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Resident Evil 6 director explains why ‘mass-market appeal’ was necessary

Wednesday, 3rd October 2012 09:42 GMT By Dave Cook

Resident Evil 6 has released worldwide to a mixed critical reaction. Some love it, others detest it. It was always going to be tricky for Capcom, but director Hiroyuki Kobayashi explains why his team moved towards action instead of back to the series’ horror roots.

First, check out our Resident Evil 6 review round-up to get an idea of what people have been saying about the game.

Speaking with 1UP, Kobayashi explained, “With Resident Evil, we’re trying to be as inclusive as possible. We’re trying to reach as many people as possible.”

“That makes it hard to maintain a horror feel to it when you’re trying to be inclusive. It is a challenge. I’m not afraid to admit that. We’re trying to see what kind of action we can include in the game and still maintain the horror sensibilities. Trying to blend those together is not an easy thing to do.”

“I believe you can do it,” producer Yoshiaki Hirabayashi chipped in, “ You can make a horror game with mass appeal. But you’re looking at a sort of Venn diagram of people who really like horror and people who really like video games or Resident Evil.”

“Where that comes together… I think you can create a really great form of horror entertainment, but if this were the quintessential horror entertainment, it might not have mass appeal. It’ll have very niche appeal, unfortunately.”

“We’re making games and we need to have mass-market appeal in order to survive. How far do we go into horror before we lose the support of the average player? How far are we going to lessen the horror elements at the risk of losing core fans, including Resident Evil fans?”

“The challenge is trying to push it as close to the edge either way, so that we can satisfy both groups of people. I think we can do it, I really do like horror. I’m fine with pushing it up to 11 in terms of horror. But maybe that’s not what we can do and still be saleable.”

“For instance, if you have multiple scary stages, just one right after another, and you give that to a Resident Evil fan, they’ll be happy with it at first. But they’ll get inured to it after a while. It won’t be scary for them anymore. I think they would lose interest at that point.”

“It’s the same with casual players. They play this and it’s just too scary and they don’t want to keep going. It’s too much. It overwhelms them. In order to make and experience something that these two groups find enjoyable, you have to take a step back from that.”

“You can’t just bombard them with these horror elements. You have to mix in some stages that are more entertaining and fun than pure horror.”

Thanks MCV.

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30 Comments

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  1. Takeshi

    Because they wanted to make more money is what I read.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. freedoms_stain

    So Resident Evil 1-3 sold really shit?

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Fin

    @1

    Because they don’t want to go out of business is what I read.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. KrazyKraut

    #2 Yes, really shit. All RE veterans I ask always say that they hate RE 2 most and felt with RE 6 in love.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Unknown_Gamer

    I just hate this gaming Generation , SO MUCH !

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Judicas

    Wish the original resident evil devs (whoever they are) would leave Capcom and go to kickstarter. I’m 1000% sure if they put a horror game up and let us know they were the ones who made resident evil, i’d get funded even faster then project eternity :P If they want to make a action game that appeals to a big audience fine, but do it with a game that isn’t labeled resident evil. Idiots don’t seem to remember resident evil IS, sorry WAS, a horror game :P

    #6 2 years ago
  7. sh4dow

    @3

    ANY company trying to rake in more and more dough argues that way. What they would love the most would be to convince the public that ALL the companies will go out of business if people don’t give ALL of the cash they earn each month to them. That’s what they’d love the most.
    And seeing how people eagerly gobble up the bullshit, whiny excuses, I’m confident it’ll happen some day.

    Meanwhile, in the real world, there are quite a few companies sticking to their guns and are quite successful with it. Sure, they may not reach as many people. Sure, their owners may only be able to afford just one Ferrari instead of 10. But “going out of business”? Give me a f-ing break!

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Dave Cook

    Mass appeal sucks yes, but you guys do know that companies run on money, not good intentions, rainbows or dreams?

    These are difficult times and companies, particularly those trying to tap into the West are finding it hard to adjust. It’s not ideal I know – and I for one cannot stand Resi 6 at the moment – but they’re not doigng this to purposely annoy people.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. KrazyKraut

    #8
    Yes, ofc you are right. I always see both sides: the company which employs hundreds or thousands of ppl and I see the gamer/Customer.

