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

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.

Connor Sheridan

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.