While other gaming companies talk layoffs, Capcom is raising salaries

At a time when mass layoffs are rampant in the games industry, one company is talking about raises. Capcom announced to investors this week that it’s increasing its base starting salary for new hires in Japan, and giving current employees a raise of “over 5% on average” this year. 

It’s a moderate cost-of-living bump that might not have been notable if so many gaming companies weren’t aggressively cutting costs right now.

The starting salary for new graduates at Capcom Japan, which is headquartered in Osaka, is being raised from ¥235,000 per month to ¥300,000, which is about $2,014 USD a month at the current exchange rate, or $24,168 per year. It’s not a salary that would go far in a US city, which reflects the fact that wages are lower on average in Japan than in the US and a number of other countries. The yen-to-dollar exchange rate has also fallen 34% over the last five years, making Japanese salaries look particularly low in USD.

Current and new employees will also receive “a one-time special payment as an investment in the people who support the future of the company,” and Capcom says it’s introducing “a bonus system more closely linked to the company’s business performance” as well as a stock-based employee compensation system.

The last instance of major Capcom layoffs that I recall occurred in 2018, when it shut down Dead Rising developer Capcom Vancouver, cutting over 150 jobs in the process. Otherwise, the company has been on a roll in recent years, releasing some of our favorite new PC games: Monster Hunter World and Rise, the Resident Evil remakes, Street Fighter 6, and PC versions of some of its classics, like Ghost Trick and the Ace Attorney games. And we’re eager to play Dragon’s Dogma 2, Capcom’s new open world RPG, which is out this month.

VGC points out that other Japanese gaming companies have also raised salaries recently following calls to combat inflation from Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. FromSoftware raised salaries after the success of Elden Ring in 2022; Nintendo and Sega both raised salaries last year. 

It’s not clear whether the “over 5% on average” raises and other compensation changes apply globally to Capcom employees, or only to workers in Japan. I’ve asked a Capcom USA rep about that and will update this article if I hear back.

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