Masachika Kawata, producer for the Resident Evil franchise, stated in a recent interview that he and Capcom may have to rethink their action heavy approach with the series. He noted that a variety of approaches had been taken with last year’s releases, and that while Operation Raccoon City and Resident Evil 6 both tried to appeal to the ‘hardcore’ gaming crowd, neither brought in the sales numbers that Capcom had hoped for.
One release that did bring in fans was Resident Evil: Revelations, a more traditional horror title released only on the 3DS. By far the most critically successful of last year's Resident Evil titles, it's no surprise that Capcom has decided to port Revelations over to the three major consoles. This has caused Kawata to take back statements he made last year, where he said that making the series more action oriented was the best way to win over new fans. Kawata recently stated that:
Moving forward I can see us focusing even more on the horror aspect and fear in the series, and see us making something scarier than we have already.
Kawata also hinted at the possibility of a reboot that may keep the overall tone and atmosphere of the series, while changing the characters and plot. There were also talks of rebooting the franchise after the release of Resident Evil 5, and it seems that fan feedback to the console port of Revelations will be crucial to the series' future.
Whether rebooting the franchise is the right decision or not is highly debatable, though it is clear that drastic changes need to be made if Capcom wants to keep the Resident Evil series alive. Capcom has tried to appeal to its broken fanbase by releasing multiple titles that mesh the action and horror genres, but their attempts to please everyone have fallen flat. If fan reactions to the upcoming port are as favorable as they were to its announcement, then the next game in the franchise may be a welcome return to form after the recent string of poorly received action titles.
We’ll see if the Resident Evil franchise can stay afloat when Revelations is released for the PS3, Wii U, Xbox 360, and PC on May 21st.