Survival horror market too small, says Resident Evil dev

Series should become increasingly action-oriented to succeed in the West, according to Resident Evil: Revelations producer.

In recent years, the Resident Evil franchise has strayed from its survival horror roots into the action genre, and it's not likely to change course, according to the producer of the newly released 3DS game Resident Evil: Revelations.

Resident Evil isn't likely to back off the action angle anytime soon.

In an interview with Gamasutra, Revelations producer Masachika Kawata said the series needs to follow the path taken in Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5, and even "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 said. "A 'survival horror' Resident Evil doesn't seem like it'd be able to sell those kind of numbers."

Kawata added that it's not necessary to make the series Call of Duty-like, but suggested that there may be room for the series to try the old survival horror approach or entirely new territory through a spin-off or side game. For example, the franchise branched out into the third-person squad-based shooter market with this week's debut of Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Did you enjoy this article?

Sign In to Upvote

572 comments
dstv
dstv

Dont worry capcom.....dead space will simply replace resident evil, at least their devs know how to make a HORROR game that SELLS. Since the horror market is so small i don't think you'll mind

SHgamer02
SHgamer02

@RX-78MajiGundam The thing about Dead Space is that it had a nice balance between action (with creative and brutal dismemberment) and horror. It was faster paced than the original RE games.

eliebaz
eliebaz

Revelations sold on a nintendo DS, which are usually held by an audience of younger than 15 years, as it's one of the few consoles that offers a wide range of children games. Therefore parents aren't too keen on giving their kids nightmares, i think survival horrors are awesome and maybe that's my opinion on sales because that's how i want them to be but i for one would definitely buy and definitely enjoy survivor horrors i actually own revelations and can say it's a great game as it's packed with suspense

RX-78MajiGundam
RX-78MajiGundam

wasnt dead space sales really good? i think the dev team is just making excuses.

Plisken1
Plisken1

good game but, i think the majority of owners are under 18

Bubble_Man
Bubble_Man

Did this guy ever take into account that it was a rated M game on a Nintendo handheld? As much as I like the 3DS, it's not a system with a large survival horror audience.

snake3rules
snake3rules

What morons ... Yeah, because the sales of RE 1 thru code Veronica were rally lacking..... (end sarcasm)

The-Longshot
The-Longshot

No, No, No, they don't. Revelations and Operation Raccoon city are both excellent action games, but they do need to get back to the survival horror. In fact both revelations and operation Raccoon city give you more of a sense of helplessness then either resident evil 4 or 5 so its a step in the right direction. But in my opinion I am happy with both worlds. I would like to see them continue to make action titles and I would also like to see them make puzzle oriented, atmospheric, tense, and low ammo/health item survival situations too. Was it just me or was i the only person who enjoyed being in a mansion (or the city) surrounded by monsters with little to no ammunition and a plethora of puzzles standing between you and your ultimate goal of survival. And don't get me wrong i still like the action titles like ORC. in fact ORC is a masterpiece albeit a bit of a short one. As i say i would just like to continue to see them do both as opposed to only one or the other.

fooqotsa
fooqotsa

It's understandable game companies strive to make the numbers in order to make a profit, but when it sacrifices the game itself, who really wins out of this? The company is left with less profit and a group of disgruntled gamers wishing for the "good ol days"

fooqotsa
fooqotsa

It's a sad day for gaming when the mainstream screws over a survival horror classic. Skewing the perspective of their respective marketing research teams to come up with the conclusion that Call of Duty is something akin to R.E. Look at what's happened with Operation Raccoon City, defiling a story line that was written over a decade ago. Silent Hill's development team being moved over to the west, producing a series of games which could NEVER hold a candle to their Japanese counterparts, that feeling of isolation and loneliness was replaced with "more action" to appease the wider market of CoD and Halo players just to rake in the sales numbers (and look how it's turned out, a set of games with lower ratings and a blemish on a gaming series that many a gamer look back on fondly). As many people have commented here before me, the feeling of finding even a single clip of pistol ammo behind a cabinet when you need it to get passed a hall of zombies was a tremendous experience, now it seems all is needed is a simple glance at the floor to find enough ammo to take on a horde. The feeling of not being able to see what's down the corridor, only hearing the pitter patter of a zombie wandering around the other end. Such feelings have been lost a long time ago, of course there's a little nostalgia buried within these experiences but that's what makes a decent, worthwhile game.

