News Article

Resident Evil Revelations Producer Says Series Needs Action for Success

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Survival horror market is 'small'

Resident Evil series aficionados that have followed the franchise from day one have seen an evolution away from its original, survival horror roots towards an action style. With Resident Evil 4 on GameCube seen as a major turning point, it seems increasingly unlikely that a new experience similar to the early titles will happen again. This could be put down to gaming trends and improved technology, though the Resident Evil Revelations producer believes that one factor is economics, and what gamers ultimately want.

Speaking to Gamasutra, Masachika Kawata highlighted some of the reasons why Capcom has gradually moved towards an action-focused style with the series.

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 Revelations is the way it is.

Drawing on the Call of Duty series as an example of a genre that easily out-performs conventional survival horror, Kawata does however acknowledge that the series shouldn't become an all-out shooter, and that spin-offs from the numbered series will allow for more experimentation.

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.

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.

So we have our numbered series, and we can say we have a more adventure-oriented version, like a Revelations-style game. And we also have Operation: Raccoon City, which is a third-person shooter. So I think that by extending the market in this sense, we can still have the numbered titles keep their identity about what Resident Evil is supposed to be, but still expand and hit other markets as well.

While Revelations provided an interesting hybrid of action and slower-paced horror, it looks like the main series faces the challenge of producing an action style while maintaining a Resident Evil vibe. What do you think? Do you prefer the modern console titles, the hybrid style of Revelations or the old-school survival horror?


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User Comments (45)



Bass_X0 said:

Whatever type of game sells the most is best I suppose. If few people are buying the traditional survival horror games then its understandable that they would want to make a game that more people would buy.



Savino said:

Of course it will not sell well if they make a game like the older ones! The awfull camera, the tank gameplay, horrible, just horrible... We like those games for nostalgia and only nostalgia.

Theres no problem in some action on the series, but action doesnt mean the lack of suspense, atmosphere and horror. Everybody knows today that a zombie outbreak in a town will looks like much more the scenes in RE6 than RE2/3... But we can have a mix of action qith hundreds of zombies on the streets and some suspense and terror inside buildings and factories.... Its just a matter of know what to do and capcom can a have a blockbuster for all tastes!



TheChosen said:

I dont care as long as the game is good. For older games, the so called "horror aspect" came from the fact that ammo was more limited and best choice of action was to run and save it for a better encounter (whatever could that be). If there's a zombie in a game, I want to shoot it.

Old Resident Evil games were good, but when 4 arrived the series went great. Much more fun to play when you dont have to think "Should I shoot that zombie?".




What I've always wanted Capcom to do is combine Resident Evil 4's shooting aspect with the atmosphere and horror aspect of the previous Resident Evils. However, I now think Capcom should do something to bring something new to the action/adventure genre. What me like Resident Evil 4 was that its shooting mechanics were unique and made me think this could provide new ways to interact with enemies and the environment. As a matter of fact, I would probably like Resident Evil even more if the company did something new in the seires rather than ONLY to return to survival horror roots.



shonenjump86 said:

I play Revelations way more than MK7 and Mario 3D Land. I enjoy this game a lot and I look forward to RE6. I just hope there is more horror and does not end up like Operation Raccoon City.



Grackler said:

Hey, if they are as good as the excellent Revelations and the truly classic Resi 4, I'll buy 'em regardless of style!



ajcismo said:

Comparing Resident Evil as a series to Call of Duty is like comparing apples to tomatoes.



DarkKirby said:

It's Capcom's dream to be like Call of Duty, change almost nothing, have people give you even more money then before and break sales records every time, people eating up overpriced DLC.



NassaDane said:

Nope and/or Wrong. We don't play the Classic RE Games for nostalgia we play them because they are more fun to play. It would be impossible for me to play them for Nostalgia since I played RE4 before any Classic RE games and after playing that I went back and enjoyed 0-CV much more than 4. So if anything people only play RE4 for Nostalgia. Plus all the things you think are "horrible" are completely subjective and anyone can claim crap like that on a message board.

