According to a recent report detailing the rise of Resident Evil as well as its rockier recent years, Capcom has called us a bunch of old fogies in our late 30s to early 40s that are well on our way to outgrowing video games. We’ve become an unreliable source of money for them (who knows when we’ll start dropping dead) so our old age has forced Capcom to come up with creative ways to broaden their audience, including “the creation of opportunities for exposure in fashion magazines.” Yeah.
We may be an older group — this series has been around longer than most, so that makes perfect sense — and despite the nonsensical ways they’re trying to advertise the series, the real issue doesn’t lie with their marketing department. I’d venture to say it relies almost entirely on the now wildly inconsistent quality of the games.
In their attempt to catch the eye of newcomers, including the illusive Call of Duty fan, they’ve let the quality of the games slip. Resident Evil 4 may have bummed a few of you out with its more action oriented approach, but it’s also widely considered to be one of the defining games of the PS2 generation. Resident Evil 5 is a great co-op action game, but it felt like ‘Resident Evil by Michael Bay’. The ridiculously bloated RE6 is no RE5, and I’d rather not get into the abysmal Operation Raccoon City. Revelations is a fantastic step in the right direction, but even that isn’t without its flaws.
Capcom has grown increasingly inept at understanding their core audience. They think we want a shallow, bombastic experience with nary a lull in the action and a consistent trickle of gross things to shoot. They think we demand a traditional (competitive) multiplayer, so that needs to be tacked on in addition to the campaign, co-op, and survival modes.
Do we want all that? Should they strive to cram a myriad modes into each new game to please every kind of gamer so we’ll spend our hard-earned money on the latest Resident Evil, instead of this year’s Call of Duty? I’m sorry, Capcom, but in no reality is that happening.
All this is a long-winded way of saying maybe Capcom should consider replacing their aging, narrow-minded execs with younger talent, instead of striving to replace their aging fans with a younger generation of gamers. The solution to their problem doesn’t lie with fashion magazines and video game themed cafes, it’s with Capcom, and specifically those who are running this franchise into the ground.
Capcom’s higher ups clearly aren’t seeing this and as a fan of Resident Evil, I’m worried.