Capcom Prefers Better Ratings Over Sales Going Forward
This new approach emphasizes quality over quantity.
By Chris Morse
We are reaching a point in the gaming industry where we are slowly putting lower-quality titles behind us in favor for more ambitious, critically-claimed releases along the likes of God of War. Despite being time-consuming and expensive to develop, the emphasis on quality pays off with matching financial success. It turns out that gamers really like good games. Who would've thought?
This isn't universally the case across the board, but successes like God of War have spoken and studios are beginning to take notice. Take Capcom, who are no doubt aware of this as they develop fresh installments for two of their major franchises of the past with the Resident Evil 2 remake and upcoming Devil May Cry 5. Although the development cycle for the former wasn't incredibly long, the RE Engine was already in place and the team quietly got to work while fans speculated away.
What we have seen so far has the potential for a high-quality product and that is apparently by design. Capcom Europe COO Stuart Turner chimed in and revealed that even though there is always a bottom line to consider, a game being well-received is more important to them than its raw profitability. In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, Turner laid it out well for fans as follows.
While we have shareholders to appease, it's not just about commercial performance. If we compare Resident Evil 7 to Resident Evil 6, the absolute numbers are not the same, in terms of the profitability... It's completely fine. It ticked all of our boxes internally. It was really well received. And in some respects, getting some very good review scores counts as much for Capcom as a game that sells millions and millions and millions. We'd prefer a game that got a 9 and sold less, than got a 6 but sold more.
Turner also spoke about the internal conversations regarding how to present Resident Evil 2 in the best possible way, whether that is first- or third-person with classic or more modern controls. There was a lot to consider, as he explained nicely in the comments below.
That was probably the main worry, or question mark, that we had. We knew there were expectations around the game, and we knew it looked great and would be a good game. But around the point of the tank controls and fixed cameras, we were worried that the fanbase would be divided. But, although there might have been some initial dissenting voices, the reaction was overwhelmingly positive.
We were concerned internally about who RE2 would appeal to. With RE7 we had done this first-person thing, and with RE2 we've done this thing that looks great, but it's also back a step. So the response to that, the pre-orders we've seen already... we have been a little taken aback by how well it has gone down.
All in all, this interview contained plenty of interesting insight into the conversations happening behind the scenes at Capcom with these games in development. We would say they're taking the right approach and we hope to see it pay off with these new titles from the developer.