Survival Horror Can't Compete With CoD
As Brendan recently pointed out, survival horror games have been extremely thin on the ground over the last couple of years... and this doesn't look set to change. Capcom states that the genre simply can't compete with blockbusters like Call Of Duty in the Western market, and that subsequent core Resident Evil titles will pursue the path of action over scare value.
Speaking to Gamasutra, Resident Evil producer Masachika Kawata made Capcom's action-heavy direction very clear.
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 [3DS game] Revelations is the way it is.
The change from claustrophobic corridor crawls to fast-paced shooting started with the sublime Resident Evil 4, and today results in the likes of Operation Raccoon City - the first Resi title to be developed by a Western developer. Apparently this is all down to... say it with me... wanting to compete with Call Of Duty.
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," he said. "A survival horror Resident Evil doesn't seem like it'd be able to sell those kind of numbers.
Kawata isn't the first Japanese producer to use this comparison. Project Aces lead Kazutoki Kono admitted to us that Ace Combat: Assault Horizon was designed to emulate Call Of Duty's tone and appeal primarily to Western audiences, receiving only lukewarm success in that regard after completely compromising the franchise's core principles.
Expect Resident Evil 6 to be all about the action - though hopefully future 3DS releases will continue Revelations' more traditional survival horror focus. That way, we'll have the best of both worlds.