Yomigaeru
Yomigaeru

I doubt any game is going to sell in Call of Duty numbers. I honestly don't even know the reason why Call of Duty sells the way it does. However, if Operation Raccoon City is any indication of where the series is headed, then Capcom may be better served to not even bother. It wasn't the genre in that case; it was the quality of the product that was the issue. I'm starting to think that Megaman Legends 3 and Megaman Universe were better off being shelved than being turned into a rushed-out-the-door mess.

0verminded
0verminded

I miss survival horror so much - I see people saying that Dead Space was survival horror (and it was..) but it was essentially a spin off of the RE4 formula. Much more focus on shooting monsters to bits than surviving. Remember playing RE1? Remember how incredibly thankful you felt after you found another ammo clip? Or the dread you felt knowing you had to go back to your storage chest across the map to grab the first aid spray or typewriter ribbon you left behind? I sincerely miss those moments in video games today. In the effort to grow profits, the industry has shrunk creatively and ultimately is making all games the same. Hero/heroine(sexy heroine) + guns + cut scenes + cover system + DLC = New AAA game. Roll credits.

nonfanboygamer1
nonfanboygamer1

Resident evil 4 was great, no doubt, but there is a fanbase for survival horror. Every game doesn't have to emulate COD. Quit licking your chops and stay loyal to the fans.

TehUndeadHorror
TehUndeadHorror

As Mr Krabs favourite saying goes "Money money money money money" *crushed by stick*

beast70
beast70

CAPCOM = FAIL as of late..... your games suck now because there not even suvival horror you sh*t on your fans and then get mad because they dont buy your mediocre shooter spin offs.....

sknight175216
sknight175216

I think it would be nice for survival horrors to actually make you feel like you have to survive rather than giving you super weapons that make you feel all powerful. Clock Tower is a game that I find a little scary simply because you can't even fight ha ha. That's just my take though.

Lajinn5
Lajinn5

lol marker is to small, sure blame the market for your horrible game sales and bad ratings :P

csward
csward

*facepalm* It's ok Capcom, an Indie developer will gladly take the money from that "small" market.

InnerSenses
InnerSenses

"Looking at the marketing data [for survival horror games]...the market is small..." I don't think this guy realises that that's because there hasn't been any really good survival horror games released in a while (despite perhaps Dead Space, but that sold well, right?), so naturally the market is going to be small. But I don't think this guy realises that the market for the generic shooter genre might be larger, but it's saturated to hell.

JimmeyBurrows
JimmeyBurrows

I have nothing against action games or fps's, I like a good mix of games and if they ditch survival horror games it's going to help the games market to suck even more.

Sigil-otaku
Sigil-otaku

Screw this, there's near no good competition in the survival horror market so there's plenty of room for a good game to get good sales. Survival horror already has action in it anyway, just find a good mix between the two and you have a better developed game due to it having more atmosphere and emotional depth, sadly it's easier to pump out action crap. Resident evil revelations was closer to the old ones and a good game, don't see why they can't go half and half like it did.

deadmonkey76
deadmonkey76

orange pork has no clue puzzels and survival was what made re not a crappy action shooter like re 4 and 5 if they were smart go back to what made re series so good make a few adjutments little better controls but overall I enjoyed re 0 1 2 and 3 and hella epic is 100% correct allen wake and dead space had me jumping like re 3 had me jumping when nemisis broke through and was yelling staaaarz

Carpetfluff
Carpetfluff

I'm not even sure how they can tell what the market size is any more; hardly anyone is releasing pure 'survival horror' titles to test it. That said; pretty sure EA were happy with their Dead Space figures.

Another_Denshuu
Another_Denshuu

Good. Resident Evil has been infinitely more fun to play since the changes they made in RE4. Hopefully the series continues in that direction. I've already had enough of meandering down long hallways looking for crests to put in doors.

hella_epic
hella_epic

it's a very small market?? no.....they just can't make a resident evil without all the gun fire anymore....Alan Wake is how survival horror is done properly and even deadly premonition got it right......the Dead space series is probably the best example.....the feeling that your going to get ripped apart any second or the dark corridor...is how survival horror is done

davsonamission
davsonamission

Well you know what we all need to do is simply do not buy RE6 when it comes out if it is indeed going to be this type of game. That will send a clear message to Crapcom that we do not want this BS.

jhcho2
jhcho2

This is why Dark Souls did what the whole industry could not in general. It dared to be different. Dark Souls producer Hidetaka Miyazaki didn't make the game to sell well. He made it as a personal satisfaction.

