Capcom's Troubles, and What Could Have Been Different

Capcom, despite what successes they've had in games like Street Fighter IV, has had a pretty rough go on the current generation of hardware. Poorly budgeted and organized games have drained their coffers to the point that they reportedly have less than $150 million in assets left in the bank. They're not dead yet, but they've certainly made a fair number of mistakes. This blog post over on Destructoid sums up the mess that has been the decision-making that led them to their current predicament. I don't entirely agree with all of his assessments, but on the whole, it's a pretty solid analysis.

Though I do agree that DmC was a bad idea.

What Capcom does in the first couple of years of the new hardware generation will hopefully paint a brighter picture for their prospects. That is, assuming that they learn the correct lessons and adapt accordingly. There's only so many times that they can return to the Street Fighter IV and Monster Hunter wells to stay afloat. But it didn't have to be this way. If they had made better, smarter decisions years ago, then they might not have been faced with the prospect of a dwindling bank account now. Of course, nothing is ever certain; sometimes even supposedly great decisions can lead to poor outcomes. After all, the PS3/360 Bionic Commando seemed like a great idea on paper and in demos. It just didn't work out.

Solid in theory, but a total misfire.

So what could they have done differently? Well, a lot of things, and some of them are pretty easy to spot by just reading the blog post linked above. I'm not a business expert, so I can't claim to suggest I know what would have been best for Capcom in the short or longterm outside of the obvious. Like budgeting Resident Evil 6 in such a way that wouldn't require seven million copies sold to turn a profit.

For the remainder of this, I'd like to focus on Resident Evil, because the sad twists that franchise has engaged in has left me disappointed. Just as I'm not a businessman, I'm not a game designer, but I can't help but feel that there were some serious missed opportunities on the creative end that could have left the series in a better place. Again, supposing that Capcom didn't let a post-cocaine binge Gordon Gekko run the accounting department.

I know that Resident Evil 5 has its fans, though it also has its disappointments. Disappointments like removing the horror element for a heavier reliance on action and a plot that turns Albert Wesker into a comic book supervillain, complete with a mind-controlled Jill Valentine in a catsuit. By the time a remarkably buff Chris Redfield is punching a boulder in a bid to stop Wesker, what about this game is still recognizably Resident Evil? A franchise that was built on B-movie zombie scares? Not much that I can see.

If I could turn back the hands of time and then somehow convince Capcom to listen to me (one step is impossible, the other involves time travel), I'd present them with this idea. Start with the initial marketing ploy that marked RE5's announcement; the supposed death of Jill. Now throw everything else about Resident Evil 5 as you know it out the window.

Sorry, Sheva. (WARNING: ARMCHAIR DESIGNER WANKERY APPROACHING.)

No, I'm not saying that Jill dies right off the bat. But rather, instead of Wesker making her a mind-controlled catsuit warrior, he actually do something more devious and in line with the established themes of the series. Imagine a scenario in which Jill, after the initial sequence that leads to her presumed death, awakens in a Wesker-Post-Umbrella facility and at his mercy. She has been infected with some variant of the numerous viruses that have come and gone over the course of the series and has to hunt Wesker down or search for a cure.

As far as the gameplay is concerned, it starts off in the same manner of Resident Evil 4. Jill can use guns, knives, grenades, eggs, and everything else. However, as the game progresses and the virus takes hold, make the weapons harder to control. Have this loss of control grow over time to the point that she no longer has the fine coordination required. As the virus mutations continue to take hold, leave her at first completely disarmed and then gradually more powerful. Crimson Head-style claws and the like.

Now couple this with an Eternal Darkness-style sanity mechanic. As the virus works on her brain, visual and auditory hallucinations affect her (and the player's) judgement. Maybe to the point that if she were to cross paths with Chris, she wouldn't know if he was real or not. Handle the mental deterioration in such a way that we get a sense of her encroaching and impending doom. If Jill is going to die, let her go out in full-blown Resident Evil style. Just not boulder-punching Resident Evil 5 action hero style. Maybe while using her last shreds of cognizance to tear Wesker a new one, and then, having lost all humanity, getting put down by Chris.

Weird idea? Sure. But one that had been bouncing around in my head ever since Resident Evil 5 turned out to be, well, not so Resident Evil-ish. It also fulfills the notion that Jill dies (without being an obvious fake out or a cheap kill) and the death of Wesker (which ties up a long-hanging loose thread). Would this necessarily be a good game? Hell if I know, like I said, I'm not a game designer. But on the basic premise alone, I feel it's a more experimental concept that still holds truer to the ideas of Resident Evil as a whole, rather than "Resident Evil 4, but with co-op and in Africa this time."

And hey, maybe it would leave a better jumping-off point for a more sane conceptualization of Resident Evil 6. I'm not saying that this idea would single-handedly prevent Capcom from being in the financial pickle they're currently mired in. But maybe it would have helped one of their more troubled franchises and tried something that stuck closer to what Resident Evil originated as; a horror game.

Or they could just release Resident Evil 4 with Hatsune Miku taking Leon's place.

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Posted by Slag

That would have been a much much better direction for RE 6 to go in, so of course they didn't.

