Capcom Beginnings & First Game: Over 40 Years In The Market

Capcom is celebrating over 40 years since the beginning of the company's successful history in the video game industry!🎉


In May 2023, Japanese video game developer and publisher Capcom completed 44 years as one of the most successful companies in the industry and it seems like players are still looking for ways to access its first game.

Established in 1979, Capcom went on to release what are considered some of the best video game franchises in history. This includes multi-million-selling series like Mega Man, Devil May Cry, and Monster Hunter.

However, the company is most known for creating two of the best-selling franchises in pop culture: Street Fighter and Resident Evil.

Both series spawned several titles, movie adaptations, comic books and graphic novels, and several other licensed products.

What started as a small company, has today bloomed into an international enterprise, with subsidiaries all over the world.

When did Capcom start?

Early years

Capcom was founded on May 30, 1979, as I.R.M. Corporation, by Kenzo Tsujimoto, while he was still president of Irem Corporation, another Japanese video game manufacturer and publisher.

The company specialized in the manufacturing and distribution of electronic game machines, and by 1981, had changed its name to Sanbi Co.

After a few internal mergers and more name changes, it was finally established as Capcom Co., Ltd. in the early 80s.

In 1984, Capcom released its first arcade video game, Vulgus, a vertical shooter intended for the Japanese market.

Targeting international markets, the company had its first hit in 1942, another vertical shooter. But 1985 releases Commando and Ghosts ‘n Goblins finally catapulted Capcom to commercial success.

Starting with a port of 1942 for the Nintendo Entertainment System also published in 1985, Capcom began focusing on the home console market. This would eventually become its main segment. But the year 1987 would change everything for the Japanese company.

Fighting in the streets

After working in the production of Irem’s 1984 beat ‘em up game Kung-Fu Master, which was an instant success both in Asia and North America, Japanese designer, director, and producer Takashi Nishiyama came up with the idea for a fighting game centered around the boss fights of the previous title.

Inspired by Bruce Lee’s films Enter the Dragon and Game of Death, Nishiyama began developing this game in late 1986.

In 1987 the game was finally ready, and Capcom released its first competitive fighting game: Street Fighter.

Featuring several playable characters in one-on-one gameplay, the game introduced many concepts that would become standards for fighting games. For example, the six-button controls and the use of command-based special techniques.

Street Fighter was a critical and commercial success, and generated a whole series of fighting video games, with the first sequel, Street Fighter II, being released in 1991 and achieving huge worldwide popularity.

The franchise went on to become one of the highest-grossing video game franchises of all time, and the highest-grossing media franchise of all time based on a fighting video game.

Apart from several sequels and spin-offs, the series spawned many animations, live-action movies, manga and comic books, toys, and even a slot machine, which is one of the most popular NetEnt games in recent months.

Further success

In 1993, Capcom producer and director Tokuro Fujiwara ordered a remake of his 1989 survival horror game Sweet Home, to his pupil Shinji Mikami.

Mikami began working on the game, adopting several elements from Sweet Home’s gameplay, including the mansion setting, the puzzles, the inventory management, and the emphasis on survival. After three years of development and many redesigns, Capcom released, in 1996, Resident Evil.

With innovative gameplay and stunning graphics and atmosphere, Resident Evil set the ground for a whole new genre, receiving critical and commercial acclaim.

It is regarded as one of the greatest and most influential video games of all time, giving birth to a multimedia franchise that includes several sequels, films, comics, novels, and a plethora of other merchandising.

The series is Capcom’s best-selling franchise, having sold over 110 million copies worldwide as of 2021, and the highest-selling horror game series in history.

But Capcom isn’t all about Street Fighter and Resident Evil. In 1987, the company released Mega Man, known as Rockman in Japan.

This is an action-platform video game starring robot characters for the Nintendo Entertainment System. It originated a series of more than 50 games on multiple systems and sold over 36 million units worldwide.

Capcom also created the Devil May Cry and Monster Hunter franchises, with the latter being recently adapted to a movie starring Milla Jovovich, who also stars in the Resident Evil films.

What games did Capcom create?

Capcom is a video game developer and publisher that has created a wide variety of games across many different genres. Some of the most popular and influential games in their portfolio include:

  • Street Fighter series
  • Resident Evil series
  • Mega Man series
  • Devil May Cry series
  • Monster Hunter series
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney series
  • Ghosts ‘n Goblins series
  • Final Fight series
  • DuckTales
  • Breath of Fire series

Capcom has also developed and published many other games, including fighting games, action games, platformers, role-playing games, and more.

They continue to release new games and updates to existing franchises on various platforms, including consoles, PC, and mobile devices.

What is Capcom’s best-selling game?

In the picture below, you can see some statistics (as extracted from the official Statista website) regarding best-selling games of Capcom.

The results are expressed in millions of units sold, with Monster Hunter: World (2018) ranking first with 18.6 million units sold.

In second place are Monster Hunter Rise (2021) and Resident Evil Biohazard (2017), both with 11.7 million units sold. The next position is occupied by Resident Evil 2 (2019), with 11.2 million units sold.

So, as you can notice, the Resident Evil game series are some of Capcom’s highest selling games of all time.

What is Capcom’s best-selling franchise?

Capcom’s best-selling franchise is the Resident Evil series, with over 110 million copies sold worldwide as of September 2021.

Related articles:

As you can see, since its first game, Capcom has continued to evolve, adapting to changes in technology and gaming trends.

Today, it is recognized as one of the leading video game developers in the world, with a portfolio of critically acclaimed and commercially successful franchises.

Overall, Capcom’s history is a testament to the company’s resilience and creativity, as it has continued to thrive and innovate in an industry that is constantly evolving.

In case you encounter any additional curiosities about it, do not hesitate to write us in the comment section shown below.

You might also like
Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.