I pretty much gave up on RE after "RE"5 came out so I'm not surprised by this news, still hurts however.



Alienfish said:

It's a bunch of nonsense. I don't care what their marketing data tells them. A good developer either creates or reinvigorates a market. Resident Evil is the type of game that can do this sort of thing. Resident Evil is also one of the things that puts Capcom on the radar. If they muck up their showcase franchise, then they'll be tainting their overall image. This kind of crap makes me sick and I won't buy a game that tries to mimic something else just to make a few extra bucks. Stupid executives are to blame for all video game failures because all they understand is money and how to get it. GARBAGE! ALL OF IT!!!!



HappyHappy said:

What!? No, Resident Evil is a survival horror series. Capcom says they want to be more like Call of Duty when they should be more like Dead Space. When I play a horror game I want to be scared and hope that nothing is going to pop out around the next corner. They can keep the whole action bit in the series, but if they toss out the horror then their will be nothing that separates them from all the other action games.



Chrono_Cross said:

Drawing on the Call of Duty series as an example of a genre that easily out-performs conventional survival horror,

How can you compare the two? One is over here, perfecting a completely different genre, while the second is doing something totally different in a third person perspective. Poor example.

You see Capcom, Resident Evil 2 was thoroughly thought out and based on horror. It wasn't given to a random, mediocre developer like Slant Six and produced with little to no super vision and passed on to be a Resident Evil title.

Having a good storyline, and a sense of horror in the atmosphere is all we want. Resident Evil 2 was the best selling Resident Evil until 2009 and it wasn't a shooter. Go figure.



The_Fox said:

Holy sh*t, he said Call of Duty! Let's now all make wild assumptions instead of actually reading the quote and figuring out what he was trying to say.



Chrono_Cross said:

Holy sh*t, someone who doesn't know where the other person is coming from whatsoever and doesn't have any idea how Capcom is ruining the traditional look of Resident Evil while making up excuses, is trying to be a smart pants.

Go ahead, ruin the games. But when you think Resident Evil needs action, always look back at that Operation Racoon City game right before looking back at RE2.



Dreadjaws said:


I'm not going to make any assumption. I read it very clearly: Call of Duty sells more. But you know what? It's an entirely different genre. If you want to make a shooter, make one, but don't use the Resident Evil franchise for it. So what, just because Pokemon sells more than Silent Hill are you going to make a new SH game in which you can capture the monsters and throw them against Pyramid Head? Sure, it might be a fun game, but you'd lose every fan of the series in the process.

Also, while I liked RE5, Revelations is far superior in pretty much everything, and it's because it's LESS action-oriented. As for the old series, the only reason this is a franchise today it's because they sold really well. And, for the love of God, even though RE didn't start the genre of Survival Horror, it did coin the name, you can't just take that away.



Zach said:

Well, I've had fun with you, Resident Evil. I guess I'll have to get more invested in the Silent Hill and Dead Space series, etc. Pretty annoying move if you ask me.



WaveGhoul said:

The Main single player experience regarding the Jill/Parker Ship portion of Revelations may of brought back a big splash of RE's traditional Survival horror-ish routes(in ways) yet the flashback(and so on) episodes were just mindless action heavy lazy shoot outs. They felt completely B-grade in comparison to the main game...Kind of sucks the immersion factor out. This episodic feature was refreshing at first, but those action heavy based episodes themselves just weren't Resident Evil....Get ready to unload your machine gun on 100 Hunters & Zombies wolves kiddies!

Revelation seriously could of used a boost in the Puzzle department as well. The touch screen puzzle controls open a massive door for so many possibilites.
Anyways! Still excited for RE6,Well.....Leon's portion of the game anyways, the rest looks like a different game all together....

If they're going for pure action, then I'm honestly thinking of leaving the franchise...At least make it half survival horor 'and' half action.

