Sunday, March 25, 2012

Survival-Horror Resident Evil Wouldn't Sell, says Capcom

If you've been following the Resident Evil series of games since the first one came out in 1996, you're familiar with how it slowly evolved from a true blue survival horror game, to a slightly faster paced co-op shooter with horror elements.

The change in Resident Evil's tone is somewhat of a divisive issue, as there are fans who like the new direction, but there are also those who feel like the market is already saturated with shooters, and that they don't need a new Call of Duty with horror elements tacked in. The latter set of fans will be disappointed with Capcom producer Masachika Kawata's recent statements regarding the changes:

"Especially for the North American market, I think the series needs to head in that [action-oriented] direction. [Resident Evil's primary games] need to be an extension of the changes made in Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5.

"RE4 started in that direction, and RE5 kept going in that direction. And I think that especially for the North American market, we need to keep going in that direction, and take that a step further. And that's exactly one of the reasons that Revelations is the way it is.

"Looking at the marketing data [for survival horror games] ... the market is small, compared to the number of units Call of Duty and all those action games sell. A 'survival horror' Resident Evil doesn't seem like it'd be able to sell those kind of numbers."

Kawata's last message is slightly more positive, though:

"I can't really speak for Resident Evil 6, but I don't think that it necessarily has to go all the way in that [action-heavy] direction, the Call of Duty direction. It doesn't have to be a straight up shooter. But my impression is that Resident Evil 4 and 5 aren't shooters, per se."

Personally, I think they don't really need to completely embrace one genre in favor of the other - they could still find a nice balance between survival horror and shooters. I mean, take a look at Dead Space - it manages to still provide a scary single player experience that keeps you on the edge of your seat, without resorting to the cliched survival horror technique of making your character completely useless in direct combat.

No comments: