Shadows of the Damned began with melee combat and no love story

Thursday, 26th May 2011 00:15 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Goichi Suda has said over and over again that Shadows of the Damned is a story of rescuing your lover – but it turns out, he had a very different plan in mind before EA stepped in.

“I wrote up the story … and just as we were just about done with the game, EA was all ‘Wait a second!’” Suda told Famitsu.

EA apparently asked Suda for a simpler plot.

“It’s what they call the elevator pitch. It’s easier to get into a story if you can explain it to someone in the couple of seconds you have before the elevator you’re riding reaches its floor.

“[EA Partners head] David DeMartini asked us to remake the story into something where the hero is trying to rescue a girl that’s been kidnapped.”

Producer Shinji Mikami, famed for his work on the Resident Evil series, said the new plot is “something completely the opposite direction from what Suda was doing right when Kurayami was nearly done”.

Kurayami, the project later transformed into Shadows of the Damned, featured a gun with a monitor attached. From this screen, a female character, who evolved over the course of the game, communicated the apparently complicated Suda-esque plot.

Despite this interesting weapon, the game didn’t start as a shooter, either.

“At the start of development Kurayami was largely concentrated around hand-to-hand combat,” Suda said.

“However, Mikami talked things over with EA and we decided to introduce guns into the mix as well.”

Suda didn’t let the abrupt shifts of direction break his stride.

“Both Mikami and I fervently want this project to hit it big worldwide, so we took that feedback as a cue to rework the game,” he said.

“We decided to create the sort of love story that only we could do, and that’s when the name changed to Shadows of the Damned.”

Mikami is also tolerant of EA’s drastic late-stage intervention.

“This is the first time EA has ever really teamed up with Japanese creators, so they were probably being too hands-off with us at first,” he said.

“Looking back, we both probably should have been more direct with our opinions from the beginning.”

Shadows of the Damned is due on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in late June.

Thanks, 1UP.



  1. osric90

    So, I hope this is…good news?

    #1 4 years ago
  2. Hunam

    No wonder it took them so long to make the game, they basically made the thing twice.

    Kinda wish they’d kept the melee combat though as the gunplay didn’t look to good in the early trailers.

    EDIT: Reading the Wikipedia page it mentions Kurayami was something being worked on before they signed up with EA. I’d imagine EA realised they had no chance in hell of selling this game and pitched idea’s to Suda and Mikami then they basically started up fresh based on Kurayami but as a shooter and renamed it to SotD.

    #2 4 years ago
  3. YoungZer0

    Great, for the first time in his life, he wanted to make an intelligent game and EA stopped him.

    #3 4 years ago
  4. Phoenixblight


    EA is the publisher. They put up the money. So they get to decide what goes and what stays. The goal is to make a profit. If Suda 51 wants to make his own game then don’t sign on to a publisher.

    #4 4 years ago
  5. DSB

    On the one hand I love Suda’s other games, but on the other I really, really, really don’t think the world needs another dark, heavily contrasted, BDSM-inspired monsterbasherkillerslashyshooter.

    It’s great for 5 minutes, but there’s absolutely no relation to the things you’re killing, because they’re usually just meant to pander to the lowest common denominator, and provide a cheap shock, rather than play an actual part in the story. It’s crappy bargain-bin horror, far too often.

    #5 4 years ago
  6. DaMan

    Seems like they wanted to make an Evil Dead rip-off anyway.

    #6 4 years ago
  7. neon6

    EA: Westernization or bust.

    #7 4 years ago

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