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Capcom didn't forget about Deep Down, the free-to-play, action-RPG exclusive for Sony's PlayStation 4. It's just a bit delayed because... well, they're trying to make it better than what it was originally supposed to be.
Siliconera grabbed some choice quotes from an interview Capcom's corporate officer and producer, Yoshinori Ono, had with gaming outlet 4Gamer.
The bubbly producer known for working on legendary titles like Street Fighter and Darkstalker, explained what the hold-up was with Deep Down, a game that has been absent from the media spotlight for quite some time.
According to Ono...
“It looks like deep down will take just a little longer. It also looks like some people are starting to ask ‘did the development come to a halt?’ but it’s nothing like that,” ... “We’re thinking about showing something that looks completely different from what previously shown, although it might be a while from now.”
If that sounds a bit hazy, Ono actually further explains the situation without going into too much detail. Apparently the game's direction has shifted as to what would be the focus and features as far as gameplay goes, with Ono stating...
“The ideas we have for the game is much larger now compared to when we first announced it,”... “Rather, the ideas we had before might not have been good enough.”
Ah, so there you have it. The ideas weren't “good enough”.
I think it's one of those things where it could be a simple matter of comparing a hack-and-slash dungeon crawler with some of the games coming out today and realizing it takes a bit more than a simple design and some fancy graphics to win over the mainstream audience.
We've recently seen how a game like The Order 1886 caught a lot of flak for not being long enough and having enough gameplay diversity to justify its price. This is something Ono mentions, stating...
“When it comes to the service of online games, it’s a long-term challenge, so we must make sure to do the necessary parts correctly at the launch of the service, otherwise it’d be a shame to have an amusing game and not have any players stick around”
The last thing Capcom would want is to end up in the same boat as Ready at Dawn, being pelted with criticisms for one thing or another, especially when comparisons to previous outings from the studio – such as the action-RPG Dragon's Dogma – will be used as the measure stick for Deep Down. And let's not forget that Dragon's Dogma was critically acclaimed for its gameplay, boss fights and questing, heck the game even managed to get its own MMO spin-off.
It would be a little embarrassing on Capcom's end if Deep Down couldn't live up to the features of Dragon's Dogma, or turned out to be less engaging or gameplay-rich as something like From Software's Dark Souls series. Ono expresses the apprehension the team had about capturing the intended target audience, saying...
“when looking back at the previous ideas we had for deep down, we felt concerns about it not being able to capture an audience as we would’ve liked, so it was decided to give it more time so that we can further enhance it.”
If the team has taken some ideas back to the drawing board to flesh them out further so that there's a rich, praiseworthy experience bundled into the Deep Down package when it's time to launch, and that the cash shop setup is handled properly, then it'll all be worth it.
Hopefully we'll get to see more of Deep Down for the PS4 when E3 2015 draws closer. I imagine the dearth of media footage and press materials may turnaround when June gets here.