Resident Evil is one of gaming's most beloved franchises, even if the recent entries haven't been doing so well. Many fans that have been with the series for a long time have been calling for a return to the series' survival/horror roots, something that has been increasingly lost as the series has developed.
The last main entry in the series, Resident Evil 6, attempted to appeal to many people by having three different stories that allowed three different styles of gameplay, with one being primarily survival/horror, another being primarily action based, and so on. While good in intent, this strategy ended up falling short and caused the game to garner mediocre reviews and to fall two million sales below Capcom's original expectations. It did still sell well, with five million units being sold worldwide, but it did not get the attention that Capcom wanted.
Capcom believes that they have found the solution, though, by listening to their fans. They believe that the next Resident Evil game should return to the series' survival/horror roots in order to give fans the game that they yearn for, and they say that the next game will "likely be more targeted at our core fanbase." This move echoes the direction seen in Resident Evil: Revelations, which was well-received on the Nintendo 3DS and has seen multi-console release since then.
The news of the future of Resident Evil comes to us via MCV talking to former Capcom marketing boss Michael Pattison, and everything he said on the topic can be seen below.
"We have obviously seen the consumer response and the PR response [to Resident Evil 6]. There was some great positives out of that, but it was a mixed bag, as we saw from the review scores. We have got to take that on-board, we can't ignore that, and we have to take that onto the next game when we make the next Resident Evil."
"With Resident Evil 6 specifically, we probably put too much content in there, there were comments from consumers that said it felt bloated. The Leon missions went down very well, and because we did Resident Evil Revelations on 3DS, there was a cry out for us to focus our attention on survival horror, rather than be too many things to all people. You’ll find where we go next will likely be more targeted at our core fanbase."
"A lot is said about the saturation of this zombie, post-apocalyptic survival horror. But it is still alive and well. The Last of Us shows a good direction of what the consumers want. Tomb Raider as well, we spoke to R&D and they looked at that and they enjoyed that experience. I think that proves there is still a strong market for that sort of content." — Michael Pattison
So Capcom has been inspired by the successes of the The Last of Us and Tomb Raider to return to the Resident Evil series' roots, a move which many fans will be excited about. Here's hoping that this plan works out and that Resident Evil does return to its basics and capitalizes off the successes of games like The Last of Us.