The term, “instant classic” gets thrown around a lot these days, but Capcom has a knack for developing video games that stand the test of time. From Mega Man to Street FighterResident Evil to Monster Hunter, this Japanese publisher knows how to keep the fans hooked for life.

If you ever wondered what “Capcom” means, the name is a compound clipping of “Capsule Computer”—arcade machines made by the company in its early years. It’s truly fitting, then, that Street Fighter—born on August 30, 1987 in the arcade—put the publisher on the map and is still going strong today. That same year, Mega Man debuted and remains a fan-favorite while becoming the company’s flagship franchise.

Paving The Way

Ever the pioneers, Capcom’s Street Fighter II is credited with establishing many of the conventions of the one-on-one fighting genre. If you’re a fan of “survival horror” games, Capcom literally invented the genre as a marketing term to describe Resident Evil.

Like Nintendo, Capcom has recently started a push to mobile with nostalgic titles like Mega Man (games one through six), Street Fighter IV and original titles like Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney (a spin-off of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney) and Zombie Café. The new mobile division has “one eye on the latest technology and another on Capcom’s proud legacy,” according to press materials.

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard took a major leap into virtual reality—a first for the series that proved a big hit among fans. Masachika Kawata, Resident Evil series producer told [a]listdaily that it was time to return to the game’s tense, “survival horror” origins. “We felt that the franchise has moved forward in a more action-oriented direction and we figured this would be a perfect opportunity to take RE7 and really go back to our roots—revisit them and rethink what it means.”


Thinking Outside the Game

Love it or hate it, Capcom isn’t afraid to make films from its video game franchises. While Street Fighter isn’t exactly considered a masterpiece, it was still a commercial success. Resident Evil is the highest-grossing video game film series of all time having grossed over $1 billion worldwide. The films’ writer/director, Paul W. S. Anderson is now attached to bring Capcom’s Monster Hunter franchise to life through an original story. Now that the Resident Evil movie series has ended, time will tell if we’ll ever get that TV show spin-off.

Beyond games and movies, fans have been able to enjoy Capcom’s franchises in other ways over the years, especially in Japan. Whether they’re eating game-inspired food at the Capcom Café or getting close and personal with Resident Evil zombies or life-sized Monster Hunter creatures at Universal Studios Japan, fans are able to immerse themselves into worlds that are no longer limited to a screen. Last year, the publisher debuted its Video Game Live concert series that combined rock music with soundtracks from its most popular titles. It is this creativity that fuels Capcom’s ability to keep their classics alive . . . although the T-Virus may have something to do with it, too.