: Extinction, and a fully CG movie based on the series that was released in late 2008. Resident Evil has also had many books, as well. Mega Man had a starring role in the Nintendo TV show Captain N: The Game Master (in which he was a gruff-voiced character who constantly used the word "Mega" in sentences), as well as various Mega Man anime shows. Street Fighter has had several movies, including an animated Street Fighter film and the upcoming Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li. Darkstalkers had an anime adaption, one in North America and one in Japan. Power Stone was turned into an anime as well. Viewtiful Joe had an anime series that ran for a short while on 4Kids. Devil May Cry was an anime in Japan for some time. Three films based on the the Resident Evil games have been made, with a fourth installation set for release in 2010. Films for Devil May Cry and Clock Tower are also in production currently and are due to be released in 2010.
Founded as IRM Corporation in 1979 in Matsubara, Osaka, the company began with the goal to develop electronic game machines. 1981 saw the establishment of Capsule Computer Co., Ltd., and two years later the company released their first machine. A coin-operated game, Little League was released in 1983, along with several other titles, such as Fever Chance.
IRM Corporation changed their name to SAMBI Co., Ltd. and moved to Habikino, Osaka in 1981, and then established Capcom Co., Ltd. as a division to sell software exclusively. Capcom's first arcade game was released in 1984. Titled Vulgus, this game is a top-down shooter which helped to establish standards for Capcom's later games, such as the 1942 franchise.
In 1989, four years after establishing a division of Capcom in the United States, Capcom was merged with SAMBI and Capsule Computer Co., Ltd., and the head office was now located in Higashi-ku, Osaka. In the years following, Capcom released a variety of their popular games, including Mega Man (1987), Ghosts 'n' Goblins (1985), Street Fighter (1987), and Final Fight (1989).
- Capcom Production Studio 1 - The studio behind two of Capcom's fighting franchises: Marvel vs. Capcom and SNK vs. Capcom. They are also behind the development of the Devil May Cry and Monster Hunter franchises. This studio handled the development of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past/Four Swords for the Game Boy Advance.
- Capcom Production Studio 2 - The studio behind several of the Mega Man Battle Network games, as well as a couple other games in the Mega Man franchise. They also developed the Onimusha franchise and developed a couple Street Fighter games (such as Street Fighter III: Fight for the Future).
- Capcom Production Studio 3 - Studio 3 has worked on a variety of games, from the Resident Evil franchise to the Mega Man X franchise. They have also done Final Fight One, Dino Crisis, Magical Quest Starring Mickey & Minnie, and Breath of Fire IV.
- Capcom Production Studio 4 - Production Studio 4 has developed a wide variety of Capcom games. They have worked on the Resident Evil franchise, Dino Crisis, Devil May Cry, Killer 7, Steel Battalion, P.N.03, and Gyakuten Saiben (the Phoenix Wright franchise on the Game Boy Advance).
- Capcom Production Studio 5 - Worked on mobile versions of many of Capcom's popular franchises, such as 1942, Mega Man, Commando, and Ghosts 'N Goblins. They also developed the PSP Darkstalkers game, Darkstalkers Chronicle: The Chaos Tower.
- Capcom Production Studio 6 - Production Studio 6 has since shut down, but they are responsible for the development of Chaos Legion and Catan.
- Capcom Production Studio 7 - A studio that is only presumed to exist, due to the existence of Production Studio 8. No other information is known about Production Studio 7.
- Capcom Production Studio 8 - Production Studio 8 is only responsible for a few games in Capcom's library. They have worked on the Maximo franchise for the PlayStation 2. They were the first Western studio of Capcom, but were closed down after the release of Final Fight: Streetwise.
Games and Franchises
From the founding of Capcom, they have developed many of the gaming industry's most popular and longest running franchises. In their early days, developing games for the arcade, Capcom began many franchises that are still going on today. Their first game was released in 1984, Vulgus, but the rest of their early arcade games were scrolling shooters. 1942 is a scrolling shooter franchise that Capcom created during this period. Later, in 1987, Capcom released the original Street Fighter. The franchise was not very well-received until its sequel was released in 1991, Street Fighter II. Street Fighter II is one of the most famous games of all time, spawning several updates (for example, Super Street Fighter II, Hyper Street Fighter II, etc.). The Street Fighter franchise is one of the most recognizable fighting franchises, and is one of Capcom's major successes.
Also in 1987, Capcom released the first Mega Man on the Nintendo Entertainment System. The Mega Man franchise has recently released the tenth game in the original franchise, and has several other side-stories, such as Mega Man Zero, Mega Man X, and Mega Man Battle Network. Another one of Capcom's hit franchises was released in the arcade in 1989. Final Fight was a side-scrolling beat-em-up and was later released on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, which helped to popularize the franchise. One of Capcom's first attempts at the RPG genre was Breath of Fire, in 1994 on the SNES. It has also had many sequels, including Breath of Fire II on the SNES as well. It was well-received by most, but the series isn't quite as popular as many of Capcom's larger franchises.
In 1996, Capcom began another incredibly popular franchise. The PlayStation saw the release of the first Resident Evil (known as Biohazard in Japan), a survival horror game. The series has since seen many sequels, such as the well-known Resident Evil 4 and the upcoming Resident Evil 5. Capcom's in-house development teams, such as Flagship, Clover Studio, and Capcom Studio 8 (who handled the development of the Maximo franchise and Final Fight: Streetwise) have also helped create many popular, but more obscure, games (more prominently Okami and Viewtiful Joe). In addition, Flagship has helped with the development of the Legend of Zelda franchise, with Legend of Zelda: Orcale of Ages, Oracle of Seasons, and Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap. Flagship was closed, however, with their last title being Kirby: Squeak Squad. Clover Studio was closed as well, but some of their employees went on to found PlatinumGames.
Capcom has many popular intellectual properties, as they are one of the largest software companies in the world. These franchises include Final Fight, Okami, Darkstalkers, Marvel vs. Capcom, Captain Commando, Ghosts 'n Goblins, Bionic Commando, Phoenix Wright, Lost Planet, Dead Rising, Zack & Wiki, and Strider.
Mascot and Yashichi
Capcom's first mascot was Captain Commando (note that the first three letters of each word forms the word "CapCom"), from the game Captain Commando as well as the NES game Section Z. He has gone on to appear in many of Capcom's fighting games, including Marvel vs. Capcom. Mega Man is now considered to be Capcom's mascot, because of the large amount of games in the franchise and the popularity of the franchise. Ryu, from Street Fighter, could also be considered one of Capcom's mascot, but Ryu is more thought of as the face of the Street Fighter franchise, and sometimes as the face for the fighting genre.
The Yashichi is an item that appears in many of Capcom's games. Usually, it acts as health restoration or a power-up. It is a red circle that has something resembling a pinwheel on it. The Yashichi was first in Capcom's very first game, Vulgus, as an enemy, and has gone on to appear in Mega Man and many other games (albeit with a more helpful role).