I really hope Capcom gets it together, they feel like the last ray of AAA hope for the old Japanese pubs here stateside.

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Posted by slyspider

RE4 with Miku sounds good. Sold.

Posted by impartialgecko

Agreed on your points on RE6 as I'm currently trudging through that game. Oof that game is awful. Also DmC was a brilliant idea, if you had said Dead Rising 2 or Lost Planet 2 I would be with you.

Edited by EXTomar

Capcom fell into the trap some developers fell into. This isn't necessarily a Japan/East thing but a "king of last gen flailing about in next gen" where it has hit some NA/West developers as well. When a producer "ran out of ideas" they looked around and tried to copy what another was doing that they thought was successful. The end result was something that was expensive but "imitation quality". Who wants that?

As noted the thing that is keeping Capcom afloat are Monster Hunter and Street Fighter. It should be noted that both of these are distinct and it has served them well but I am getting concerned they are "going to the well" too much on both of these games. What is going to kill these is the same "ran out of ideas" and just ended up copying from...themselves?

As for DmC, I thought this was an interesting game ruined by their marketing mishandling but looking back I wonder if it being saddled with Capcom was also an issue. I think it is a fine game but they probably spent way to much on production and had unreasonable expectations from there. I wonder if Ninja Theory had a game that didn't have the Devil May Cry IP but the same plot (angels and demons messing with the mortal world with a pair of nephilim brothers trying to make sense of it all) would it have done better?

Posted by Hailinel

@adam1808 said:

Agreed on your points on RE6 as I'm currently trudging through that game. Oof that game is awful. Also DmC was a brilliant idea, if you had said Dead Rising 2 or Lost Planet 2 I would be with you.

Opinions are really going to vary on which games were the true misfires, but I agree with you in spirit.

@extomar said:

Capcom fell into the trap some developers fell into. This isn't necessarily a Japan/East thing but a "king of last gen flailing about in next gen" where it has hit some NA/West developers as well. When a producer "ran out of ideas" they looked around and tried to copy what another was doing that they thought was successful. The end result was something that was expensive but "imitation quality". Who wants that?

As noted the thing that is keeping Capcom afloat are Monster Hunter and Street Fighter. It should be noted that both of these are distinct and it has served them well but I am getting concerned they are "going to the well" too much on both of these games. What is going to kill these is the same "ran out of ideas" and just ended up copying from...themselves?

As for DmC, I thought this was an interesting game ruined by their marketing mishandling but looking back I wonder if it being saddled with Capcom was also an issue. I think it is a fine game but they probably spent way to much on production and had unreasonable expectations from there. I wonder if Ninja Theory had a game that didn't have the Devil May Cry IP but the same plot (angels and demons messing with the mortal world with a pair of nephilim brothers trying to make sense of it all) would it have done better?

True enough. Capcom's fall isn't unlike the falls of other large publishers/developers, regardless of where on the globe they were located. Acclaim, Midway, and THQ are all gone, and id is a shadow of its former self.

Your thoughts on DmC are interesting. One of the biggest missteps Capcom made was in assuming that the fanbase would eventually come around on the new Dante and new universe, or at least attract a new fanbase. Instead, it's apparently the lowest-selling entry in the series, and according to the blog post I linked, failed to meet its sales expectations even after those expectations were lowered. If the game had been a new IP with the same premise, it might very well have attracted a better initial reception, but I wonder if that better reception would have led to better sales?

Posted by ArbitraryWater

I'd play that "survival horror" game you're pitching. Maybe not as a Resident Evil title (too much baggage with that franchise), but that sounds crazy in a way I could get behind. Consider your kickstarter funded.

I can't really grasp the extent of Capcom's failure this console generation, be it one too many enhanced re-releases of games only a year later (Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 was less than a year), the loss of many of their best creative talents (See: Everyone from Clover going on to form Platinum), that time they decided that what we really needed was a Resident Evil squad-based shooter from the developers of those bad PSP Socom games, or just simply taking a gamble that didn't pay off (Bionic Commando). Any of these as a singular occurrence wouldn't be a big deal, but the number of missteps have certainly added up. They won't capsize like Midway did, but you can probably expect a lot of playing it safe for the next few years.

It's unfortunate, because I also like a ton of Capcom games this generation, be it Street Fighter IV introducing me to fighting games, the RE5 and DmC that have earned the internet's pot shots, and even the incredibly weird flawed gem called Dragon's Dogma. Of course, I also didn't hate RE6 despite fully acknowledging the fact that it is not a good game and embodies some of the worst of "AAA" design, so it seems pretty obvious that I will subconsciously give that series a free pass regardless of how much of a big, dumb action movie it becomes.

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Posted by punkxblaze

Yeah, I definitely feel like DmC is the least shitty idea Capcom's had in a while. Problem was the initial backlash was so strong that despite it being a fine game, it sold like absolute shit.

Everything else has been kind of middling, though. It's a real shame that DmC has convinced them to stop trying outsourcing IPs. I like seeing how things can be re-imagined, even if it occasionally ends poorly.