Kingjames11
Kingjames11

This is what's wrong with the industry. Instead of putting your heart and soul into a game and selling a ton of it because it's rich and innovative and fresh, you imitate what's currently making money and instead end up making some mediocre clone.

grgolj_blaster
grgolj_blaster

Hey Capcom, Frictional games would like a word with you

JFERNANDEZ84
JFERNANDEZ84

What a douche... Resident Evil is know because it is a (was) survival horror and would profit more nowdays if stayed that way. I pity the modern style series wanting to engage in a dog fight with other monster franchises. If he wanted to profit with some other genre, it was simpler and way better to create another franchise and not to trash a good one. It would be way better if they focus in making a really QUALITY game and stop aiming to make a game just to sell.

GeneralTrouble
GeneralTrouble

The problem with "Survival Horror" is that they've forgotten how to do the "Horror" part. Where's the lonely player in a scary mansion or underground compound? Where's the loud echoing footsteps? Where's the tension in walking round a corner or through a door? Where's the feeling of vulnerability when you leave the mansion to go outside? Where's the noises of mutant monsters behind a wall or door that you keep hearing but don't meet until further on? The old games were about atmosphere and creating the scene, some of the best of which, was when nothing was happening. Now it seems it's more about portraying the action front and centre. Like with most multiple sequels, sometimes you just have to go back to the basics to achieve the right formula.

Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

Survival Horror market too small... that is why RE sold so well and became so popular when it was a survival horror, right? Also that is why Dead Space and Fatal Frame got such a loyal fanbase. Enough with the BS Capcom: you only want MONEY, that is why you say this, that is why you throw so much DLC (Disk Locked Content).

KhanhAgE
KhanhAgE

Urgh... You know the Resident Evil franchise is one of my favourite. But it seems Capcom is more interested in making a money raking, cash cow, rather than a great game that is true to the essence of Resident Evil.

X-RS
X-RS

Tank controls are too old I'd say, but that doesn't mean the player has to become a run/gun ape. You'd think they could find other ways for the players movement to be hindred and tension to build...moving heavy/volatile object, having oil/glasl covered floor wher sudden control movements = falling, pain. then add in bleeding and walking around till you find a kit and remove the shards of glass. Why would you be in your feat? Previous apparel was infected. To me it just sounds like some peoples brains are fried. A 'survival horror' imo should have you in more than one tactical outfit with the same gun.

Henninger
Henninger

Ok i just went thru the 11 pages of comments (11 @ the time i wrote this) & about 98% of them say the same thing: BRING BACK SURVIVAL HORROR!!! RE Revelations was a great step toward that. RE4 & RE5 controls with the RE, RE0, RE2, RE3, & Code:Veronica elements. I just dont understand why u guys can't c that that'll work. Me personally i loved the old controls. But i also understand that that won't work with todays auidence. If there is any Capcom employee reading this, please let your superiors know that survival horror IS NOT DEAD!!!! I know ppl who dont get on this websites & want the old school RE style back. Now not every1 is gonna want that but RE Revelations was a great step towards what the new school RE games should b like. Capcom there is no bigger fan of Resident Evil than myself. & myself & a sh*tload of other ppl say that u guys, the company who put survival horror on the map (Capcom popularized it, but didnt create it Alone in the Dark takes that 1), r killing ur own franchise. Capcom please wake up & c that the loyal Resident Evil fans r damn near screaming @ u guys 2 make another Resident Evil game that has its roots in place. Where is the creativity u guys had when Resident Evil was born??? RE4 & RE5 r not it. Capcom believe me when myself & the rest of us tell u that SURVIVAL HORROR IS NOT DEAD!!!

DevilD2005
DevilD2005

I swear, i get the impression that Capcom is confused, disoriented, and out of ideas. I actually think they dont understand why fans are outraged when the fans dont swallow what capcom gives them, and that capcom wants to openly say to us, "We dont know how to please you guys. Why dont you like our stuff?" So they do market research on what sells, and they repeat the process of creating crap, or having other companies make games for them.

