Next ‘Resident Evil’ Needs More ‘Focus’

By Joseph Leray

Following Electronic Art’s somewhat dubious mea culpa with regards to “Medal of Honor: Warfighter”’s quality, Capcom is similarly falling on its sword, saying that its most popular zombie-shooting franchise needs “focus.” Speaking with Rock, Paper, Shotgun at D.I.C.E., Capcom’s VP of strategic planning and business development Christian Svensson explained the direction “Resident Evil” moving forward.

““I wouldn’t say [we released] too many,” he began,” which is weird because that’s exactly what “RE: Revelations” producer Masachika Kawata said last week. Svensson continued, explaining that the company will “scale back,” once “Revelations” is released on PC and consoles later this year, giving them time to “take stock of what worked and what didn’t work, and think about what the future of the franchise is.”

At its core, the problem is that “Resident Evil” has gotten too popular, and the fan base has splintered into disparate groups and warring factions. “We have those who love ‘Resident Evil 1,’ ‘2,’ ‘3,’ ‘Code Veronica,’ and ‘Zero,’ and then we have those who came along during the ‘RE4’ era and like things a little more action-oriented, and ‘RE5; even more [action-oriented],” Svensson explained. “And then ‘RE6’ was even more action-focused than that.”

Noting that “Resident Evil 6”’s hopes of appealing to all fans might not have “worked out exactly,” Capcom’s plan, in the broadest sense, is to find something that works and double down: “moving forward, I think you’re going to see a bit more focus – as opposed to trying to be all things for all people,” Svensson said.

It’s nice to see Capcom taking stock of one of its most important franchises, but the whole story still makes my head spin. “Resident Evil 6” sold 4.5 million copies, and even that wasn’t enough to meet the increasingly rigorous demands of modern game development: Capcom said that it “failed to achieve planned sales.” The next “Resident Evil” game might not want to be “all things for all people,” but its publisher might not be able to afford alienating too many of those people.

[Rock, Paper, Shotgun]

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