Shinji Mikami explains why Resident Evil series became more action-oriented

Saturday, 28th September 2013 23:45 GMT By Catherine Cai

Resident Evil had a very obvious tone shift in the middle of the series, dropping survival-horror in favor of something a little more action-oriented.

Shinji Mikami, in an interview with IGN, explained that the change was due to the poor reception that the Resident Evil remake had on the GameCube. Apparently, the remake did poorly in sales and Mikami opted for a genre that would be more of a crowd pleaser. “Because of the reaction to the Resident Evil remake,” said Mikami, “I decided to work more action into Resident Evil 4. Resident Evil 4 would have been a more scary, horror-focused game if the remake had sold well.”

Of course, this experience that Mikami’s had with the remake is probably going to carry over to his new IP, The Evil Within, which seems to be a return to the developer’s survival horror roots. “I have kind of a lingering trauma there, because the Resident Evil remake didn’t sell – much more than people would think,” said Mikami.

Thanks, SplatteredHouse and Joystiq



  1. Xbone

    So the sales were poor on a not so popular console… thats why? RE1 remake was a masterpiece both with graphics and gameplay… but if the numbers.

    Im very sad.

    #1 1 year ago
  2. salarta

    … As much as I respect Mikami’s history, in this case, he was a complete idiot.

    This is like Activision releasing a Call of Duty game only on Ouya, the game not selling well, and Activision then immediately deciding that people hate shooters and turning the next game in the franchise into survival horror. I can say this as a definitive fact as someone that played RE3, played Code Veronica, but only got the Resident Evil remake on Gamecube a few years ago. I also never played Resident Evil Zero, which was also only on Gamecube, yet had no trouble with the PS2 games.

    Seriously, not even Hollywood film companies are this stupid. “People aren’t buying the latest Nightmare on Elm Street, for our next film let’s turn Freddy Krueger into the next Rambo!”

    #2 1 year ago
  3. Playmaker

    And we thank you for it shinji. Re4 is a masterpiece of fun.

    Evil within is a must buy for me on XB1

    #3 1 year ago
  4. Zohar

    I’m a huge fan of Resident Evil. Been playing since the beginning. That said, RE4 is one of the greatest games of all time and is responsible for the renaissance of the TPS genre. It trades horror for unbridled suspense and constant tension from expertly crafted combat encounters, level design and perfect pacing. The shooting mechanics are phenomenal and the treasure hunting, merchant and weapon upgrading systems add an enormous amount of replayability. Every aspect of the game is oozing with character, from the personalities down to the weapon names and designs. I’m thought the RE remake was a great game, but I’m kind of glad it bombed if it brought us RE4.

    The hedge maze section of RE4 was ten thousand times scarier than anything from any other RE game. Or the section right after that where you get trapped in a tiny cage with a Garrador, surrounded by monks with crossbows. Of course there’s the first 15 minutes of the game which is probably the greatest introduction of any game, ever, and it doesn’t rely on a massive set piece where the player has practically no control over what’s happening (I’m looking at you, dead space 3).

    I can’t agree with people who say RE4 isn’t scary when the game is full of HOLY SHIT WTF DO I DO moments. Regenerators, anyone? It might not be loaded with jump scares but that game is extremely scary at times with the amount of mortal danger it puts you in.

    #4 1 year ago
  5. Osric


    That’s why modern horror games don’t scare anyone just try to startle them and that’s why the Slender game was so successful too. Last game that scared the hell out of me was Silent Hill 4: The Room.

    #5 1 year ago
  6. Stardog

    They’ve all been poor commercial cash-ins since then.

    Maybe the old style can make a comeback on mobile.

    #6 1 year ago
  7. BrahManDude

    it didn’t sell because it was only on Gamecube

    #7 1 year ago
  8. Unknown_Gamer

    @6 MOBILE !?

    Are fxxxxg kidding me , people eagerly waiting for something like this to come on consoles and you come out of nowhere to say MOBILE !?
    Give me a break

    @4 its your taste my friend , RE4 isn’t even considered as a survival horror to begin with and not even scary but maybe you meant the chainsaw enemies and the Iron maiden <<< Now this thing is scary

    #8 1 year ago
  9. antraxsuicide

    It’s the plot that’s got to go, first and foremost. I’ve never seen something more perfect for a reboot in my life. You’ve got to have a Master’s in RE Narrative to play any of the newer ones, which is absolutely not giving them good consumer scores (as in, box office ratings vs. box office sales).