Also, Silent Hill's gone to Sh**. Ever since Team Silent's departure the franchise has degraded big time ever since.
And Capcom couldn't make a scary game to save their life! Sorry folks, Revelations wasn't scary! Although one of the enemy designs(Thee ooze with the long crab/lobster claw arms) while using that item scanner(to get that creepy green screen effect) was actually pretty unsettling looking. Sure...There are jump scares abound, but that's it.



tanookisuit said:

All I can say is excellent. The sad reality is that RE was stuck very rooted in a past that needed to die. It came out when 3D was so early that bad camera angles, pivot to turn and clunk along like a tank controls were acceptable. Most moved on and Capcom seemed to lose touch with reality keeping this series and others in 3D moving like junk. I'm glad they've moved into a realm of fluid gameplay and trying to more rely on ambient and more active violent scares and mood altering fears that EA did with the Dead Space series proving survival horror can life. Not only can it live, it can live in that way, not surviving the horror of hoping bad controls and cameras don't kill you and that being the basis of fear.

I could tolerate RE2 in the day to do more than 1/2 of it, nearly finished Codename Veronica, but if it wasn't for a slick deal on the 3DS title I would have given up on the series as 4 didn't do much for me. I hear 5 plays like the 3DS so now I'm interested, and 6 is going to be more of the modernized same so I'm thrilled. RE traditionally has been the series I've had the most love-hate with as the stories and ambiance I've loved, the gameplay ruined it.



RantingThespian said:

The only RE games I like are the survival horror ones. I adore RE2, and I love Revelations (even if the acting and lines somethings made me roll my eyes). The more action based ones bore me.



DarkLloyd said:

if you mean sale sucess then yeah

either way
resident evil zero
resident evil
resident evil 2 favourite in the series
resident evil 3
resident evil code veronica
and even part of resident evil 4
hell even lost in nightmares for re5 had that classic survivor part up till the wesker fight

will always be better then the action shootem up approach when your giving unlimited bullets from dead enemies really takes away from what the classic approach was

sure the gameplay is tank controls, with limited bullets that forced you think how to conserve it for when your in a sticky situation that was the whole point of it in the first place

and i can not stress this enough location location LOCATION also gives in the fear factor another reason i like those games resident evil 5 barely provides that except few places

unlike the previous ones re5 lack puzzles that you need to solve to get something or to traverse somewhere, causing you to go back to a place u dont want too because you pass it off thinking u wouldnt need it, hence the scare factor

i can really say much for the story as that makes sense

even though beaten the classics quite a few times im still somewhat scared to go back thats how good it is to me

heres another example take a look at the final fantasy series they pretty much moved away from turned based action leveling up in favour of the cod crowd numbers if you dont like the gameplay how it originally was dont ruin it for people who likes it in the first place in favour of making it easy and likeable for u

these companies only use the name of the franchise because of its popularity in the past they know if they CHANGE the TITLE it wouldnt sell well at all so the name is just a guarantee to earn them money in case it all goes to hell



ouroborous said:

If "Survival Horror" is supposed to mean that you never have bullets and never get to save either, then forget about that, it's just not fun. For those reasons I had no interest in the original Res Evil games. I hadn't even tried a Res Evil game since back in the day but I tried Revelations since it was on 3DS and it was great. As far as anything "Horror" related, Dead Space is your best example, and after that is Doom 3. But after Revelations, I'd say that Res Evil has made a decent place for itself in the genre and I'm kinda sorry that I had missed out on it before this point. But going forward I'll keep an eye out for more. The Dead Space games are works of art all the way around and Doom 3 & it's expansion were just plain fun to play, so getting an honorable place alongside those is commendable and it's the formula that seems to work best (and sell best too). Just because there's some action does not at all mean that there's any lack of atmosphere or fright.



sinalefa said:

That comparison or contrast he makes between the main games and Operation Raccoon City is not too valid, as the later game is crap and it is not even developed by Capcom or a Japanese company.

