The Resident Evil franchise has been beloved to many, or at least was. Despite the release of Resident Evil: Revelations many people have given up on the franchise thanks to the horror and co-op focused mainline Resident Evil releases. A Capcom released article titled The Secret of Success “Resident Evil” stresses that “there is a constant need to gain new users” which can also be interpreted as “we want a wider audience”.
The article also goes on to explain that “the main user group is now in their late-30s to 40s” due to the age of the Resident Evil franchise. This is their reasoning behind needing new users all the time. The Resident Evil games have always strived to be in the style of a Hollywood horror film, which is why the original Japanese release had English voice-overs in favour of Japanese.
Since the success of Resident Evil 4 was so big they sought to replicate that, to further increase their sales. Which they achieved with the release of Resident Evil 5 and later Resident Evil 6 with a modest 5.2 million sales. Despite the large amount of sales Capcom was unsatisfied, since its prequel sold an additional 1.2 million sales. So they claim to return to the horror roots with 7. Whether or not this will be true remains to be seen, they may very well see Resident Evil 5 as a horror game where many fans do not.
Capcom has seen a decrease in profits, despite their increase in sales. This clearly shows that they are expanding and spending far too much. Their ambition has overtaken what they can handle. Capcom are notorious for squeezing every last cent out of their consumer-base by relentlessly releasing large amounts of micro-transactions and on disc DLC. Their justifications for such are always pitiful and transparent.
Yet they still boast that Resident Evil as a franchise is a success. Which is probably true but it makes one wonder if they aren’t spending too much of their budget on marketing and not enough on video game production. Along side the success of Monster Hunter, Street Fighter and Dragon’s Dogma you would think that they would be gaining in profit, not losing it.
What does the profit loss mean for Resident Evil? It means that they will want to make it as mainstream as possible whilst keeping just enough of the original franchise to keep the fan base happy. Although if it weren’t for the Revelations release, there probably wouldn’t be much of a dedicated fan base left, at least not those who have followed the series from the original release. Yet they claim that their dedicated fan base aged 35-40 is their biggest consumer-base.
It seems that Resident Evil 7 will most likely be a homage to Resident Evil 5 thanks to the “disappointing” sales of 6, hopefully they will keep to their word about returning to horror, however if they keep in the co-op aspect it’s unlikely that this will be achieved.