Capcom Producer: Market for Survival Horror is Too Small
Starting with Resident Evil 4, the popular franchise started to stray away from its survival horror roots, becoming more action-oriented with horror as more of a backdrop than anything else. Resident Evil 5 pushed the new direction even further, doing away with horror almost entirely.
This left fans of the original Resident Evil games feeling disappointed, and wondering why Capcom would make such a dramatic change to the beloved franchise. Unsurprisingly, it comes down to business.
Speaking to Gamasutra, Resident Evil: Revelations producer Masachika Kawata said that there just isn’t a large enough market for survival horror games in North America.
“Especially for the North American market, I think the series needs to head in that [action-oriented] direction,” Kawata told Gamasutra. “[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,” he said. “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,” he said.
Kawata went on to compare the market for survival horror to action-oriented titles, such as Activision’s wildly popular Call of Duty franchise. “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.”
The goal, Kawata explains, isn’t to do away with horror entirely. “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.”
Do you miss the classic Resident Evil games, or do you like the new direction?