    But when even all ( you know the ppl who write their thoughts on the internet) say “Please Horror, please going back to the old times”, wtf is wrong with them?

    That doesn’t mean that they should do an old school bitmapped RE, but you know..the Chris Campaign plays like a third person action game in a war zone. Is that RE?? I am sure the majority will not buy RE7 until most ppl say its RE again. When you do something right, you will get the most profit of it. Its like with Dead Space 2. Ofc Part 3 will sell like shit, but DS2 disappointed many, so it will not sell the maximum it could.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. absolutezero

    What I miss the most about the previous actiony RE games in comparison with 6 is the flow of combat and the areas designed around that. There was a pace, no there was a rhythm to the running battles in both 4, 5 and Revelations.

    6 is so horribly cluttered, confusing and un-focused, theres a huge lack of enemies response to anything that you do, much like Borderlands 2 most of the enemies have been designed to be the most irritating rather then being fun to fight.

    I remember coming across the huge Elephant guards in the native village in RE5 for the first time. My co-op partner and I felt intimidated, shouting at one another, working out ways to take both of them down with dwindling ammo and a bunch of other enemies to take on at the sametime. It was great.

    Now with 6 you have things that suddenly break the rules that the game has set out for you and punishing you for it, theres no warning, no small cut-away, no change in behaviour or model before they start spitting acid, or being able to leap 20 feet through the air and kill you in one hit without a single thing you can do about it.

    Im dreading even giving the other campaigns a try because of how horrible the Leon one has been. The best way to take out the zombies without them being massive bullet sponges is to shoot them in the head. Shooting them in the head once puts every single last zombie into the same canned animation as their head jerks back and the stumble a bit. You then have to shoot them 2/3 more times in the head to take them down, multiply the enemies out by 4/5/6 at a time and it just becomes tiresome. The only other option is melee combat, which is stupid and half the time no longer connects because it no longer location based prompt driven.

    Its such a massive massive mess. This is not mass market, no one is going to love this game. Not RE fans, not new players, not even people that loved 4 and 5 over the previous titles.

    I can hope for now is that they give the director of Revelations alot of money and some head room and let him do something great.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. The_Red

    If Nintendo had the same mindset as this RE director, then we would have ended up with FPS Zelda and a brawler Mario.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. Hunam

    To be honest, I think most of the hatred from fans come from the fact that there are plenty of third person shooters and action games out there but at one point, and this is true for me, is that we picked up games like dead space, resident evil, silent hill etc because we wanted something different, an alternative to the big explosions etc and now that has pretty much gone.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. TheBlackHole

    I think you’re all mental. I’m having loads of fun with RE6, playing split screen.

    I liked RE5, never played 4, liked Code Veronica, didn’t play 3 but enjoyed 1 and 2.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. absolutezero

    It seems to me that in the this current generation “Survival Horror” has become the samething as “Needlessly Punishing” which it never ever was.

    Traditional Survival Horror can be done on current hardware and in the current market, it just needs people to know it actually exists. Like Fatal Frame 4 never being released outside of Japan and Siren Blood Curse being thrown to the dogs by Sony.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. Freek

    Mass apeal and action orientated design wasn’t the issue. It’s that they got it badely wrong.
    It’s fine to want to be like Gears of War. But they got the controls, shooting and overal pacing completly wrong. Making for a crappy game.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. Erthazus

    I have no issue for RESI 6 being a Michael Bay movie Action game with a lot of “shoot that shit dawg” moments. The problem is that Resident Evil games are not good at this.

    Maybe Dead Space 2-3 sucks as a horror games, but shooting mechanics are way better than in Resident Evil games in This generation so in the end people enjoy shooting stuff there, exploring shiny vaults in some spaceship full of necromorphs and secrets.

    Mass Appeal or not, Resident Evil 6 is just a bad game. Period.

    and team developed Resident Evil 6 know shit how to make a horror game, shooter or mass appeal type of game. They Failed. Resident Evil brand is the only thing that can save studio’s ass, but nothing stays forever for so long. It’s Capcom’s fault. Capcom this generation is a “pile of stupid decisions”.

