Capcom: Resident Evil needs to be more actiony, survival horror = sales less than CoD

In a recent interview with Gamasutra, Capcom shared some great insight.

More at the link.

Gamasutra said:
'Survival horror' market too small for Resident Evil, says Capcom producer
by Kris Graft

March 22, 2012

Some long-time Resident Evil fans might long for the "good old days" of the franchise, when early games in the series were deliberately-paced, nerve-wracking explorations into a "world of survival horror." Today, the series' emphasis is on action that rarely lets up.

But while there are those who'd love to see a return to classic Resident Evil gameplay, the market for that style -- "survival horror" -- just isn't viable enough to warrant the biggest investments, Capcom's Resident Evil: Revelations producer Masachika Kawata told Gamasutra in an interview.

"Especially for the North American market, I think the series needs to head in that [action-oriented] direction," Kawata said. "[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.

While Revelations -- released on Nintendo 3DS earlier this year -- does have more of a tilt towards the action-oriented gameplay seen in Resident Evil 4 and 5, it manages to mix in the slower, creepy pace of earlier installments for a nice hybrid of gameplay styles.

But if the rising action trend of Resident Evil 4 and 5 continues, don't expect this year's big budget console (and eventually PC) game Resident Evil 6 to follow suit.

Acknowledging that he does not work on the upcoming numbered sequel, Kawata compares survival horror game sales to the best-selling video game franchise Call of Duty, a military FPS whose last installment sold 6.5 million units in its first day.

"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."

But, Kawata said, "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."

Jul 27, 2011
And that is why I won't be touching Resident Evil 6 at all. Even at a "bomba" price. Resident Evil Remake is one of my favourite games, but I realise that was from a revolutionary man, and the game was designed immaculately from top to bottom. Me and Capcom are finished.
Oct 9, 2004
Is every big company going to make the stupid argument that unless sales are CoD levels a project isn't worth it?

CoD is an anomaly, not the norm. Just like WoW
Apr 26, 2011
Watch out, here comes Dragon Age 2 syndrome all over again! ;)

Companies are always after that elusive pot o' gold (AKA Call of Duty money) but all it tends to do is the opposite when they screw up the game chasing it.
Nov 7, 2009
Look I understand wanting 20 million, but this flat refusal to accept 5 million and acting like those fans aren't good enough for you is really a slap in the face to those who supported them until now be it 1/3 or even 4 or 5.

I just don't see the need to address the public like they are. That and they are out their god damn minds if they think RE will ever reach this numbers. CoD and Battlefield are just to different from RE to reasonably ever expect to make enough changes to catch that fan base with out throwing away the current.
Oct 15, 2011
I don't blame Capcom for wanting to do this but I'm seriously disappointed. I miss RE when it used to be horror. It looks like the only horror third person shooter we have to look forward to are anything Dead Space related.
May 12, 2006
I just want it to be tense and fun. If RE6 is somehow as good as RE4 (it won't be), then that's awesome. If it's as bad as RE5, then fuck this.

RE4 is a better game than RE1/2/3, though, and I say this as a person who adored those games.
Feb 17, 2009
I can't wait until Nintendo releases it's next Smash Bros that sells like 15 million+ copies. Capcom and the FGC are going to be in for a rude awakening if their plan is to ape whatever hits the jackpot. It wouldn't even surprise me after hearing their thoughts on Dragon's Dogma.
Nov 29, 2007
I love how EVERY GAME has to sell COD numbers now, no matter the genre, franchise, or history. Because if it doesn't, well, then obviously it was a FAILURE AND STOP BUYING USED GAMES YOU'RE KILLING THE INDUSTRY!!!


Junior Member
Dec 20, 2009
I wish these companies would stop thinking this way. Every game is not going to sell that much, even if you change genres completely just to chase that audience. What is it about CoD sales that made everyone loss their minds, there were major, big selling games before and it wasn't this bad. Otherwise everyone would have dropped everything to make Poke-clones.
Apr 10, 2007
RE can't do CoD numbers......Overstatement of the forever?

So instead of creating a new original ip, they're ready to just take an existing series and transform it into something it never has a chance of being? That seems really lazy and even moronic business to me.
Nov 9, 2007
I think it's a little early to take a stand on this game. It might, you know, be really good...

This is sad, but unfortunately it's probably true. No reason why an action game that is truly scary can't sell well though!
with Resident Evil name, the problem is not that it can't sell well. but it can't sell well enough for Capcom. and there's a reason why scary games don't sell as well as action game, you know, people don't like getting scared etc.


Blinded by the luminous glory that is David Bowie's physical manifestation.
Feb 14, 2009
No. Capcom. BAD. BAD. *whaps with the newspaper* You see this shit you laid on my lawn? *rubs Capcom's nose in Biohazard 5* THAT'S NOT GOOD. THAT'S NOT WHAT WE WANT. GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE WITH THAT SHIT.

*whaps Capcom with newspaper again* Now get out of here, go make an Outbreak or a proper Biohazard 5 and get back to me.