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Poor sales of Resident Evil remake led to series' action rebirth

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If the GameCube-exclusive Resident Evil remake had sold better, the series may never have become so driven by action. Series creator Shinji Mikami, formerly of Capcom and now working on The Evil Within at Bethesda-owned Tango Gameworks, told IGN it was a natural result of broadening Resident Evil 4's development.

“If you want to keep a great horror game franchise, you have to work with people who really like horror games. If you bring in developers from other places, you’re going to end up with a more action-oriented game," Mikami said." With Resident Evil 4, I intended to make more of an action game--5 and 6 were outside of my responsibility, of course--but with Resident Evil 2 and 3, that wasn’t necessarily the intention I started with. They just naturally became more like action games.

With Resident Evil 4, he changed his primary goal from scaring the player to making the game fun in hopes of reviving the series' sales. It worked.

"I suspect that Dead Space followed the same path," Mikami said. "It naturally became more about action. When developers think about their players… I don’t think it’s the case that they were thinking, ‘Okay, if we want to go from two million units to four million units, we need to put in more action.’ It’s a more intuitive process than that.”

Mikami said he hopes to return to survival horror--which he defined as "a balance between a scary kind of gameplay and the challenge of overcoming that fear"--in The Evil Within.

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14 comments

  • stargrave - September 27, 2013 1:42 p.m.

    WHAAAAT???!!!! CURSE YOU NINTENDO! This is Why I hate that company, Resident Evil should've never been released in their consoles. Blame it on their kiddy demographics, not on the game. Stupid Capcom. Yeah I enjoyed very Much RE4 but it's been a road to the trash can since then. The Resident Evil 1 Remake might be the single most terrific(and horror filled) game in the series. It was one game that I played with an audience, eager to know what happens next, while they grab their arm chairs in terror. From the refined graphics, to the super-zombies, the mood, the pace, the way this game was built could be the testimony of one of the best, if not the best, videogame remake, horror or any other genre. So. CAPCOM you're plain stupid, period. And you've paid the price. Bring Horror back to the series, look into this game again, and think first, before acting, please...
  • db1331 - September 27, 2013 7:18 a.m.

    The REmake is without a doubt the best remake of any game, ever. They could have just updated the visuals and it would have been awesome. Instead, they reworked it completely and added in all kinds of cool shit. I'll never forget my first time playing it. I had to start over because I didn't know you were supposed to burn the zombies after you "killed" them. A few hours into the game and I had a mansion full of super zombies that I couldn't do shit against.
  • sleepyMexican45 - September 27, 2013 1:11 a.m.

    i have one gaming wish: that they rerelease REmake in hd. that game is in my top 5 all-time fave games. and probably the best Gamecube game. while theyre at it, do the same fir the totally underrated Resi Zero! imagine them on Wii U :O
  • RODTheMaster - September 26, 2013 10:34 p.m.

    That's a freaking shame. The REmake is without a doubt my favorite in the series.
  • RebornKusabi - September 26, 2013 4:32 p.m.

    Considering the game was released on the fucking GAMECUBE, no shit it sold the worst you stupid motherfarker! Why did you think your employer made a port for the PS2? Ugh, I was looking forward to The Evil Within but retarded comments like this makes me now leery.
  • Sy87 - September 26, 2013 2:09 p.m.

    Really this is the excuse. I think we all are in agreement that this was a bad decision. I think survival horror or at least the type where you can fight back is not dead just poorly made. RE 5 and 6 and Orc are just poorly designed in my opinion same with Dead Space 3. Lack of ammo but cannon fodder enemies is not scary just annoying. Considering that you can't run in some areas. Hell the doors won't open until everything is dead. Bad use of limited ammo. The remake was good I say the bast option to make an updated RE game with the current controls. Bring the crimson heads you got your enemy for the fast pace. Make killing zombies harder. No shoot the body a couple of times and they are dead. Headshots, brain damage or crippling shots. Will the genre ever comeback in mainstream. I guess I have no choice but to see about this new game.
  • shawksta - September 26, 2013 1:12 p.m.

    Neat trivia I guess but the resident evil series has been I'm Playstation, putting the remake, one a single console, that's not playstation, let alone the Gamecube of all things, no duh. Though its not simply just because it was on gamecube as other reasons said above, otherwise we have the GC version of Soul Calibur 2 selling more than the other 2 versions together for obvious reasons but even then, Resident evil would've benefited but hey, atleast Resident Evil 4 existed.
  • kyle-mccullough - January 14, 2014 8:49 p.m.

    Resident Evil 4 on Gamecube only sold a couple hundred thousand more Copies which though sounding like a big number it really isn't a big number in a Sales sense, if it hadnt been ported the sales for that would have been tanked as well. Then when it was ported to PS2 and PC the total sales jumped so high it became the 2nd best selling in the series Under Resident Evil 2 which was sold on every platform of its generation when it came out. Resident Evil Rebirth is alot more highly regarded then people think. Go on twitch and youll find someone playing it. Some people find they get alot more viewers then they normally have When they play that game because people love even to just watch others play it. I see people talking about how badly they want to play it but they don't want to buy a Gamecube or Wii just to be able to do so, It didnt sell poorly because people are no longer interested in Survival horror, It sold poorly because Capcom made the bad business decision of making it a Nintendo Exclusive! Look at Hideo Kojima! He had Metal Gear Solid The Twin Snakes made as a Gamecube exclusive, it sold Horribly, So he contined to just Stick with Playstation and Metal Gear solid is STILL one of the highest selling game franchises out there, 90% of your hardcore everyday gamers are on either xbox or Playstation, making a Nintendo exclusive was just a poor Idea.
  • shawksta - January 14, 2014 9:24 p.m.

    Oh well, people will just complain until the games on their consoles i guess. This is pretty much Nintendo and 3rd party in a nutshell, and all the crying doesnt stop the fact that Nintendo's responsible for Bayonetta 2 when we all know its not gonna sell well
  • kyle-mccullough - January 15, 2014 2:14 p.m.

    Sadly Unless Capcom buys Nintendo out of there Contract with REmake and Zero they wont ever be allowed to port it to anything else. But if they ever did they would probably watch the sales Skyrocket. I mean personally myself when I hear Nintendo I think Mario, Kirby, Zelda, all the kid games. Say Resident Evil, I think Playstation because up until when 4 originally came out as a "Nintendo Exclusive" it was always on playstation. Of course they eventually ported to Playstation anyway. And if Shinji had his way that never would have happened, He intended 4 to stay a Nintendo exclusive, But Capcom ported it against his wishes which is why he left Capcom after 4.
  • shawksta - January 15, 2014 11:42 p.m.

    Yeah, but i guess its a thing of the past, it happened already so its not like we can change it.
  • CitizenWolfie - September 26, 2013 12:19 p.m.

    The first commenter beat me to it: How can you make a game exclusive to the worst selling console of the generation and still expect good sales? Capcom would have made a killing releasing it on PS2/Xbox
  • Vonter - September 26, 2013 12:12 p.m.

    "I suspect that Dead Space followed the same path," Mikami said. "It naturally became more about action. When developers think about their players… I don’t think it’s the case that they were thinking, ‘Okay, if we want to go from two million units to four million units, we need to put in more action.’ It’s a more intuitive process than that.” This quote raises so many eye brows.
  • musashi1596 - September 26, 2013 11:48 a.m.

    "It must have sold poorly because people don't like the genre anymore, not because it's an exclusive on the third least popular console of this gen." -Some genius at Capcom, probably.

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