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Resident Evil 4’s action focus came from “commercial failure” of Resident Evil remake

Posted on September 26, 2013 by (@NE_Brian) in GameCube, General Nintendo, News, Podcast Stories, Wii

Resident Evil 4 adopted a fairly different approach than its predecessors. For the game’s development, Capcom decided to make the game more action-oriented.

This was a conscious decision made by Shinji Mikami, who was director of the project. Because the 2002 remake of Resident Evil was a “commercial failure”, Mikami wanted to emphasize gameplay as opposed to scaring players.

Mikami told IGN in a new interview:

“If you want to keep a great horror game franchise, you have to work with people who really like horror games. If you bring in developers from other places, you’re going to end up with a more action-oriented game. With Resident Evil 4, I intended to make more of an action game–5 and 6 were outside of my responsibility, of course–but with Resident Evil 2 and 3, that wasn’t necessarily the intention I started with. They just naturally became more like action games.

“I suspect that Dead Space followed the same path. It naturally became more about action. When developers think about their players… I don’t think it’s the case that they were thinking, ‘Okay, if we want to go from two million units to four million units, we need to put in more action.’ It’s a more intuitive process than that.”

“With Resident Evil 1, 2, 3, and all the rest of the series before Resident Evil 4, I was always saying to the staff, ‘Scaring the player is the number one thing.’ But for the first time, in Resident Evil 4, I told the team that fun gameplay is the most important thing. That’s what I said. Then the second thing [would be ] nothing. And then the third thing is to be scary. That’s what I said to the team. That all came out of the commercial failure of the Resident Evil remake. And then of course Resident Evil 4 sold really well. I have kind of a lingering trauma there, because the Resident Evil remake didn’t sell – much more than people would think.”


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