So if you haven’t already heard, Capcom producer Masachika Kawata in an interview with Gamasutra said “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.”
Kawata also said “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.” He then went on to say “Especially for the North American market, I think the series needs to head in that [action-oriented] direction,” Kawata said. “Resident Evil’s games need to be an extension of the changes made in Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5.”
Outside of the fact that to me this just screams, money, money, money, money, which from a business and production stand point makes sense, it just feels wrong and ill explain why….
It’s no secret that everyone wants to be like COD, who wouldn’t want to sell 6.5 million units in a day. The cold hard truth is, not everyone will be like COD. Sorry for that sudden realization, but Capcom needs to worry about developing a game that excels at what they are already doing, not try to play catch up with and already hugely saturated market. Think about it logically, is Capcom better off dominating a smaller genre of games, or trying to make an action game to penetrate the action FPS market? If I was standing in a store with a Capcom action game in one hand or COD/Battlefield in another, I am pretty sure I wouldn’t choose the Capcom one, especially after such previous action shooter offerings from them like Dark Void and Lost Planet 2. It would take a lot of convincing for me to believe that Capcom can make a rival type of that game, when they can barely figure out what they are doing currently.
Could the lack of sales be because they have not made a ‘good’ game since RE4? RE4 ended up selling over 7 million copies, that’s hardly a small market. Sure it took some time, but that’s because I strongly believe consumers were not originally convinced of the game when it first came out. I fall into this group as well, I did not feel this game was worth my time. I was later convinced by a friend who referred the game to me. In the end, I loved the game, I beat it on the gamecube and then bought it again on the Wii to play it again to use the motion controls. RE4 has action type game play, but still had a ton of survival horror aspects. (like at the beginning when you had to survive in the town till the bell went off, or in the water on the little dingy). That was a game that was survival horror with action shooter aspects added on, not an action game with survival horror added on; there is a difference.
This article gives off a lack of confidence in their abilities as a company. Why not come up with a way to bolster yourself in this market? Give the gamers from this segments and other something to scream about, something original and attention catching? No! that’s too hard, too much investment, let’s just following suit, the new business plan is “let’s just do what everyone else is doing to make a quick buck”. I have no delusions that they won’t either, because gamers, myself included are just stupid. The lot of us just go out a buy games regardless of the current uproar we have of the game. Mass Effect 3 as an example, people where outraged, and what happend? Nothing they just bought the game and complained about the company tactics on twitter, facebook, reddit, and a slew of other social sites. In the end BioWare, EA and others still made their money, and you are left with a sour taste in your mouth. BioWare has decided to appease fans by promising to fix the ending, so maybe our voices do have some power. This has happened before, and it will happen again, and again and again. I’m not retarded I know the comparisons, I get it, Battlefield sold 10 million copies in 6 months. This is the way the industry is headed, ‘cookie cutter’ gaming is real.
Some of my favorite games that I’ve played recently have been indie games with a low-budgets, and I take them for what they are. They are not always the best, but they are at least original in some cases, and give a new game play experience. In comparison I could be playing games with huge budgets (which I do), release date DLC and ridiculous collectors editions. I liked how gaming was when I was younger, this gigantic gaming industry is very much ruining gaming. But that’s a whole other argument for another day.