Edited by Flappy

Call me crazy, but Leon/Helana's campaign in RE6 is the only good one (never bothered with Ada's) in the game. The controls were a bit weird at first, but once I figured them out, they were the best in the series. Fuck Chris's campaign, though. There should never be a situation where fucking infected people are shooting bullets at me in a RE game. It wasn't fun in RE5, but at least that lasted like...10 minutes.

Dragon's Dogma didn't do much for me.

Bayonetta ruined the DmC series for me.

Lost Planet/Monster Hunter never interested me.

I'm too lazy for Street Fighter/MvC.

That's all I got. Good post, Halinel.

Posted by Icemael

I don't share people's disappointment with the main Resident Evil series. I avoided playing Resident Evil 6 until a couple of weeks ago, partly because I didn't like the demo and partly because everyone said it was a massive piece of shit, and I ended up enjoying it quite a bit. The combat system is great and Leon's campaign is excellent in nearly every regard (the others aren't quite so good, but still enjoyable). I don't know why everyone said they turned it into a cover shooter -- it's not a cover shooter, it's RE4's melee-focused combat system except faster and with far more options for movement and evasion. You're not supposed to play it like Gears of War, you're supposed to run around tackling, punching, kicking and stomping heads, taking cover only occasionally to recover stamina or to shield yourself from fire for a second while deciding who to suplex next. No wonder everyone had a terrible time when they can't handle any combat system that's the least bit unconventional.

(Ironically, if they had designed it as a cover shooter, it would probably be more well-received, since that would mean the controls, level design and enemy design would actually have been suited to that style of play.)

Posted by golguin

@hailinel said:

@adam1808 said:

Agreed on your points on RE6 as I'm currently trudging through that game. Oof that game is awful. Also DmC was a brilliant idea, if you had said Dead Rising 2 or Lost Planet 2 I would be with you.

Opinions are really going to vary on which games were the true misfires, but I agree with you in spirit.

@extomar said:

Capcom fell into the trap some developers fell into. This isn't necessarily a Japan/East thing but a "king of last gen flailing about in next gen" where it has hit some NA/West developers as well. When a producer "ran out of ideas" they looked around and tried to copy what another was doing that they thought was successful. The end result was something that was expensive but "imitation quality". Who wants that?

As noted the thing that is keeping Capcom afloat are Monster Hunter and Street Fighter. It should be noted that both of these are distinct and it has served them well but I am getting concerned they are "going to the well" too much on both of these games. What is going to kill these is the same "ran out of ideas" and just ended up copying from...themselves?

As for DmC, I thought this was an interesting game ruined by their marketing mishandling but looking back I wonder if it being saddled with Capcom was also an issue. I think it is a fine game but they probably spent way to much on production and had unreasonable expectations from there. I wonder if Ninja Theory had a game that didn't have the Devil May Cry IP but the same plot (angels and demons messing with the mortal world with a pair of nephilim brothers trying to make sense of it all) would it have done better?

True enough. Capcom's fall isn't unlike the falls of other large publishers/developers, regardless of where on the globe they were located. Acclaim, Midway, and THQ are all gone, and id is a shadow of its former self.

Your thoughts on DmC are interesting. One of the biggest missteps Capcom made was in assuming that the fanbase would eventually come around on the new Dante and new universe, or at least attract a new fanbase. Instead, it's apparently the lowest-selling entry in the series, and according to the blog post I linked, failed to meet its sales expectations even after those expectations were lowered. If the game had been a new IP with the same premise, it might very well have attracted a better initial reception, but I wonder if that better reception would have led to better sales?

The biggest problem with DmC is it's systems/gameplay if you ask people that play lots of character action games. You can have a great looking game, a story that will appeal to Western reviewers, and a very approachable combat system that essentially plays itself on normal mode and you'll get great reviews (poor Wonderful 101).

The problem is that the DMC series became known for punishing combat (they had to come out with the easy version called DMC3: Special Edition because too many people couldn't beat the game) and very Japanese story. Take away those things and there was no reason for fans to even give it a chance. I gave it a chance and beat the game on Nephilim as my starting difficulty and it was still fairly easy.

Edited by Humanity

When you run down the list they actually took a lot of chances and innovated rather than iterated in this generation. DmC was a good step forward in westernizing the archaic Japanese game design of past series. Not perfect, but considering it's the first "western" (you know, England, the really really far end of the USA) release it was a stellar accomplishment. That 3D Bionic Commando game was also a really interesting take on a 2D side scrolling game about a grappling hook. The early levels had you swinging around cities and overall the game was pretty fun. Not terribly polished, and not the best of stories, but considering the source material it was once again a great innovative step for the series that could have launched Bionic Commando into the current generation but failed to (sorry) grapple on. Dragons Dogma is an amazingly ambitious game that introduces some ingenious ideas into the RPG genre. Technical issues and a weak plot hold it back from reaching it's full potential but when you look at all the systems that game has, and how well they work it is truly admirable and unfortunate that many decide to pass on it in favor of visiting identical looking caverns in Skyrim. Resident Evil was full of ambition but sadly failed to deliver. Yes, they did purposefully make it even more action oriented which is a bit of a slap to the face for fans of the series wanting them to reign it in after the more bombastic RE5 - but there were some interesting touches which if ironed out could be a boon in RE7.