Still, check the critical acclaim of the two RE games on 3DS and Revelations wins with ease. And not precisely because of the action heavy parts. And judging by the producer's positive reaction to its reception, I bet Revelations will also be more lucrative for them and will help to move a lot of systems off the shelves, something that Mercenaries would only dream of.

I like both old and new games but they need to be played with a different approach in order to be enjoyed. Take them for what they are.



DraculaX said:

@NassaDame Same here. My first Resident Evil game was RE4, yet my favorite was RE1. However, I don't mind what direction RE goes in, as long as they make a good game then I'll buy it.



DarkLloyd said:

@sinalefa i agree with your last part of the post

but it seems not everybody apprieates classics and think they suck and that re4 and so forth are the best of the best

those wouldnt be there if not for the old ones in the first place



Omarzuqo said:

Silly CAPCOM, RE4 was successful because it was good, not because it had action.
Look at RE5, RE Mercenaries and RE:ORC, they had more action and failed miserably because they all sucked.

Bottom line. Resident Evil needs good games to succeed, regardless of the action.



sdcazares1980 said:

I simply do not understand this intense hatred for RE4 and RE5. Yes, while it is true that the original RE games made the series for what it is today, gamers' tastes change over time. I never played the pre-RE4 games much because the tank-style controls were really terrible. I did tolerate some of it, but they became too much of a chore. Had Capcom not decide to change the controls for RE4, then the series would be an afterthought (let alone win multiple GOTY awards), if not bankrupt. It astounds me that some of these "fans" would rather have the series go bankrupt rather than revamp the series to save it.



RonF said:

I wonder if Capcom knows how many of the action oriented public is looking for a Resident Evil games. The problem with HD games is that the high development costs turns all publishers very adverse of taking risks. Perhaps I would be better served if Capcom moved the series permanently to handhelds.



kdognumba1 said:

As long as horror isn't taken away from the games in favor for a CoD clone. Fact of the matter is, I understand the series needs sales but the last thing we need is ANOTHER CoD clone.



chiptoon said:

I think this all has to do with scale. It seems Capcom is saying that they are only interested in aiming to compete with the most financially successful games in the world. But if they scaled back, produced a real survival horror game with a small team, as cheaply as possible, it could still be incredible successful.

It reminds me of the dedicated handheld will never beat smartphones debate. There are over 300 000 000 users on the app store alone (so not including non-Apple devices). Nintendo does not stand a chance of beating that. But why on earth would they try. Its a totally different arena.

By trying to make Resi compete with CoD, Capcom is choosing to enter an arena where they will lose. Not to say that it won't sell well, bt it won't beat games like CoD, and inthe meanwhile they are ignoring a huge number of fans and a huge revenue stream. Not to meantion that they could actually do both at the same time.



Shock_Tart said:

the survival horror game market, like capcom said, is rather small. but i think it to be a very rare gem amongst many mainstream games. i love survival horror games. like true survival horror games. the origonal resident evil was a great example of this. limited number of saves, very limited ammo and weapons and using your survival abilities the game provided to let you get out. i recently bought a game on steam called penumbra, a true to the roots survival horror. no weapons in which to defend yourself, if the monster comes after you, you run like nuts and hide till it goes away. never more has a game scared the crap out of me and made me more cautious. i loved resident evil 4 and 5 as well as revelations, but while they have horror aspects i cant call those a survival horror game. not much survival to be done when your toting around the infinate rocket launcher. or the hand cannon. heck even with the starting weapons. capcom needs to take a step back and limit the amount of ammo and health you find in a game which will turn up the survival aspect and possibly work to make the game more horror than just sinister and evil. i love the resident evil series but i just cant call it a survival horror anymore.



Chobi said:

It's sad but true. Just look at the big sellers. Call or duty and battlefield. FPS are very big sellers in north America. I will always be a fan of the old survival horror game-play. It's sad that Capcom decided to westernize Resident Evil but they need to stay in business so i understand there move.



madgear said:


"Of course it will not sell well if they make a game like the older ones! The awfull camera, the tank gameplay, horrible, just horrible... We like those games for nostalgia and only nostalgia."

