Taken from the Ask Capcom forum on Capcom Unity. I thought to share it here as this particular post by Capcom’s Christian Svensson, is very informative, regarding often requested HD remakes and the legalities/costs involved in production.
Dec 26, 2010 – 3:54AM, OP wrote:
“As an addendum to this question I’d like to ask my own: is there any specific reason why some of the older titles (Darkstalkers, Gem Fighter, Alpha series, ect.) aren’t on the XBLA arcade? Has it been deemed to be non cost-effective? Are there future plans for any of these titles? Just curious.”
Dec 28, 2010 – 4:41PM, Sven wrote:
"It’s a fair question and thank GOD for passionate fans like you, but I’m going to answer the question with a couple questions:
What do you think ANY digital product costs to bring to market at a minimum? Please budget for milestone and royalty payments to a developer OR development cost/opportunity cost for internal development, depreciated costs of all development hardware on all platforms, all test costs (which on projects like this can cost as much as the milestone payments), localization costs, internal production costs, IP clearances/new contract costs (on voicework, soundtrack work, middleware or technology patents), marketing budgets, overhead and costs of capital. If there’s middleware or online hosting required involved anywhere, assume those costs as well. If there’s a licensor involved (as there are with several of our most requested projects), please account for their royalties/minimum guarantees and the overhead associated with their approvals of all product development and marketing materials?
Assume that it isn’t “just a straight emulation” (we do something new with everything) and that something new needs to be done to excite fans.
And assume it has to be “good” Cool (that is to say, just getting it to market isn’t the bar we’re going for).
Now, that’s the costs… For the revenue, how many do you think we’ll sell? At what price point? And how much of that price point actually goes to Capcom to cover the aforementioned costs? What would it take to sell more (and what would it cost to create what it would take to sell more)?
These are the questions we wrestle with on every project we greenlight, be it big or small.
The absolute fastest we can get projects like this to market (that is from scoping the project, developer selection and contract, greenlight, development, submission and ultimately propped on PSN/XBLA) is 14-18 months, depending upon scope and scale. And over this term, we have internal resources (which are finite) tied to the project. We can’t arbitrarily scale up or down. Everything is planned in the pipeline.
When we look at some of the PS1 to PSN stuff or games on demand for XBL, that’s largely legal and contract work, but no new development (and thus, no development personnel or costs) and the costs of putting everything we can up there are managable. When you talk about anything other than that, you’re talking about sizable amounts of resources (both personnel and financial) that really need to be strategically timed and aligned.
Lastly, we can’t do EVERYTHING at one time.
That’s my VERY LONG winded way of saying, what you’ve seen us do so far has been the highest priority, lowest hanging fruit. Do we have more in the pipeline? Sure. But it won’t be everything everyone wants and the things we are doing won’t aways be done as quickly as fans would want."
For those* ‘not in the know’* (?!), Sven is Capcom’s Corporate Officer/VP of Strategic Planning & Business Development. Hope you enjoyed the read!