Outspoken game developer of Eat, Sleep, Play, was asked rather blatantly by fans what he would have done to change Resident Evil 6, the latest blockbuster from Capcom. He lays out a rather simple plan, mostly by saying that he would cut down on the budget, cut down on the staff and cut down on all bloat.
In a Twitter post [via Destructoid], Jaffe explains that exactly what procedures he would have taken to make Resident Evil 6 both successful and cost efficient, writing...
CHOP THE DEVELOPMENT BUDGET. Give a small, hungry, visionary team 3-5 million bucks, make a 2-3 hour digital only game and put the money into paying for a creative way to reinvent the genre. Hell, if I was not doing what I was doing now you can BET I'd be out on Kickstarter trying to raise 400-700K for my take on a super low budget horror game with the goal of making the SCARIEST game of all time!
Ah, the Amnesia, Routine, Montas route. Low cost of production; focused directive; potential for yielding good sales returns. That's a method I'd like to see applied more to varying genres outside of platform titles and first-person horror games.
As it stands, games like Resident Evil 6 have such bloated budgets that they have to sell anywhere between 3 and 5 million copies to be considered a success. The goal is usually to move about 8 million copies and hope it turns enough of a profit to raise capital for the next over-bloated outing. It's funny that big pubs don't want to risk money on smaller games because it's risky yet the entire AAA business model is a risky piece of recycled crap.
Based on review scores, the highlight of the game is Leon's campaign. The low points of the game is everything else. Technically, Capcom could have gone for a single Leon campaign with polished gameplay and the always enjoyable Mercenary Mode, which would have eased up on the production budget massively. The game would have sold on name alone and review scores probably would have been a lot more forgiving.
Money reaped from the Leon campign could have gone towards a Jake/Sherry campaign, which should have already been in pre-production in case Leon's campaign was successful. This would have given Capcom leeway to experiment a bit more and they would still make money on brand name alone.
Ultimately, by trying to appeal to the Call of Duty audience Capcom raised the potential to move more units but at the same time they risk the alienation of their fanbase.
Jaffe also mentions that he hasn't played the game yet, and he's not knocking the developers because getting any big game out there is a feat in itself, but he mentions that based on the vitriol the franchise could use a “rethink.”