The analysis assessment by the 4Gamer reporter is based on Cave's 3rd Quarter shareholder's report. I think what is stated is not a full representation of what was actually stated in the report. I'll post some slides and explain.
What has happened is that Cave has restructured their company and moved to new offices recently. As such, the structural change means there is no longer a Consumer Game Division. But it also means there is no longer a Social Game Division or Online Game Division. Instead the entire company is one department meant to leverage on the skills and experience of all the staff to make development more agile.
The new management structure will focus on 3 points of development:
- Existing Social Games
- Existing Online Games
- New Products
It is important to note that what they're saying is that they're going to continue supporting existing services, while creating new products as well.
They're looking to target audiences in-between heavy core users (who play shmups for example) and light casual users. There are other slides I didn't post, which basically also implies heavily that yes, they will be focusing mostly on Smartphones and online distribution of titles.
The last slide there shows the sort of new upcoming products they are developing. ARPU is Average Revenue Per User, and the horizontal axis represents the Social aspect of a product from low on the left to high on the right. In the top left corner is "Bullet Hell Shooters" specifically, which are very high ARPU games with almost no social aspects. The fact that they're still looking to release new stuff close to that range indicates that they're still making shooters, and will probably not abandon arcade development entirely. It's possible that most of the future shmup ports released by Cave themselves will be Smartphone only, but maybe that doesn't rule out arcade ports from other publishers?
- Cave restructured but they didn't fire everyone from their gaming division
- They still plan to make games with high revenue per user with no social content (ie: shmups)
- Not entirely dead yet, business as usual