Destrin
Destrin

No, its really not that small... Dead Space was successful wasnt it? And it was a hell of a lot closer to old school survival horror than anything else lately, besides the third party works of art on PC. Dont try to compete with CoD, do your own thing.

ydnarrewop
ydnarrewop

Agreed. I love the idea of oh %$#@ I only have 4 shells left. Make a creepy game someone!!!

RussianMeatClob
RussianMeatClob

I want to feel fricken pumped in a game if I find 4 shotgun shells in a cabinet dammit.

superbuuman
superbuuman

Stop adding stupid AI partners in your horror survival game...alone is more scary. AI partner's who shoots at everything, only serves to frustrate people - RE5. In RE: Revelations there's only 1 stage that creeps me out - it was the last stage. Why wasn't the previous stages set like that? This game actually brought it closer to original RE1 settings..just removed the AI partner - don't need it, it was useless in Revelation, & pain the arse in RE5. How about releasing RE: Revelations for PS Vita?

20years
20years

"Survival horror market too small" : petty excuses for making such a horrible game . hello "Resident Evil : Operation Raccoon City" !!

wyan_
wyan_

You know what's too small? Their balls! Grow a pair and make a game in the sub-genre that YOU (yes you Capcom) OWN and YOU invented!

Gen007
Gen007

I will admit that survival horror will never be able to pull down numbers like COD and other action games(too many little kids not willing to play and just straight scared people) but id reckon there's still a good amount of profit to be made if they actually make a good horror game and finally address the issues that people have had with the genre. I feel like there's more of a future for them in the survival horror genre then the action one. There's much less competition in survival horror almost none really. One good game and i'm sure they'd be raking in the dough. As a pure action game though RE is lacking and im pretty sure they will end up killing the RE brand with this route eventually. When will the gaming industry learn that you can not emulate COD you just cant and chasing after the COD fan-base futile. Rather than follow COD they should be trying o find the next big thing. Whoever does will be making a ton of money.

shyshyshy
shyshyshy

The Resident Evil franchise HAS already bitten more shares than any game could every accomplish in the market. Don't they know? Every survival horror game that ever came out has emulated or made RE as a template for their own game. These newer batches of RE game developers are not eyeing the real prize here. It would seem they never care about the game, they are more looking towards forwarding their careers. They try to outdo other developers into trying to "re-imagine", "re-boot," or "innovate" existing ideas. It's like spinning hay into gold. I bet that when opportunity presents itself these devs would jump ship. All their trying to do is color-up their resumes, basically saying they've done this and done that. Sure, these ideas are great but they are ruining the original idea. All this because of the race to be the first one to have done the next best thing. Their sights are too set out far that they fail to see the real bigger prize right under their noses.

Philly04
Philly04

I guess I wasn't included in the marketing data on survival-horror. During the RE1-3 era I was too chicken at to play (was a kid then); and I couldn't pass the opening stages in the Mansion of Resident Evil 1 but now... BRING IT!! Even the loading screens were scary then lol but I have to say I had a good experience though. Overall, would it hurt them to make a Action with the survival-horror experience? Resident Evil 4 was Awesome although RE5 felt very shallow, even as a action experience.

sweetSWA99ER
sweetSWA99ER

Yeah, no. Capcom, you need to BE the change you want to see in the market. Don't go mutilating your series beyond recognition because you desperately want "Call of Duty" sales figures out of the market that's the more popular at the time. Take a chance, like you did with Resident Evil 1. Invest in the survival horror genre, put everything you've got into it and I promise you, it will sell big. Infect it with the T-virus, and the once niche market will rise again.

romo713
romo713

Why are these people even comparing themselves to CoD. CoD is nothing compared to RE (at least back in the days). I swear these devs need to stop reinventing themselves everytime a game fails. It shouldn't be hard to make a survival horror game because u guys have done it before... Listen to your fans Capcom... I want to solve puzzles that take me to the next location again, I want to save my ammo for that tyrant I'm scared to fight, I want the chills I get when I open a door or run through a horde of zombies... But I certainly don't want a zombie game with the zombies actually talking to me a shooting at me

OultawVR
OultawVR

Yeah raccoon city shows what a great approach this is.....