Edited by Asurastrike

Ninja Theory's Devil May Cry was a fantastic game. Go back and actually play the original DMC, and DMC2. They are both awful.

Edited by jimmyfenix

@asurastrike: DMC 2 was awful even the most aggressive DMC fans will agree that the game was a shit show. Back then DMC 1 was awesome. It doesn't hold up but i respect that when Mikami gave Resident evil 4 to Kamiya Devil may cry was born.

Edited by StarvingGamer

Of all the Capcom games I bought for PS3, these are the ones I thought were fucking terrific:

  • Asura's Wrath
  • Bionic Commando Rearmed
  • Dead Rising 2
  • DmC
  • Dragon's Dogma (+Dark Arisen)
  • Lost Planet
  • Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (+Ultimate)
  • Remember Me
  • Resident Evil 5
  • Street Fighter IV (et al.)
  • Street Fighter X Tekken

And these are the games I found lacking:

  • Devil May Cry 4
  • Resident Evil 6

Honestly, the only thing I wish went differently was RE6. The way they took things out and slapped other things onto the gameplay makes me think the designers had no idea what made RE5 so fun.

EDIT: I really hope they don't change things up too much going into next-gen. Capcom was one of my favorite developers this generation.

Posted by Humanity

@starvinggamer: Remember Me was robbed by reviewers across the board. Such an exciting new vision, with the strong female protagonist that isn't wearing cut-off shorts or a see-through top that the press is just yearning for. The combat was also pretty innovative and fun once you got used to it. What is weirder is that I remember writing a review for it on this site and it's gone and I can't find it in my Google Docs either - almost as if.. my memory was remixed!

Edited by StarvingGamer

@humanity: Yeah, it's a fucking shame we won't be getting another one of those. They should just take the Remix mode and turn it into a Vita game or something, like a sexed up cyberpunk Ghost Trick.

Edited by Yummylee

For a new Resident Evil, I've always loved the idea of it starring Barry Burton living in the middle of the Canadian Wilderness in a small cabin on his own, and it would basically function like a horror-themed RDR (or... Undead Nightmare to some degree) with you traversing the darkly lit woods, occasionally making campfires for rest and to recuperate. Also, his family's died... it could probably fit into the idea that the catastrophe during RE6 wasn't stopped, and instead Barry is but one of a few survivors in the world left. At the age of around 52, with mental problems stemming from his family's death, and of course that hand cannon of his (with limited ammo, naturally), and woolah. Making it a sort of open-world game would help make it feel dynamic, too, so it's not the same scripted scares over and over. Though there could be buildings you can enter, Silent Hill style, that offer up more directed horror sequences.

Though it's probably better that they just start over from scratch at this point. Then they could finally decide on what the Hell they want to do with the series, be it carrying it on as an obnoxious power fantasy, or maybe trying to reign it back a little as an actual horror series. Plus that way they could make their bucks with action RE, and possibly release some classic horror RE within a spin-off series. Plus The Evil Within is here to (hopefully) carry the torch somewhat that Resident Evil very blatantly extinguished.

Also, obligatory Fuck You, Resident Evil 6.

Edited by Humanity

@starvinggamer: I honestly thought the remixing was the weakest gameplay aspect of Remember Me in that it required trial and error and wasn't really all that intuitive. Conceptually it was really cool though and from the story perspective I enjoyed the revelations as well.

Also among all this controversy in gaming I found it morally reprehensible at times - especially the first remix you do which is quite aggressive and completely changes someones motivations. The act of casually editing someones memories to achieve your own short term goals, forever altering them in the process, felt really wrong.

Edited by GunstarRed

I never understand what people don't seem to like about Bionic Commando. Like many other games published by Capcom it tried something new. Sure you can complain about the design of the main character (hey, switch to the old-Rad skin) but that game feels exactly what the old NES game would feel like if you shifted it into 3D. The biggest complaints when it came out were that the shooting felt weak and the radiated areas stopped you from swinging out too far. Neither of these make any sense when talking about a game that is both based around mastering the Bionic wife-arm ( it is not a god damn shooter!)and constantly moving forward with the swing mechanic. It was very clearly not meant to be an open world game, and when everyone wanted it to be they all acted disappointed.

Yeah, the story is dumb... like a game based around a man with a bionic arm that fights giant robot worms should be.

Even with all of the other disappointments and mixed opinions Capcom have been trying new stuff. Dragon's Dogma is quite unlike anything else, same with Asura's Wrath and Remember Me is a really interesting game that is far too limited in its exploration, but still a game nobody else was willing to put out. Even the big failures like Dark Void try something a little different. Lost planet has constantly tried to reinvent itself. The first game felt very much like old-Capcom, but they have failed to capture that old school run and gun ever since with only last years EX Troopers coming close to the arcadey feel of the original. I have found many games I have loved this generation were either developed or published by Capcom. Street Fighter is still untouchable in the fighting game arena, DmC was a really good update to a series that felt like it had run out of steam (DMC4- meh) and Resident Evil 5 is basically a little bit more of what RE4 was. Yeah, yeah I know it's not as good, but it was a highly enjoyable experience I played through multiple times. RE6 can eat a dick.

