After many responses from fans after the release of Resident Evil 6,
Capcom has finally listened and intends to return the horror franchise
to its roots. Capcom knows the franchise must go forward, even if a
reboot is necessary. In an interview with
IGN, Masachika Kawata, a producer who has worked on the series for a long time, had this to say:
“I think that it’s important for us to have users’ needs in mind when making the games. At the same time I think a lot of what people want now is to have Chris and Jill in a game, or they want it to look like Resident Evil used to look like. That’s what makes the game work for them. We should be able to start from scratch and reboot it. It would still be Resident Evil. We wouldn’t lose the essential nature of what makes it a good game just by changing the characters.” — Masachika Kawata
I personally love the newer Resident Evil games, but a lot of people don’t feel the same way. At all. And that’s the point: the problem with the series at the moment is its huge, broken fanbase. Many old fans don’t like the style of the new games, being more action-oriented, and vice versa with the old games, being more horror-oriented. The trick for Capcom is to find the right balance.
Survival-horror games have never truly been mainstream, and with the increase of action in Resident Evil, the series has sold more copies. Kawata himself stated that the games need to be more action oriented to stay relevant. After Resident Evil 6 however, he seems to have revised his opinion.
“Survival horror as a genre is never going to be on the same level, financially, as shooters and much more popular, mainstream games. At the same time, I think we need to have confidence to put money behind these projects, and it doesn’t mean we can’t focus on what we need to do as a survival horror game to meet fan’s needs. We are always taking in to account user feedback, even when the users are very upset about something.
Looking at last year – something like, for example, Operation Racoon City – it was quite an experimental attempt in bringing the Resident Evil series to new genres. And in light of that game, certainly I would say that I review my thoughts on that [the importance of action]. But I think it’s undeniable to say the series returning to its roots is important, and those roots are horror.” — Masachika Kawata
If you are a fan of the earlier games you will be pleased to know that Kawata went on to say, “The most important thing with a Resident Evil game is to bring across
that feeling of horror and fear that’s such a part of the series.”
“At the end of the day, players care more about how the game plays and
if it’s a good game rather than the name on the box or the credits of a
developer. We would need to decide what we need to do to make a game in
the series – something appealing to the player – and if the answer is to
use a certain developer from the West then that will be the answer. We
never start with the questions: ‘Shall we have a Western developer do
this? How will that turn out?’ This has to be the solution to a problem,
rather than the problem in and of itself.”
— Masachika Kawata
He also talked about the new console ports of Resident Evil: Revelations.
“It’s not something we had planned at the time. We were very focussed
on the 3DS version for the entirety of that project. But then, in view
of the incredibly positive reception of the game, and reaction from both
gamers and critics, we saw it as a great opportunity to bring it to a
wider audience on consoles.
The audio visual quality is certainly something that’s been
improved. Bringing it to HDTV-based consoles has been a chance to
improve the graphics, the texture, and models. Sound has also been
improved into a 5.1 mix, and we’ve just fine-tuned the gameplay, taking
what we’ve learned from the original game. Generally, just making it a
better game overall.”
— Masachika Kawata
Revelations is an amazing addition to the series, and I’m glad it’s being ported. Now other people who don’t want to buy a 3DS can play it as well.
What do you think of this? Do you want to see Resident Evil returned to its former survival horror glory? Sound off in the comments.