Resident Evil has become more action heavy in its latest entries, and this has helped push the franchise to new sales heights. Resident Evil: Revelations producer Masachika Kawata implies that the market just isn’t there for survival horror the way there is for action.
“Especially for the North American market, I think the series needs to head in that [action-oriented] direction,” said Kawata.”RE4 started in that direction, and RE5 kept going in that direction. And I think that especially for the North American market, we need to keep going in that direction, and take that a step further.”
“Looking at the marketing data [for survival horror games] … the market is small, compared to the number of units Call of Duty and all those action games sell,” Kawata reasoned. “A ‘survival horror’ Resident Evil doesn’t seem like it’d be able to sell those kind of numbers.”
Despite this fact, Kawata said that there’s possibilities for different types of games in the series, outside of the main numbered ones. “I can’t really speak for Resident Evil 6, but I don’t think that it necessarily has to go all the way in that [action-heavy] direction, the Call of Duty direction,” said Kawata. “It doesn’t have to be a straight up shooter. But my impression is that Resident Evil 4 and 5 aren’t shooters, per se.”
“So we have our numbered series, and we can say we have a more adventure-oriented version, like a Revelations-style game. And we also have Operation: Raccoon City, which is a third-person shooter,” he noted. “So I think that by extending the market in this sense, we can still have the numbered titles keep their identity about what Resident Evil is supposed to be, but still expand and hit other markets as well.”