Dead Rising has taken more than a few turns for the silly, to the point that a major plot point in the second game revolved around a zombie-killing gameshow. When Capcom set about making Dead Rising 3, it wanted to tone down the wackiness, if for nothing else than to make zombies scary again.
"We didn’t want to be funny first," executive producer Josh Bridge told IGN. "It eroded to the point of, 'Are we even making a zombie game?' We didn't want to be clown-shoes with the tone. The goal with Dead Rising 3 then became to bring the focus back on zombies as a frightening enemy."
That said, they knew they couldn't ditch the weirdness entirely without feeling like it was losing a part of its identity. Art director Alan Jarvie remarked on how difficult it was to balance that duality between fear and funny. "It was kind of an art direction nightmare," Jarvie said. "You're trying to do two things at once, it's a two-faced game. You've got to give a nod to both of those palettes at the same time."