People would have tired of Resident Evil if it had stuck to survival-horror

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Resident Evil is one of those franchises that will be around for a long time still, or at least until Capcom gets sick of the Paul Anderson films that are being cranked out and decide to bury the franchise.

From its roots in pure survival-horror to its rejuvenation as an action-suspense game, Resident Evil has been through quite a few changes over the years, and the fans haven’t always been happy. If you picked up a copy of Resident Evil: The Mercenaries earlier this year, then you no doubt played some of the demo that was included on it for Revelations, which see’s a return to the horror roots for the game.

Chances are also good then, that you probably had to change your bed sheet covers if you played this alone at night like I did. But the producer of Resident Evil says that the franchise has needed to change with the times, in order to remain relevant in today’s market.

With Revelations being stronger on horror, and development on Operation Raccoon City favouring a third-person shooter action approach, there’s plenty of variety among the undead citizens of this universe.

Producer Masachika Kawata explained all this in an interview with Gamasutra. “At the core, basically, we want to make the best use of our brand. Resident Evil is an IP, and a franchise, that people have loved for a long time”, Kawata said.

“It’s still very, very popular and we’re very, very happy about that, and we want to basically answer all the requests that we get about the series. People want to see a lot of different experiences within the Resident Evil universe, and so we’ve been fortunate enough to be able to answer those requests with a lot of different experiences, in different forms, in games”.

This isn’t the first time that the Resident Evil series has deviated from its roots, with games such as RE: Dead Aim and Survivor featuring a light gun shooter design, RE: Outbreak acting as an online game basically, while the RE: Chronicles and Zero games were much more puzzle-orientated.

Its this variety that make the franchise so enduring, Kawata feels. “It’s still very, very popular and we’re very, very happy about that, and we want to basically answer all the requests that we get about the series”, Kawata said.

“People want to see a lot of different experiences within the Resident Evil universe, and so we’ve been fortunate enough to be able to answer those requests with a lot of different experiences, in different forms, in games”.

“But in my mind, we’ve got this online shooter game, we’ve got other things like Mercenaries that are even more action-focused, and some other games. And by going in a lot of different directions, I’m pretty confident that people are going to still be enjoying Resident Evil for a long time”.

Kawata has some valid points there, as experimentation with a franchise is always a good idea, especially when spread out over multiple games, in order to appeal to as wide a market as possible. While I was never too fond of the original Resident Evil games, due largely to the fact that I’m a complete wimp when it comes to scary games, the more action-packed Resident Evil 4 and 5 games resonated better with my tastes.

Its this very variety that will keep the franchise alive and kicking for many more years still.

Last Updated: October 12, 2011

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