Oh, does Ghost Trick count... that game is awesome.

Edited by Dagbiker

@gunstarred: I agree, I liked DmC for this reason. It tried something new. They are the HAL of the gaming industry, in an odd comparison, in that they hear everyone calling for innovation but when they innovate, create longer games and so forth, they get picked on because they are not making the same old crap they used to.

Posted by Brendan

Poor DmC, I really like that game :(

Posted by mikey87144

It's weird. Almost everyone's opinion of Capcom's fall is that they only have themselves to blame and it's true. For example, to fuck over one of the most loyal and passionate groups of fans, fighting game fans, with UMVC3 and Street Fighter X Tekken... They deserve to be in the position that they're in.

Posted by Hailinel

@humanity said:

When you run down the list they actually took a lot of chances and innovated rather than iterated in this generation. DmC was a good step forward in westernizing the archaic Japanese game design of past series. Not perfect, but considering it's the first "western" (you know, England, the really really far end of the USA) release it was a stellar accomplishment.

Not really. Not when people behind the older DMC titles went on to form Platinum and output games like Metal Gear Rising, Wonderful 101, and Bayonetta. There are a lot of points that could be argued regarding the direction of DmC's gameplay and presentation, but it's not about "westernization."

I'd play that "survival horror" game you're pitching. Maybe not as a Resident Evil title (too much baggage with that franchise), but that sounds crazy in a way I could get behind. Consider your kickstarter funded.

I can't really grasp the extent of Capcom's failure this console generation, be it one too many enhanced re-releases of games only a year later (Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 was less than a year), the loss of many of their best creative talents (See: Everyone from Clover going on to form Platinum), that time they decided that what we really needed was a Resident Evil squad-based shooter from the developers of those bad PSP Socom games, or just simply taking a gamble that didn't pay off (Bionic Commando). Any of these as a singular occurrence wouldn't be a big deal, but the number of missteps have certainly added up. They won't capsize like Midway did, but you can probably expect a lot of playing it safe for the next few years.

It's unfortunate, because I also like a ton of Capcom games this generation, be it Street Fighter IV introducing me to fighting games, the RE5 and DmC that have earned the internet's pot shots, and even the incredibly weird flawed gem called Dragon's Dogma. Of course, I also didn't hate RE6 despite fully acknowledging the fact that it is not a good game and embodies some of the worst of "AAA" design, so it seems pretty obvious that I will subconsciously give that series a free pass regardless of how much of a big, dumb action movie it becomes.

Well, at least now I know how to pitch the concept on Kickstarter; just use the Mighty No. 9 method of saying "Hey, remember that Capcom franchise you really like?"

Yeah, it really wasn't any one or two singular events that brought Capcom to this point. It was just a whole chain of bad luck and questionable decisions. I really liked some of their output this generation; Asura's Wrath is amazing. But then they released the game's true ending as paid DLC, which feels more like a punishment for rewarding them.

@yummylee said:

For a new Resident Evil, I've always loved the idea of it starring Barry Burton living in the middle of the Canadian Wilderness in a small cabin on his own, and it would basically function like a horror-themed RDR (or... Undead Nightmare to some degree) with you traversing the darkly lit woods, occasionally making campfires for rest and to recuperate. Also, his family's died... it could probably fit into the idea that the catastrophe during RE6 wasn't stopped, and instead Barry is but one of a few survivors in the world left. At the age of around 52, with mental problems stemming from his family's death, and of course that hand cannon of his (with limited ammo, naturally), and woolah. Making it a sort of open-world game would help make it feel dynamic, too, so it's not the same scripted scares over and over. Though there could be buildings you can enter, Silent Hill style, that offer up more directed horror sequences.

Though it's probably better that they just start over from scratch at this point. Then they could finally decide on what the Hell they want to do with the series, be it carrying it on as an obnoxious power fantasy, or maybe trying to reign it back a little as an actual horror series. Plus that way they could make their bucks with action RE, and possibly release some classic horror RE within a spin-off series. Plus The Evil Within is here to (hopefully) carry the torch somewhat that Resident Evil very blatantly extinguished.

Also, obligatory Fuck You, Resident Evil 6.

Sounds like a fantastic idea. I'd play that game!

Though in reality, I really do wonder what it would take for Capcom to get their shit together regarding Resident Evil. Starting over might not be a bad idea at this point. As much as I'm averse to franchise reboots, using the nuclear option on Resident Evil and starting with a clean slate has its benefits.

Posted by Brodehouse

I really liked DmC. Probably my favorite chop-dudes-up melee game since Arkham Asylum. Plus that kind of grungy, sex-fueled industrial metal thing is kind of up my alley.

Edited by IIGrayFoxII

Capcom has certainly had some hits and misses this generation, as all publishers have, but I was wondering where do people stand on their upcoming slate? Are you optimistic of their future titles? The only ones I can think off the top of my head are:

  • Deep Down
  • Dead Rising 3
  • Strider HD

Posted by ArbitraryWater

@yummylee: Once again, I'd play that game. But yeah, I think the only way for Resident Evil to stay relevant is going the full reboot option and figuring out what they want that series to be. But hey, even if they don't there's still that RE 1.5 fan project that seems like something that will actually come out, barring a C&D order from Capcom. Oh, and hopefully The Evil Within will be good.

