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Capcom: Resident Evil Will "Keep Going In The Action-Oriented Direction"

Jonathan Lester
Action Games, Capcom, Resident Evil, Survival Horror

Capcom: Resident Evil Will "Keep Going In The Action-Oriented Direction"

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.

Add a comment2 comments
Yukes  Mar. 23, 2012 at 11:52

Madness. Nothing can compete with Call of Duty at the moment. Look at Battlefield 3: that's in the same genre and made an impact, but even that fell way short in terms of sales.

Trying to drag the beloved Resi series further towards fast-paced action will just alienate long-term fans further after the weak RE5, and additionally attempting to compete directly with CoD will simply result in failure.

Is this the end for mainstream survival horror? Bring on Amnesia 2, then.

DrTrouserPlank  Mar. 23, 2012 at 12:52

If your product (currently an action-orientated third person shooter) is unable to compete with a multiplayer-driven first person shooter, then pushing your game further down the action path does nothing to make it more competitive, you are in fact only attempting to win the affections of the action game enthusiasts (whose allegiance to COD over RE is already established). Ultimately the more you push the action-orientated approach, the more in direct competition you become; a battle by their own admission that they can't win.

Those of a simple mind such as myself would suggest that adopting a more traditional survival-horror approach would distinguish your game from the crowd. This generation is not exactly overburdened with survival horror games (something that can't be said about action and FPS games). Appealing to a different market (but a largely untapped one) would allow you to still reap large financial gains from people starved of true survival horror.

My suspicion is that this less glamorous approach to game design doesn't appeal because it's more work, considered to be a risk, and is a lot harder than farting out over the shoulder shooters and fps games by reskinning last month's big hit.

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