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One of the common trends in brand name franchises is getting the game out there to as many people as possible and hoping that the game can hit Call of Duty status, the coveted $1 billion in one month. The executive producer for Resident Evil 6 has come out to defend the game of the mxied bag of review scores that are mostly very critical of the game, saying that they had to ensure that the game was broadly appealing enough to warrant good sales.
In an interview with the Official European PlayStation Blog, producer Hiroyuki Kobayashi commented on the recent swarm of review scores that didn't universally praise the game, saying...
“... it's our job to create a new gaming experience and to offer them something that's fresh and challenging. We want to make sure that what we do pleases them but the initial reaction might not always be positive. We do listen to the fans but we can't be beholden to them at every turn or I don't think we'll ever make progress in terms of the series' development."
The common complaint from fans of the series has been that the game is no longer horror-survival or horror at all, mostly just action. Many of the changes for Resident Evil 6 was to make it more competitive in the action genre, as Kobayashi believes that it's necessary to sustain the series, despite the fact that reviewers and gamers aren't really digging all the changes.
In a separate interview with 1UP [via Dealspwn], the producer stated that...
We're making games and we need to have mass-market appeal in order to survive. It becomes an issue of tracking one way or the other. 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? Where's the Venn diagram that shows the happy medium of those things? 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. personally speaking, I really do like horror. I like it as a genre. 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.
The problem is that the game's evolution wasn't that of horror at all, it's relatively flat. The game that does evolve the horror genre, though, is Ubisoft's upcoming ZombiU, putting players in a rather thought-provoking environment with truly terrifying results.
Both Amnesia and DayZ have also gained a lot of momentum and sales via word of mouth, for being both original and horror-inducing. The biggest complaint about Resident Evil 6 has been that it's neither scary nor challenging and that the game didn't evolve it simply tried to change genres.
There's a reason for that, though. Capcom producer Masachika Kawata revealed that the Resident Evil brand has to move more toward action to pick up the casual Call of Duty crowd in order to garner Call of Duty-like sales. Ultimately, it's not about the evolution or growth of the brand, it's about how much money it can make, and Capcom can make more money imitating a popular brand as opposed to creatively expanding on the one that they have.
None of this is to say that Resident Evil 6 isn't or won't be a fun experience for fans or horror-survival enthusiasts, it's just that you can expect a lot more hand-holding from now on as the series must maintain broad appeal, just like what EA is doing with Dead Space 3, in order to garner as many sales as possible.