    #9 1 year ago
  10. The_Red

    This is truly ironic because even the more “crowd pleaser”y RE4 did poorly enough on GameCube that they had to cancel the exclusivity deal and port it to PS2 over Mikami’s dead body!

    #10 1 year ago
  11. Atmey

    Because 3.79 is more than 7.48

    #11 1 year ago
  12. Triggerhappy

    So exclusivity killed Resident evil… I knew it was a mistake when they announced partnership with Nintendo. PS2 had the bigger user base but there was no way it was capable of running a game as gorgeous as that. I remember when I first got REMake, my mates came round and they were like “Holy shit, it’s like playing in FMV!”… looking back it wasn’t quite as good as that but it was astounding what Capcom had achieved here. I’d love to see a static backdrop game done on today’s hardware, you could probably achieve pretty close to photo realistic.

    RE4 is where it all went south for me, that’s just my opinion though, but if I’m being completely honest with myself, if RE4 was the first RE game I played I’d probably have a different opinion.

    Anyway, REMake is 3rd on my ‘Best Games Ever’ list, it’s creepy, beautiful, bloody hard and requires thinking and strategy, they just don’t make slow paced games like that these days, to me there’s nothing scarier than knowing I’ve got to go down this hallway… I’ve got the key for the door on the end… there’s 2 zombies down there… I’ve only got 3 bullets and a knife… and the last time I saved was about an hour ago. That my friends is TRUE survival horror ;)


    #12 1 year ago
  13. Biscuitpants

    @8 stfu virgin

    #13 1 year ago
  14. SameeR_Fisher

    why not release Remake on PS3/X360/PC and see how it does ?!, It could be a good measure to how fans really want survival horror and not action horror.

    Also being the first in the series, other gamers interested will be able to jump in without knowing anything about the story or needing to play any other game.

    #14 1 year ago
  15. Lengendaryboss

    Butthurt much?

    #15 1 year ago
  16. Tormenter

    @14 Re-release the remake for other platforms?… Oh, he can’t do that, because when it sells, and it WOULD sell, that would make his whole statement garbage.. and he would come across as either an idiot or a liar.

    Front is everything to these people, whether it’s justified or not.

    #16 1 year ago
  17. Kuwabara

    @4, Re1 was still the scariest overall. from the tense soundtrack, sounded like something form the 1950/60s horror films, (excluding the directors cut, the music was shit). Who could forget that theme that plays when you first enter the mansion after wesker leaves, along with the sound of the clock, to the blue room where the soundtrack changes to something out of the terminator 1 chase sequence, with cuts in between, to the ambient sounds, (wolves howling, dogs barking, the crows, sound of the zombies) the look of the zombies etc.. they nailed the atmosphere and really felt like you were there. It got to the point where no matter where i went i would imagine zombies being there and how i would escape the situation. I found it hard to sleep sometimes. but i eventually over came this fear and finished the game again, and loved it.

    #17 1 year ago
  18. fabiank

    I’m a HUGE Resident Evil and Mikami fan but i have to say that this statement make me hate the guy.

    He just went, literally, FULL RETARDED!

    Resident Evil Remake is the best game i’ve EVER played. I bought a stupid Nintendo Gamecube just to do so and i was rewarded with a true masterpiece.

    With that said, it’s obvipously the game was on the WRONG plataform!

    Nintendo consoles only sells Nintendo games.

    If Resident Evil RE was on the PS2 he would have selled MILLIONS AND MILLIONS of units!

    Wow Mikami… STFU dude. You´re just embarassing yourself with stupid statements like that.

    #18 1 year ago
  19. Unknown_Gamer

    come on let’s dance bxxx , i’ll show you the definition of virginity because you sound like you have issues ;D

    #19 1 year ago
  20. fabiank

    @16 I know, right?!

    Man this is so stupid!!

    It’s so sad that so many people never played RE Remake and keep saying RE4 was the best in the series! Lol!

    REbirth is an absolutely masterpice! Graphics are amazing, the atmosphere is SO tense! They absiolutely NAILED the gameplay balance between puzzles, action and exploration…

    Man… what a game!

    Just release on PS3/360 for god sake!

    #20 1 year ago
  21. Doppleganger

    RE on Gamecube is one of my favourite games of all time. Also I don’t think they released it on the wrong system as I cant remember as its a long time ago but there was valid reasons they chose the gamecube over PS2.
    Also I had a Gamecube at the time and PS controller are damn right awful. lol : )

    Just like movies I wish they would release classics in crazy HD graphics.

