Sometimes a company just likes to stir the pot. Other times they look at a long running franchise that many have come to associate with a certain iconic character and decide a change is needed. Going into the development of the new Devil May Cry, Capcom approached Ninja Theory with the idea of completely revamping the look of the previously silver haired hero.
In an interview with IGN, Capcom’s VP of Strategic Planning and Business Development Christian Svensson says that Capcom was well aware of what they were getting into with this new Dante redesign:
"I will argue that any changes will bring about a knee-jerk reaction from fans," ... "We know that; we knew that going into it. To be fair, I think some of the strategy here was to create that discussion and dialogue, and I think it drastically raises the visibility of the title versus if we had just done another Dante."
In the interview Svensson says that, at first, Ninja Theory came back with character designs for Dante that fell too closely in line with what gamers had come to expect. The head honchos at Capcom told Ninja Theory to go back to the drawing board and gave them the freedom to be as bold as they wanted to. Several proposals later, and the group landed on the Dante we have seen in the TGS trailer for the game.
Going into the marketing campaign for the game, Capcom knew there was going to be a significant backlash to the new look. As an origin story, this new Devil May Cry is meant to further flesh out what gamers know about Dante as well as include a few surprises. Redesigning the character only added to making this new Dante someone that gamers were going to be reintroduced to.
After hearing Ninja Theory talk at length about Dante’s look and how they plan to approach the gameplay of Devil May Cry, I have complete faith that the game will have some very interesting elements. With Enslaved, Ninja Theory has shown themselves to be accomplished storytellers. Accomplished enough to put time and care into the back-story of a character that any element, including a drastic punk-inspired look, should be an organic extension of the game.
How do you feel about Capcom actively pursuing a Dante redesign? Does it feel like an insult to fans or do you see it as a necessity when taking a beloved character in a new direction?
Devil May Cry currently has no release date.