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Posted by Nekroskop

They should just remake RE2 like they did with RE1 if they want to make money.

Posted by SoldierG654342

I don't think DmC was nearly as bad an idea as actively antagonizing the fans of the series was.

Edited by EXTomar

I had forgotten about Remember Me. That too feels like it was poorly marketed and overspent. It isn't a bad game at all just kind of mediocre especially in boss design where it feels like it is a giant "hit the weak spot N times in a row" game. I would have easily bought a follow up to see the same "engine" with cleaned up encounters but I guess that will probably not happen now.

As for DmC, Hailinel touched upon what I was getting at. Fans of "classic" Devil May Cry wanted something very different but I suspect the market could have supported a fantastic looking, action combat game based on the same idea (angels + demons in mortal world, nephilim brothers, etc). Capcom going this way split the difference and satisfied no one. The classic fans didn't want it. They can't draw in new players because of the way it was marketed.

As for Monster Hunter, "online is hard" is clearly haunting them. The market continues to show support for MSSO (Massively Small Scaled Online) action games. People would throw even more dollars at Capcom for a smoothly designed 4 player online co-op MH game but for whatever reasons they can't get it quite right.

As for Resident Evil, at this point I'm more excited about a movie announcement than another game. Especially with other games doing horror so much better I just don't care. Especially with other games doing action so much better I really just don't care. I fully expect the next RE game to be a joke.

Edited by JZ

Well if hideki kamiya, kenji infune, shinji makami, and seth killin still worked there it would the world's greatest company.

Sorry can't spell japanese names

Posted by Demoskinos

I couldn't disagree with you more over DmC. That game is like my 2nd favorite this year behind GTA V and most likely one of my favorites of this generation. While I agree what Capcom has made some mistakes I think some of the mistakes especially pertaining to Resident Evil 6 were not the content itself but how they presented it. I've said this ad nauseum for the best RE6 experience you NEED to play that game in chronological order. I think Capcom shouldn't have let you play the campaigns in any order and patching it later to allow access to Ada from the start is absolute insanity as she ties the story all together and you need to play her campaign last.

I'm actually fine with what Resident Evil has become because I saw the writing on the wall years ago with RE4 and here is the thing I think that totally suits where the fiction has gone now. I still believe that Resident Evil 6 was and is a pretty decent game. Getting back to other franchises I also Adore what they've done with Dragon's Dogma which is a game that I think has been unjustly ignored by the large majority of people. Its so so good. They have had horrible mis-steps though like Bionic Commando or putting out Lost Planet 3 in the middle of a time FILLED with releases. I just hope they manage to keep afloat cause honestly I still like most of what they are putting out.

Edited by EXTomar

RE6 was pretty schizophrenic. I can't tell if it got that way because the way the game was made or it was purposely written but it is a mess.

The point is Capcom seems to be chasing "the money" trying to emulate the success of others but ignoring the simple stuff that they do well today. Capcom shouldn't put effort into trying to make RE7 into some CoD game with zombies. We already have that.

Edited by GreggD

@demoskinos: You're not alone, I think RE6 was mostly fine. A bit odd in its presentation, but it was a fun game overall, series history be damned.

Posted by Demoskinos

@greggd: Yeah, I always scratch my head when people get on Resident Evil for what it has become. RE4 while a good game is really just a stones throw away from what RE5 was just with added co-op stuff. And RE6 is just the continued evolution of that. And the old style RE games wouldn't fly now days either so I'm always left confused what people who lament the series direction actually want out of if because I look at 5 and 6 and most of what those games are was informed by RE4.

Honestly, I feel the same way about Resident Evil as I do Final Fantasy as there is this old storied legacy for both franchises so they are readily in the public consciousness but I think most people's tastes have changed to the point where what those franchises are doing now only appeal to a small population. Which, is fine I guess but I sort of grow tired of hearing people talk about "the good ol' days" of "X" franchise over and over again when really their tastes is most likely what has changed more than anything else.

Posted by GreggD

@demoskinos: Well, to be fair on the part of FF, I haven't played one since IX. Most of that has to do with my disdain for the voice actors in the games since X. But eh, what are you gonna do.

Edited by Marokai

That was such a great editorial from Destructoid re: Capcom. It certainly does effectively argue that Capcom is the worst developer/publisher of this generation, not out of bad business practices or marketing fuck-yous, but just out of sheer stupidity on a scale of which no other developer/publisher this generation has matched.

I was never a big Devil May Cry person, I certainly respected those games from a distance and played them a little bit a couple times, but I never considered myself a fan, but I do have to admit I felt a certain sense of sinister glee when I saw that the game practically tanked from their expectations and ended up being the worst selling game in the franchise, after so much controversy and turning away from the traditional fans of the series. Something never sets right with me when developers take a franchise and make it in to something different, just arrogantly expecting their stupid lemming fans will carry right along, so I get an even greater sense of perverse enjoyment when fans say "Uh, actually, we're good over with these other guys. Thanks for fucking up our favorite series though."

