In a recent interview with IGN, Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami explained on why he decided to take the famed survival-horror series to be more action oriented.
He said that the original Resident Evil remake for the GameCube (released in 2002) was a "commercial failure" (it sold 1.42 million units worldwide), so he wanted to focus more on action because "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. 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."
In other words: this is what the people wanted. Or at least, if you want to reach a broader audience.
It's hard to debate that the Resident Evil franchise went through a revival because of Resident Evil 4, since it won multiple Game of the Year Awards. Needless to say Resident Evil 4 sold well, as well as it's successor, Resident Evil 5, selling even more.
Capcom called Resident Evil 6, on the other hand, a "failure" because it failed to sell 5 million units worldwide. Critics considered the game "mediocre" overall, and many players wanted a return to it's survival-horror roots such as Resident Evil: Revelations, which, ironically, while it did critically well, isn't selling too well either at 1.28 million units worldwide combined.
Since Capcom vowed that Resident Evil will return to its survival-horror roots, it is debatable as to whether or not the action-genre series was the boost the series needed. While 4 and 5 did created a new wave of followers, many of the gamers from the older ones felt alienated, and it seemed that Resident Evil 6 was the straw that broke the camel's back.
Gamers, whether they are Resident Evil veterans or novices, will judge for themselves as to how Resident Evil 7 will turn out.