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Resident Evil producer calls survival horror market too "small"

Resident Evil: Revelations producer Masachika Kawata explains why the main RE games have become action-oriented

Capcom has revealed that the Resident Evil titles have become more action-oriented because the survival horror market is too small for the series. While Resident Evil: Revelations for 3DS partially returned to the franchise's roots, the main installments are more focused on action gameplay. Resident Evil: Revelations producer Masachika Kawata told Gamasutra that he expected Resident Evil 6 to continue the trend started with Resident Evil 4.

"RE4 started in that direction, and RE5 kept going in that direction," he said. "And I think that especially for the North American market, we need to keep going in that direction, and take that a step further. And that's exactly one of the reasons that Revelations is the way it is," he said.

Kawata compared the sales of survival horror games to action games like Call of Duty and Gears of War.

"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. A 'survival horror' Resident Evil doesn't seem like it'd be able to sell those kind of numbers," he said.

Though Japan has been struggling to sell games with a worldwide appeal, Kawata believes good games will always shine through and it's up to marketing to tailor itself to different regions.

"If you're going to be selling a game based on its good gameplay, then you don't have to worry about the market in which it will be sold. If we're going to make games that sell based on quality content, they should be able to appeal around the world," said Kawata. "That might be obvious, but that's why Grand Theft Auto IV, Skyrim and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare also sell in Japan, because their gameplay is interesting."

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Mike Williams avatar
Mike Williams: M.H. Williams is new to the journalism game, but he's been a gamer since the NES first graced American shores. Third-person action-adventure games are his personal poison: Uncharted, Infamous, and Assassin's Creed just to name a few. If you see him around a convention, he's not hard to spot: Black guy, glasses, and a tie.
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