I'm not necessarily sure I agree with RE5 being a fuck-up, though. Resident Evil is probably my favorite series of games, and I grew up along playing those games, and despite obviously wanting a more horror theme back to the series, 5 was still a superb game to me, was critically well received, and sold great. Sure, 6 is a total disaster indicative of a total cowardice and lack of vision on their part, but at least it still sold well too, even if it was short of their outrageous projections.

One thing I never understood is why Capcom has never tried doing a 15-dollar-downloadable Resident Evil game of the old-school style. Why has this not happened yet? It's such a no brainer. It would make fans thrilled that they're being heard and be an interesting experiment on how that kind of gameplay could work in a modern way.

I agree though; Capcom has some of the best series under their belt and have made some incredible games in the last few generations. They're suffering from two problems instead of just one: Traditional greedy arrogance seen in plenty of other big developers, and sheer, out of touch, ineptitude. That's a pretty depressing combination. I can't even muster up enough energy to be angry at Capcom, I just kind of feel sorry for them.

The solution to their woes is the same solution you'll hear for everyone else, though. Reign in marketing costs. No more six-hundred-strong development teams. Make projects more modestly. Listen to your fans; a little fan-service don't hurt. Don't copy what the big players are doing. But all of these things take a certain amount of long-thinking and humility. Big businesses never get humble. They just start cutting jobs and making phone games.

Edited by Hailinel

Capcom has certainly had some hits and misses this generation, as all publishers have, but I was wondering where do people stand on their upcoming slate? Are you optimistic of their future titles? The only ones I can think off the top of my head are:

  • Deep Down
  • Dead Rising 3
  • Strider HD

Deep Down seems interesting, from what little has been shown. I should be the owner of a PS4 when it's released, so I intend to at least look into it. Dead Rising 3 could be good, depending on the direction taken. Strider, however, I'm honestly worried about. Double Helix does not have a solid track record, and I feel like it could end up as another of Capcom's outsourcing misfires.

@yummylee: Once again, I'd play that game. But yeah, I think the only way for Resident Evil to stay relevant is going the full reboot option and figuring out what they want that series to be. But hey, even if they don't there's still that RE 1.5 fan project that seems like something that will actually come out, barring a C&D order from Capcom. Oh, and hopefully The Evil Within will be good.

They haven't sent the C&D yet, which is a good sign, unless they're waiting until the last minute to drop it. I'd love to see what the resurrected 1.5 is like. And of course, Mikami has The Evil Within, which hopefully lives up to its pedigree.

@greggd: Yeah, I always scratch my head when people get on Resident Evil for what it has become. RE4 while a good game is really just a stones throw away from what RE5 was just with added co-op stuff. And RE6 is just the continued evolution of that. And the old style RE games wouldn't fly now days either so I'm always left confused what people who lament the series direction actually want out of if because I look at 5 and 6 and most of what those games are was informed by RE4.

Honestly, I feel the same way about Resident Evil as I do Final Fantasy as there is this old storied legacy for both franchises so they are readily in the public consciousness but I think most people's tastes have changed to the point where what those franchises are doing now only appeal to a small population. Which, is fine I guess but I sort of grow tired of hearing people talk about "the good ol' days" of "X" franchise over and over again when really their tastes is most likely what has changed more than anything else.

I don't know if it's really wanting Resident Evil to go back to the old days of fixed cameras and tank controls. Resident Evil 4 is still a scary game at times with parts that will make you jump (like when chainsaw dude shows up out of nowhere), but there's also still an atmospheric sense of dread; Leon is either on his own or escorting Ashley for the entire duration of the game. In Resident Evil 5, you're instead partnered with someone equally capable and that can optionally be played by a second player. The sense of dread is lessened, and there are some serious issues with plot and character that come off as dumb, but not in the sort of way that really matches the zombie story weirdness that came before.

Posted by seveword

People rag on Capcom for on-disc DLC and re-releasing version after version of the same game, but I don't find them nearly as offensive as Activision or EA, because as you said, Capcom has been collectively shooting themselves in the foot for the last 5 or 6 years and could use a little scratch.

Resident Evil is a weird one for me. Those first 3 games had some good systems in place, but the story is crap and the controls were even worse. Most detractors make little mention of the obtuse controls, nonsensical story, and horrendous characters and voice acting, and complain that it isn't the same game that they played in 1998. Nostalgia is an bottomless hole for gamers and developers to fall into, it stifles innovation and dooms anyone commercially if they dare change the formula.

This is only my humble opinion, but developers shouldn't give gamers the games they want, they should give gamers the games they need. Just because some of their talent left for Clover and subsequently Platinum doesn't mean there aren't a boatload of incredible people still at Capcom, they just need to slow down, take stock of what they have and re-focus their efforts on making fun games.

Or they could get a Kickstarter going for Mega Man 11, raise $47 billion, and call it a day :/

Edited by Demoskinos

@hailinel: Might just be me but I've never really found Resident Evil scary at all.