    #21 1 year ago
  22. vicrysty

    In 2002, when it appeared Resident Evil 1 and Resident Evil Zero on the Gamecube I was one of those who bought the GameCube console for both games. Indeed Resident Evil 1 on the Gamecube is the best of the series. That did not sell very well is due not appeared on any other console (PS2, Xbox). I want Resident Evil 1 & 2 & 3 remake on PS4 and xboxone (but to be like Resident Evil 1 on the gamecube). I do not want to see zombies that shoot pistols, rifles, machine guns, poke you with pitchforks, axes like in Resident Evil 4 & 5 & 6(dumb idea).

    #22 1 year ago
  23. CPC_RedDawn

    Most of the blame could be placed on Nintendo to be honest they marketed the Gamecube extremely poorly, released it with a Luigi game and marketed the console in purple as its main color, with a controller that looked like a child’s toy from Toy’s R Us. They also kept lowering the consoles launch price as well taking away any value the console held upon its release.

    If Nintendo and Panasonic had gotten the cost down of the Panasonic Q Gamecube device to around £199 – £250 I believe it would have sold at least double what the Gamecube sold. They could of marketed it as a media hub that plays music, dvd’s, and games. This would have probably gotten more third party dev’s on board as the console would of appealed to more people rather than children or the die hard Nintendo fan’s.

    Don’t get me wrong I completely loved the Gamecube and had one on day one of its launch and loved the handful of games it had as most of them were extremely good. Whereas the PS2 back then was the console for shovelware and the Gamecube and Xbox were just there sitting in the background whilst the PS2 was helped by the massive success of the PS1 and its what people trusted. It is a shame because Resident Evil 1 on the Gamecube still is to this day my all time favorite video game ever. It is just pure epic brilliance and have not been topped yet, unless they release another remake or HD version of it without the loading doors :)

    #23 1 year ago
  24. Clupula

    @23 – What world do you live in that the PS2 was the console for shovelware?!? The system had the single greatest lineup of any system in the history of videogames. Every single genre you could possibly want was represented and strongly.

    The PS2 shit on the Gamecube and original Xbox from a very, very high ladder. Was there filler on it? Sure. Every system has filler. But it wasn’t like the Wii, which was 90% filler. The majority of the games on the PS2 were high, high quality.

    #24 1 year ago
  25. Clupula

    @2 – I’m going to have go look out my window and check for flying pigs, because I actually 100% agree with you for probably the first time ever.

    But it boils down to putting the game on Gamecube only. If it had been a PS2 release, it would have been a huge seller, just like RE4 became when that was ported. If I recall correctly, it did a ton better on PS2 than Gamecube.

    #25 1 year ago
  26. Bringit

    Guys a game sells ‘well’ when it hits its expectations.

    Capcom will set sales expectations on a game based on several things – marketing, install base, game quality etc…

    Clearly RE Remake did not hit that number.

    It’s not about GameCube’s poor install base. Capcom would have taken that into account.

    #26 1 year ago
  27. fabiank

    “It’s not about GameCube’s poor install base.”
    Yes, it is.

    #27 1 year ago
  28. Clupula

    @26 – Capcom expected the Resident Evil name, itself, to sell hardware.

    #28 1 year ago
  29. Playmaker

    Anyone enjoy RE5? I did. It wasn’t scary but I thought it entertained. Going 2 players sucked. Should’ve just had two separate campaigns

    #29 1 year ago
  30. Clupula

    RE5 is my least favorite entry in the series. For all the shit it gets, RE6 was a huge improvement over 5. Which wasn’t hard to do, admittedly, but still…RE5 was just a pure 100% action game that didn’t even pretend to be scary. RE6, at the very least, had the Leon campaign. Jake’s campaign, while not scary, was at least fun.

    Chris’ was just like playing more of RE5. A mindless, generic third person shooter that was only fun to play when you had a partner so the two of you could make comments about Chris and Piers being bickering lovers.

    #30 1 year ago
  31. JaketheJoker

    You know it’s funny that people blame RE Remake’s sales because it was on the Gamecube but yet the PS2 RE games didn’t exactly have high sales either. RE Outbreak File 2 and RE Dead Aim both sold less copies than Remake or 0 and they were on PS2. Metal Gear Solid 4 being on the most expensive console at the time didn’t stop it from getting good sales numbers. The Wii re-releases of 0 and Remake both sold very poorly while the Wii version of RE4 sold quite well so it wouldn’t matter if REmake was on PS2 and Xbox it still would’ve sold poorly.

    #31 1 year ago

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