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At a time when the video game industry is in chaos elsewhere, Capcom has announced that it is raising its starting salary in Japan by around 25%. The raise is going to take effect from the beginning of the 2025 fiscal year.

Capcom Is Raising Starting Pay By Around 25% In The Era Of Layoffs

Currently, the starting salary for new graduate hires in the company is ¥235,000 monthly (approx. $1,560). However, the increment will see the monthly take-home of new graduate hires jump to ¥300,000 monthly (approx. $2,000).

“With this increase in starting salary, Capcom is pursuing further investment in human capital and the acquisition of exceptional talent,” the company said in a statement.

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Old employees (including those who joined the company in the 2024 FY) will get a “one-time special payment”, which Capcom said was “an investment in the people who support the future of the company”. Existing wages in the 2024 FY will also be raised by an average of around 5%.

Back in April 2022, Capcom raised the average base salaries of its employees by 30%. Also, it introduced a new bonus pay system that was closely tied to the company’s business performance. In other words, employees will get higher bonuses every time a game performs well.

During the last wage increase, Capcom said it was a move “to address the issues facing our society while aiming to improve its corporate value and establishing a relationship of trust with employees and stakeholders”.

The difference between Japanese gaming companies and the rest of the world

Capcom Is Raising Starting Pay By Around 25% In The Era Of Layoffs

Apart from Capcom, other Japanese publishers have announced wage raises in recent years. About a year ago, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida called on companies in the country to “pay workers more” according to a Reuters report. The Prime Minister attributed the call to inflation.

At that time, Nintendo promised a 10% pay hike. Sega followed a few weeks later with a 30% average pay raise for its employees in Japan and promised a 35% increase in starting salaries for fresh graduates. The case is not the same with the rest of the world.

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Some companies that announced record profits in 2023 also ironically announced layoffs (a situation that many still find hard to understand). In America, particularly, it appears companies exist solely to satisfy the shareholders—and must do everything possible to keep their numbers up.

Instead of raises when the company’s finances are surging, most employees in video game companies in other parts of the world are either taking pay cuts (partly blamed on the implementation of AI in workplaces) or being laid off altogether.

Also, American video game company executives are the most paid compared to say Japanese video game executives. This has led to an alarming gap between the pay margin of the most-paid executive and the least-paid employee. The worrying development is often the breeding pot for dissatisfaction.

Capcom has made an interesting announcement for its first $70 game

Capcom Is Raising Starting Pay By Around 25% In The Era Of Layoffs

Speaking in an interview with Game Informer, Dragon’s Dogma 2 director Hideaki Itsuno said that the console version (PS5 and Xbox Series X|S) of the game will have no Performance or Quality modes equivalent. However, the game’s frame rate will be uncapped on all formats.

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“The game has an uncapped framerate”, Itsuno said. “We’re aiming to go at around or higher than 30 frames per second. That is for consoles as well. There are some functions that you can turn on and off, but there aren’t multiple sets of options that you can change at once. But yeah, the frame rate will come uncapped for all consoles.”

Capcom continues to enjoy financial success. In October 2023, the company said it was on track to achieve an 11th consecutive year of operating income growth, thanks to a strong H1 fiscal report. Dragon’s Dogma 2 which is scheduled for release on March 22, 2024, is already shaping up to be a huge financial success.

Capcom will hold its first-ever Capcom Highlights digital event on March 7 and another on March 11 to give updates on some of its upcoming games.


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