Capcom Vancouver is officially shutting down. The studio was primarily responsible for development on the popular but recently troubled Dead Rising franchise, as well as the now-shuttered mobile game Puzzle Fighter. As a result, 158 employees are expected to lose their jobs.
Tuesday’s news, first reported by GameDaily, came after Monday’s press release from Capcom in which it announced the termination of all projects under development at its Vancouver studio. Capcom expects to suffer a roughly US$40 million loss due to the reorganization, which focuses on moving its game development back to its internal studios in Japan.
Unfortunately Capcom Vancouver shuttered today. I’m in a bit of a shock, but if you know of anyone looking for an 18 year experienced game designer send them my way. Spread the word!
— Aidan Scanlan (@aidanscanlan) September 18, 2018
“Capcom is currently reviewing the allocation of its development resources that support the production of world-class content,” the company said in an official statement. “Capcom has been focused on increasing the efficiency and growth of its game development operations. To support this objective, new R&D facilities and annual hiring have been underway at the Osaka headquarters.”
That, Capcom said, led to the review and cancellation of of projects at Capcom Vancouver, and instead, it “will concentrate development of major titles in Japan.” While the statement said the hard work and contributions of the Vancouver team were appreciated, “the CV studio will suspend operations, effective today, so the current staff will be laid off and the office will be closed.”
Capcom Vancouver, headquartered in Burnaby, British Columbia, initially opened its doors in 2005 as Blue Castle Games. It was subsequently tapped by then-Capcom producer Keiji Inafune to develop the next game in the Dead Rising series, a self-aware humor/horror franchise where players use whatever they can get their hands on–tools, toys, furniture, you name it–to defend themselves against an army of zombies. The result, 2010’s Dead Rising 2, was a sales success, resulting in the company being acquired and renamed by Capcom.
Unfortunately, the studio’s next two games, Dead Rising 3 and 4, were nowhere near as successful, with 2016’s Dead Rising 4 underperforming both financially and critically. This led to a wave of layoffs in February 2017. It was already known back in July with the cancellation of Puzzle Fighter that a new Dead Rising was under development at the studio, but Capcom’s decision to terminate all active projects at Capcom Vancouver puts the future of the franchise in doubt.
Capcom’s decision to reallocate its resources comes after one of the Japanese company’s most profitable years on record, with January’s Monster Hunter: World standing out as both the highest and fastest-selling game in the company’s 39-year history. Capcom has been a third-party, platform-agnostic video game developer since 1984, and is responsible for creating such world-renowned franchises as Street Fighter, Resident Evil, Devil May Cry, and Phoenix Wright.