Mar 26 2012

Survival Horror Games still have a place, and so does originality..

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.


That’s Yo ‘I’m Clearly Rattled’ Garbage.

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  1. Tyler1851

    I remember when games had heart and soul to them, Capcom wants to take that away from Resident Evil to appeal to the same people who buy cod, that isn’t who there audience will ever be though, and one day they will have to go back to the roots after this whole fps fad is done.

  2. sajanthan

    Cod gamers aren’t gamers…

  3. dhvl2712

    Yes we are.

  4. Dave

    l The author makes a great point. It’s all well and good that Mr. Kawata thinks that they should make a game that’s exactly like CoD (if only because he cares about lining the company’s pockets), but Capcom has to face facts- so is everyone else. And Capcom just doesn’t have the talent needed to even make a good crack at an imitation, let alone dethroning the king.

    Taking their Resident Evil franchise and turning into Call of Duty is like watching a spoiled brat. They aren’t nearly good enough to create an ORIGINAL series that can compete, so they’re going to take one of their past creative successes, rape it, and then blame the past fans for the poor sales. Um, what? It’s OUR fault that trying to turn Survival Horror junkies into CoD-fanboys is a crap idea?

    This guy needs to get his head out of his ass and realise that bad Resident Evil games don’t sell, and bad non-Resident Evil games with a Resident Evil title don’t sell AND alienate your fan base. A monkey could work this out.

  5. 45loki

    I like Dave!

    Great article, i agree with you 100%

  6. Mike

    thanks to all those who read the article and took the time to post a comment! Were in for a rough run, but i still believe good games are possible. Just need more people willing to take risks.

  7. Sloloem

    Something else to consider, since we’re talking money, is that a huge part of the reason that modern horror games haven’t done better is their gameplay is just too good. Back when we were “stuck” playing games like Clocktower and Silent Hill you simply couldn’t make that sort of 3rd person shooter with interactive story elements play well, and the clunky controls made it scarier because you knew you had to stay calm when the shit hit the fan but what if you couldn’t turn around fast enough or the door didn’t trigger right?

    Plus, how freaking effective is the fog in Silent Hill 2 at creating a tense atmosphere while simultaneously covering up for hardware limitations?

    Point being: AAA Action titles cost a metric butt-ton of money because they use every little bit of hardware performance and market themselves on how amazingly perfect and detailed their graphics are, while horror games are actually better when they’re not so damned pretty. You simply don’t need to spend that much money creating a perfectly rendered product…things might actually be a bit creepier if you obfuscated some or left a bit up to the imagination…just make sure you’ve paid the writers enough.

  8. lanerials

    Good article, were screwed

  9. Clem

    i agree with you 100%, more people should listen

  10. Cleci

    The author is a genius!

  11. Ova

    true story, we r in for a rough ride!

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