A new report from Capcom predicts that the traditional physical goods market will shrink by $5.3 billion by the time 2017 rolls around. This has prompted the Japanese-based publisher and developer to commit to more investments in DLC going forward. As part of its 2013 Annual Report published today (you can check it out here in PDF format), the company said that it expects "rapid changes" in the consumer market going forward and that it is time for it to focus on digital distribution efforts and leveraging downloadable content for titles to extend their shelf lives.
"Analyzing the consumer market by platform, we forecast severe contraction in the package market, which is expected to shrink by $5.3 billion in 2017 (down 28.8 percent from 2012)," the company said. "At the same time, we forecast significant growth in the DLC market by $7.8 billion (up 109.9 percent)."
Capcom claims that, in 2012, the packaged market was worth $18.4 billion, down 17.9 percent year-over-year, marking the fourth straight year of negative growth. Because of this the company said that it plans to increase management resources to its downloadable content divisions to "ensure sufficient earnings." To facilitate this transition, the company will increase the staff in its Consumer, Mobile, and PC online development areas by 100 people each during the next fiscal year.
Capcom president and COO Haruhiro Tsujimoto said that the packaged games business model allowed the company to recoup investment costs by simply pushing more titles out the door to retail. The company is now shifting to a more DLC-focused approach, which in turn will extend the amount of time and money consumers spend on their games.