Capcom is behind some of the most beloved video game titles, from Street Fighter II to Resident Evil. However, both of those games might not even exist today, if it were not for the adult-themed mahjong game named Mahjong Gakuen, which allegedly saved the company from bankruptcy in the late 80s.
This strange piece of video game trivia comes courtesy of a variety of former Capcom sources, including the artist Akira "AKIMAN" Yasuda, who recently took to Twitter to share the story (as spotted by VGDensetsu), and the former producer Yoshiki Okamoto, who was the lead developer on the project.
Okamoto has spoken about the topic twice before on his YouTube channel but decided last week to revisit the subject once again in a new interview with former Capcom programmer Takashi Aoki, who also worked on the title.
According to these various accounts, Capcom was facing bankruptcy towards the end of the 80s, when Okamoto decided to secretly start developing a strip version of mahjong (the tile-based parlor game). When it was finished, Capcom's president Kenzo Tsujimoto refused to release it under the company's banner, with the explicit title eventually being distributed under another publisher named Yuga instead.
As AKIMAN states, the game sold tremendously well for the company. So well, in fact, it outsold Capcom's Ghouls 'n Ghosts, which was also released in 1988. Okamoto even credits it with saving the company from its financial crisis, proving that yes, sex does indeed sell.