That's such a ridiculous thing to say. Making a game like the older ones does not mean tank controls and bad cameras - obviously people are happy for those things to be improved. What people want is exploration and adventure. Trying to find a way to get into a locked room, solving puzzles and a creepy isolated atmosphere. That's not outdated, it's a genre of game.

That's the type of game I enjoy playing and if they're not being made then I just start to lose interest in games. If a game has to be an action shooter to be classed as "modern" then I can't see myself playing anything but indie games in the near future.



DreamOn said:

Ok sure, everyone wants as much money as call of duty is getting to feel good about their products so naturally everything needs to just be a call of duty Jr. Holy shmoly! I am glad not every developer is imploding their game genres because of COD's profits. But maybe they should, kind of like how in SM3DL everything got a tanooki tail, all games should just have guns thrown in and a FPS view option, so next time I play a new tetris i better be able to shoot my tetriminos with a good head shot because thats the money maker baby! Wow. Ok



FluffyNinja said:

Revelaitions is a very good mixture of action and survival horror and I hope they can keep it like that for future Resident Evil games. If I wanted a pure survival horror, I would play Amnesia, so don't worry about that Capcom.



WaveGhoul said:

Bad camera's?....Uh, Traditional Pre rendered RE backgrounds were ment to be designed like cinamatic one shot/Angled set pieces, they were absolutely gorgeous. That has obviously been stripped away from RE4, 5 and Revelations....But the change was needed since using the traditional Re perspective/camera means bare bones and limmited combat....switch it to 3rd person, and the complexity, aiming and ways to take down your enemies sky rockets. It's for the better obviously, but you lose part of that movie magic in the processy'! You win some, you lose some.



Bankai said:

Yes Capcom, you're right. the market for proper survival horror is smaller than your sales expectations from Resident Evil games.

That doesn't mean you're making good games, though. Resident Evil 5 was abysmal, and Revelations was only slightly better. Enjoy your extra million sales, but I'm not buying them any more.



Mandoble said:

Survival might be, but "Horror" with the small screen of the 3DS and poor audio?? I guess these titles should be limited to the big screens and they can always mix the old style with a more action ortiented one.



Gamer83 said:

I thought Revelations perfectly struck the balance between the older, slower style and the new more action-oriented RE games and had hoped that was the direction Capcom planned to go with the series. Reading this stuff though, it's pretty clear they're looking to make a CoD or Gears wannabe which is too bad. This also is a perfect example of why Japanese games are in the state they're in, rather than focusing on what made those games great Japanese developers are trying too hard to 'Westernize' their games for the North American market (Europe seems to be more open minded). It's a shame really. These companies need to wake up and realize, NO game out there sells as well as CoD and restructuring RE to play more like thos games will still not draw in that crowd unless it says 'Call of Duty' somewhere on the box. In the long run, Capcom is just going to piss off its longtime fans, but that's nothing new for them this gen, that company has made some putrid decisions the last few years and it will catch up to them eventually if they're not careful.



Pichuka97 said:

RE5 was crap compared to RE4. RE6 better come to Wii U so I can actually aim with my gun via the Wii Controller. Anyways, The series should take another step forward or just keep the same style they ahd in the first 3 RE games.




I don't get why they don't just make a seperate seris and say it's from the makers of Resident Evil so you can get your COD crowd or whatever. Why do you need to destroy a good franchis? It's funny how they say no 1 want survival horror when THEY pretty much invented it and it's what made Resident Evil a household name in the 1st place YOU MORON!!

Why do game developers feel they have to COPY & PASTE whatever is popular? People are going crazy over Angry Birds are you gonna make Resident Evil like that too since it's popular right you might as well YOU STUPID GREEDY SON OF A........HAMSTER!! >

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