Consider this an about-face in some ways for Capcom. The company spent quite a few years trying to attract more customers to its Resident Evil series by abandoning the hallmark survival horror aspects in favour of more action-oriented fare. Sure, Resident Evil 4 was a blast to play, but it sadly started that drift that carried through all the way to Resident Evil 6. With Resident Evil 7, Capcom reverted back to the horror aspects that made the series great.
Why am I saying all of this? In an interview with Gamesindustry.biz, Capcom Europe COO Stuart Turner talks about, amongst other things, how the company was worried over the potential negative reception to the Resident Evil 2 remake. “We were concerned internally about who RE2 would appeal to. With RE7 we had done this first-person thing, and with RE2 we’ve done this [over the shoulder view] that looks great, but it’s also back a step. So the response to that, the pre-orders we’ve seen already… we have been a little taken aback by how well it has gone down.”
More importantly, however, is the view that Capcom has now taken with regards to its games, where according to Turner, “we have shareholders to appease, it’s not just about commercial performance.” This is understandable, since apart from Resident Evil 7 and the success of Monster Hunter World (which has not only become the fastest-selling entry in the franchise, but the fastest-selling game in the company’s history), Capcom has struggled with its other flagship franchises, namely Street Fighter and Dead Rising.
However, this next statement by Turner will no doubt raise a few eyebrows:
“There is an artistic element that always comes in where we know this is the right way. And while if we compare RE7 to RE6 the absolute numbers are not the same, in terms of the profitability… it’s completely fine. It ticked all of our boxes internally. It was really well received. And in some respects, getting some very good review scores counts as much for Capcom as a game that sells millions and millions and millions. We’d prefer a game that got a 9 and sold less, than got a 6 but sold more.”
Putting quality ahead of profitability? Sounds pretty good. For old-school gamers, however, you’d wish that they had this attitude when it came to games like Okami or Viewtiful Joe. Nevertheless, as we all saw at E3, Capcom really had put the quality into the RE2 remake, which will more than likely be a surefire hit for the company.
Elsewhere in the interview, Turner talks about the risk Capcom took with regards to Monster Hunter World by going online, as well as talking about how Devil May Cry 5 returns the series to its roots after DmC: Devil May Cry. Definitely check it out for a fascinating read.