    In my opinion they made a mistake making Rsident Evil 6 for this generation. They could make it right Next Gen with decent concept team.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. OrbitMonkey

    So they churn out a clunky, slow, shooter, with some horrible mechanics… And say they did it for mass appeal?

    Lol, what’s even funnier is gamers are buying it. Nodding sagely and bemoaning selling out to the masses.

    It’s not a good game. Period.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. Zohar

    I can see where he’s coming from, but this doesn’t excuse that RE6 is just a bad game. They don’t cradle any balance between horror/atmosphere. It’s a bad GOW clone with some novelty “horror” thrown into Leon’s campaign to serve as trailer footage for fans that still wanted to hold out hope.

    Resident Evil 4 balanced action with horror and atmosphere and had great characters and dialog to go along with it. It is one of the best playing and most perfectly paced games ever made. It’s one of the best games of all time.

    RE6 does nothing but chase the mainstream Michael Bay/Call of Duty/Uncharted money by turning each stage into huge explosive set-pieces of gameplay-cinematics that are designed to look better than they play. It has absolutely no merit as a Resident Evil game.

    If they wanted to make -this- game, remove the Resident Evil title, characters and settings and make something completely new. Not being hamstrung by the expectations of Resident Evil fans may have afforded them the freedom to make the shooting mechanics better.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. YoungZer0

    @18: “Resident Evil 4 … and had great characters and dialog to go along with it.”

    What? What game have you been playing? The dialog is on the same level as DMC.

    “Does it sound good?”
    “Yeah, kind of, but in that context it doesn’t really make much sen-”
    “Let’s use it!”

    #19 2 years ago
  20. Zohar

    It’s campy and ridiculous but without -trying- to be campy and ridiculous (which just comes off as lame).

    “Your right hand comes off?”

    Shakespeare it isn’t, but that’s not really what I meant by “great”.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. Clupula

    Resident Evil 4 is my second favorite game of all time. I haven’t picked up 6 yet, but I plan to play every campaign differently after playing the demo. Chris’ campaign is an absolute joke of a third person shooter, so I plan on playing that in co-op so my friend and I can rank on it the whole time. Leon’s, on the other hand, I’ll probably play solo.

    As for RE5, I think it was a shitty horror game, but a relatively fun action game.

    I will say, though, that the best survival horror game of this gen is Siren: Blood Curse, and it’s a shame that Sony didn’t give it the love it deserved. It’s probably the only pure survival horror game I’ve played this gen.

    #21 2 years ago
  22. Da Man

    So from a mediocre Dawn of The Dead imitation to a mediocre action movie imitation.

    I don’t see a problem.

    #22 2 years ago
  23. TheBlackHole

    I love how many people who rag on this game for being terrible and saying its destined to fail have either gone out and BOUGHT it, making their point utterly redundant, or not played it at all and are basing their opinion on other people’s reviews.

    Either way, sad and funny.

    #23 2 years ago
  24. Dave Cook

    @23 That’s not entirely fair man. People may have bought it initially for love of the franchise, then felt gutted when they realised it was rubbish. I think it’s been a hard one to read due to the wildly mixed reviews.

    I for one, am having a hard time trying to enjoy it. Compared to 4 it’s just weak.

    #24 2 years ago
  25. osric90

    Oh my God… Now I see why they’re making the games and not “true fans”… which seem to be stuck in the 90′s. That one and more obvious reasons.

    #25 2 years ago
  26. TheBlackHole

    @24 with all due respect, that’s not a very strong argument. MOST games are weak compared to RE4, regardless of genre (if its legacy is to be believed).

    No-one mentions that RE5 sold more than ANY other title in the franchise (including RE4), despite having lower reviews than any other of the core titles.

    A lot of people like the new action-focused direction, and this one will be no different I’m sure.

