The Resident Evil series has strayed a bit from its survival horror roots, heading in a more action-oriented direction. Resident Evil: Revelations producer Masachika Kawata believes the main series needs to keep moving in that direction to appeal to a western audience, but claims side-stories like his recent game can provide more of the classic, creepy atmospheric gameplay.
"Especially for the North American market, I think the series needs to head in that [action-oriented] direction," Kawata told Gamasutra. "[Resident Evil's primary games] need to be an extension of the changes made in Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5. And I think that especially for the North American market, we need to keep going in that direction, and take that a step further. And that's exactly one of the reasons that Revelations is the way it is."
He says that Resident Evil 4 and 5 "aren't shooters, per se," and so he doesn't think the upcoming Resident Evil 6 needs to move all the way toward an action spectacle like Call of Duty. Projects like Revelations, meanwhile, can be a bit more classical.
"So we have our numbered series, and we can say we have a more adventure-oriented version, like a Revelations-style game. And we also have Operation: Raccoon City, which is a third-person shooter. So I think that by extending the market in this sense, we can still have the numbered titles keep their identity about what Resident Evil is supposed to be, but still expand and hit other markets as well."
Appealing to the western market has been a struggle for some Japanese developers, and Capcom has made efforts to capture the market with changes to Resident Evil and new series like Dead Rising. Former Capcom exec Keiji Inafune has been very critical of the Japanese industry, both before he left the company and after, so maybe some of his influence is showing in Capcom's efforts.