Capcom believes the core Resident Evil fanbase is growing old
If you’ve been a fan of the Resident Evil franchise since its more humble days as a purely survival horror experience (think just about any entry pre-Resident Evil 5), you’re probably an old fogy who just doesn’t get it anymore. Or at least that’s what Capcom’s HQ seems to think.
According to a recent posting on Capcom’s official Investor Relations website, company executives feel those who have been playing the series since its inception are now a bunch of 30-40 somethings that are likely to grow away from gaming at any given time. Their solution? To make the series hip and trendy for the young people!
So how did Capcom go about drawing in the younger demographic? The examples mentioned in the posting are the collaboration between the company and popular Japanese fashion brands and the Resident Evil themed restaurant that opened up shop in Tokyo’s Shibuya District. Examples of Capcom’s youth outreach outside of Japan include the Halloween Horror Nights haunted house that was established at Universal Studios Orlando last Halloween and of course, the Resident Evil film franchise.
Capcom contributes these efforts to the success of Resident Evil 6, which sold 5.2 million copies world-wide. It feels kinda weird calling it success since this was originally seen as a failure given the company’s originally projected exceptions were between seven and six million in sales.
Speaking of Resident Evil 6, this whole appealing to the younger demographic thing is likely the explanation as to why that game focused more on being an action game that had zombies in it, as opposed to a survival horror game.
Although, if Capcom really is checking in on what the 18-29 demo finds cool, perhaps they’re observing how well smaller scale horror films have done in theaters this year, largely in part due to that audience. Sure, they didn’t make as much as some of the bigger blockbusters but they still turned a nice profit.
So perhaps Capcom could learn from that and ditch the elaborate set pieces for Resident Evil 7 and return to the series to its tighter and more intimate roots. It might not have that precious mass appeal, but it’d make money, which at the end of day is what the company wants.
Will we see that happen? Maybe, I mean if Resident Evil Revelations was greenlit, there’s a decent chance it could happen. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.