    #26 2 years ago
  27. lyca5259

    In my honest opinion, I think the developers need to assert what direction there heading. Yes, feedback it nice, but when the feedback is just some random person who thinks saying *this game is shit, nuff said* is helping anyone, then something isn’t right. People need to realize that it has been YEARS since the game was pure horror. And comparing new resident evil games to the old is ridiculous. The company needs to realize that no matter how a great a game is, if they don’t show confidence in their products, then the “fans” will just trample all over them. I can probably bet you that the people that give the unhelpful feedback are just people who jumped into the bandwagon merely because other people did too. Also, just because you claim to be a RE “veteran”(which sounds ridiculous) doesn’t make you any more important than the other people who buy the game. There is always a solution to problems like hating the game, and it is simply don’t buy it. Many seem unable to comprehend this, many as i said before probably don’t even buy the game, but merely watch a friggin video on youtube and claim it as shit. I’m not trying to say that fans are idiots are anything(at least not the one’s who give respectful criticism) but saying that “that’s not what Resident evil is about” tell me one thing, did you create the game? Also, are you aware that it is infact… a GAME? Many didn’t have a problem when chris was fighting the damn hulk in MVC3(is that what RE is about? Making a crossover to fight a giant raging hulk?), so why should a new direction be seen as precursor of bad things to come? I mean come on, be a little open to change. Okay, I’m done ranting. I don’t even know if what I said makes sence. I was just trying to prove a point, agree with me or don’t. Just don’t go “Shit game is shit”… which is also unhelpful.

    #27 1 year ago
  28. lyca5259

    “idiots or anything* I mean, wow, i just made myself look like an idiot, how ironic.

    #28 1 year ago
  29. cr4zyjay

    “We’re making games and we need to have mass-market appeal in order to survive. How far do we go into horror before we lose the support of the average player? How far are we going to lessen the horror elements at the risk of losing core fans, including Resident Evil fans?”

    Really? The game is a flop. The people who would go and buy a resi game are most likely going to be people who have played the original resi games from the 90s. How else do you think your own creation was so popular? It was because it was the most brutal and horrific game to play around. We all loved having the crap scared out of us.

    So you make the game for mass market appeal? Look what happened, you shunted out your resi fans and the mass market has not really cared or noticed your game. What’s different to this than FarCry or Uncharted? All you have done is thrown in zombies instead of mercenaries and made everything dark and dirty.

    Sorry but you people with this mass market idea are killing the gaming industry. These sort of things are NOT games, they are just interactive blockbusters. Something you pick up to play for 10 hours and then leave it gathering dust or sell it on at a video store or game store. I dont know about other people but due to the failures of resi 4, i did not buy resi 5 after what i read about it. i also am not going to buy resi 6 after reading this either.

    How many other resi fans like me have you caused to not buy your game? Isnt that money you wanted? Have you really made the money you need from the mass market idea you have? How many people actually have bought this game after reading that it is not scary at all, and not true to its roots? I dont believe the hype im afraid. I think no one really bought this game, not at least now after the news about it, and people who did get it are probably more disappointed than pleased.

    But sure, go ahead. Keep making resi games for the mass market appeal. I guarantee you, you`ll kill off the franchise faster than you can blink and you wont even be able to sell it for much because no developer in their right mind will buy it knowing its integrity has been lost due to capcoms failures. The racoon city game that came out before this was also pure trash. Do you not see the logic here?

    In a nutshell, if I a resi fan am not buying your game, does that not tell you something? Are you really going to sit there and still boast that you need to release mass market crap to survive? Did you make the projected sales and profits needed for this game at all? Break even at all? Doubt it.

    you used to own the survival horror genre completely. now dead space holds that crown. you could have at least got on the same level and given gamers who enjoy this genre dead space as an alternative to the 90s grandaddy of resident evil games. but now… i automatically think “dead space” if i wanted a survival horror game. i do not on any level think i need resi 4 5 or 6. dead space does all the things your game should be doing. dead space is so horrifically scary for me, that i cant even play it. i am proud to own it in a plastic case with the disc in my hand, but i cant last more than 10 mins before nearly shitting my pants – literally. at every moment i think i am fine something jumps out and i scream the house down. sometimes i have long stretches of no scares or short ones, they all vary and that keeps me on my toes because i have no clue as to what is coming up at all, at anytime. resi games should be just like that.

    you have failed me capcom, me and your fans.

    #29 1 year ago
  30. Sini

    lol that producer actually thinks RE6 failed because it abandoned horror, and who the fuck actually scored that game high, yup gametrailers and ign, doritos and adds.

    #30 1 year ago