Most gamers would agree that for a Japanese company, Capcom sure has a way with pleasing Western audiences. Many of their current successes, Dead Rising and Lost Planet, sport a distinctly Western appeal and were exclusive to the Xbox 360.
But this kind of thing doesn't happen overnight. Keiji Inafune, Capcom's head of research and development, discusses what the company had to do in order to get this far and become such a huge hit with overseas gamers. In an interview with Capcom's very own PR staff, Inafune mentions Shadow of Rome as their first real effort to reach Western consumers:
We made two prototypes, sent them to our daughter companies in Europe and North America, did marketing research, got their input, and began work on the project. We had never done anything like that before. Up until then, our daughter companies’ sole purpose had been to simply sell our titles. But for this project we thought that getting input from people in those local territories would help in the development process as well. We also got impressions from people in the media, and did our own marketing before starting development on the project. However, from the standpoint of the overseas user there was still a half-baked feeling about it. It was still too Japanese. We learned our lessons from that, and by the second and third prototypes we were receiving praise like “This was made in Japan?! This must’ve been made in America.”
This market research allowed Capcom to better understand the overseas market. While their other blockbusters may have also done well in North America and PAL regions, Dead Rising and Lost Planet were made with a distinctly Western mindset. Inafune says calls their success "a major achievement for [the] company," declaring the Xbox 360 a "bit hit."
And that's good news for Inafune because there was initially disapproval over developing for the Xbox. While he felt the gamble would pay off, not everyone felt the same way about a Western console whose potential was "largely unknown" at the time.
I think I can only get away with saying this now, but I really thought that the using the Xbox was only way to break into overseas markets, and I took that hypothesis all the way. In the end, I am very happy that I did so. Also, I think the hit success of Dead Rising and Lost Planet helped to bring our sometimes difficult creator organization together.
Inafune also states that their overseas strategy is in full swing, with the upcoming remake of Bionic Commando being developed by a Western studio. With their foothold over Western markets established, Capcom can broaden their horizons a little further; Dead Rising 2 has already been announced for both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and there has been no confirmation regarding the exclusivity of Lost Planet 2.