Edited by GreggD

@hailinel: Might just be me but I've never really found Resident Evil scary at all.

Yeah, me neither. Creepy, sure. But never outright scary.

Posted by Hailinel

@greggd said:

@demoskinos said:

@hailinel: Might just be me but I've never really found Resident Evil scary at all.

Yeah, me neither. Creepy, sure. But never outright scary.

I wouldn't call Resident Evil scary in the same way that Fatal Frame is scary, but it's a tension ride that's built on the idea of horror and scares.

Posted by ArbitraryWater

@greggd said:

@demoskinos said:

@hailinel: Might just be me but I've never really found Resident Evil scary at all.

Yeah, me neither. Creepy, sure. But never outright scary.

Wait, you didn't metaphorically piss yourself when Mr X busted through that wall in RE2?

Online
Edited by GreggD

@greggd said:

@demoskinos said:

@hailinel: Might just be me but I've never really found Resident Evil scary at all.

Yeah, me neither. Creepy, sure. But never outright scary.

Wait, you didn't metaphorically piss yourself when Mr X busted through that wall in RE2?

Well yeah, but I was like 13 at the time. Still, that's more of a shock than a scare. Jump scares are old hat.

Posted by Hailinel

@greggd said:

@arbitrarywater said:

@greggd said:

@demoskinos said:

@hailinel: Might just be me but I've never really found Resident Evil scary at all.

Yeah, me neither. Creepy, sure. But never outright scary.

Wait, you didn't metaphorically piss yourself when Mr X busted through that wall in RE2?

Well yeah, but I was like 13 at the time. Still, that's more of a shock than a scare. Jump scares are old hat.

Resident Evil 2 was still a fine early entry in the horror genre. Certainly among the top of its era.

Posted by GreggD

@hailinel: Honestly, the thing that got me worse than that was Brad's demise at the hands of Nemesis in 3. Disturbing stuff.

Posted by Hailinel

@greggd said:

@hailinel: Honestly, the thing that got me worse than that was Brad's demise at the hands of Nemesis in 3. Disturbing stuff.

Yeah, Nemesis is crazy. And was even scarier back in the day since he was the first monster that could chase you through doors, as I recall.

Posted by ArbitraryWater

@hailinel said:

@greggd said:

@hailinel: Honestly, the thing that got me worse than that was Brad's demise at the hands of Nemesis in 3. Disturbing stuff.

Yeah, Nemesis is crazy. And was even scarier back in the day since he was the first monster that could chase you through doors, as I recall.

It's funny, because even though ammo is abundant in RE3 the game is pretty effective at making sure you run the hell away from Nemesis at all times. Sure, you get bonus items for taking him down but that's a daunting task in and of itself.

Online
Posted by DarthOrange

I really really like Resident Evil 5 and 6. I think you're fan fiction for 5 would have been all sorts of terrible. RE5 is one of my favorite games of this generation.

That said this made laugh.

@hailinel said:
If I could turn back the hands of time and then somehow convince Capcom to listen to me (one step is impossible, the other involves time travel), I'd present them with this idea.

Posted by Humanity

@hailinel: Westernization was a very real focal point of that game simply by way of it being made by a non-Japanese team for the first time ever. You can also see it in the level design and mechanics. DmC feels a lot more organic in it's design, rather than the disjointed mess you could call the levels in past DMC games; and that's on a good day. There are more checkpoints, it's a lot more approachable. Japanese games have always been really lean and somewhat held back by todays standards in terms of design. Don't get me wrong, mechanically they've been above and beyond anything we've seen in the west, Bayonetta, Demons Souls, DMC all being prime examples of this. It's more the aging menu design, the lack of in-mission checkpoints and a heavy emphasis on repeated playthroughs that are so symbolic of Japanese games. These elements were somewhat improved upon in the new DmC while the actual combat mechanics were still a step back in terms of complexity but several steps forward in accessibility.

The argument that this game fails to appeal to either group has also always seemed pretty weak to me. Rational, level-headed DMC fans would be happy to play a new game in the series and try to master the new combat system instead of deeming it beneath them to even put in any effort. Considering the character action genre is a withering desert devoid of any worthwhile releases, it's a rare treat to play a game as well designed as DmC. At the same time newcomers would see this game as interesting and worthy a try. Obviously numbers don't lie and this game didn't sell well so neither party really bought it. Was it poor marketing? Poor brand awareness? The negative lashback from irrational fans that scared potential buyers away? Maybe it was just the unique situation where once in a while a good game simply fails to sell.

Posted by Hailinel

@humanity: Rational,level-headed DMC fans that have posted in this thread would disagree with your viewpoints. There's only so much you can blame irrational fans for before the game's failure to sell has to be turned back on the marketing, PR, and the game itself.

And as for the game itself, DmC is not DMC. The mechanics don't follow how DMC is traditionally played when you're throwing things like color-coded enemies and weapons into the mix. Is it necessarily a bad game design? No, but it's not DMC, either. And your argument that DmC is "more organic" falls flat, as you fail to actually describe what that means. Whether the earlier games were to your taste or not, "western" is not synonymous with "superior."

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