While other gaming companies talk layoffs, Capcom is raising salaries

Street Fighter 6 — Ryu, sporting his SF6 beard, delivers an uppercut to Luke's jaw.
(Image credit: Capcom)

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. 

The starting salary increase applies just to Capcom Japan employees, a company spokesperson told PC Gamer. However, "strategic investment in human resources" is one of Capcom's top priorities, they said, so "management is discussing investment in human capital for the overall Capcom Group on an ongoing basis."

Tyler Wilde
Executive Editor

Tyler grew up in Silicon Valley during the '80s and '90s, playing games like Zork and Arkanoid on early PCs. He was later captivated by Myst, SimCity, Civilization, Command & Conquer, all the shooters they call "boomer shooters" now, and PS1 classic Bushido Blade (that's right: he had Bleem!). Tyler joined PC Gamer in 2011, and today he's focused on the site's news coverage. His hobbies include amateur boxing and adding to his 1,200-plus hours in Rocket League.