Following a chilling viral tease, Capcom unveiled Resident Evil 6 at the beginning of January - with an action packed trailer that caused many fans to wonder if the developer wasn't abandoning the series' survival horror roots entirely. Then came news that the studio is interested in attracting Call of Duty fans to the franchise, further solidifying the notion that Resident Evil 6 would bear a close resemblance to the action-focused experience of Resident Evil 5 - as opposed to the "back to square one" reboot that some die-hard fans had been wanting.
That said, the direction of Resident Evil 6 is in-line with Capcom's long-range plans for the series - exemplified by the publishers decision to launch the upcoming title alongside other blockbuster properties set for release in Holiday 2012 (Assassin's Creed 3, Halo 4, and the yet-to-be [officially] announced Black Ops 2).
Speaking with Game Informer, Senior Vice President of Planning and Business Development at Capcom, Christian Svensson, offered up his thoughts on the new high traffic release window (as opposed to the January and March launch dates of Resident Evil 4 and 5, respectively):
We’re saying, "Get the hell out of the way." We’re a big game. We’re letting you know we’re coming. We’re giving people plenty of room to move around us. The other part is the nuts and bolts of it. If we put our stake in the ground, we can start lining up retail channel promotions, etc.
Despite a number of reports to the contrary, Svensson also maintains that Resident Evil 6 will successfully balance opening the franchise up for those new "Call of Duty" players - while also staying true to the title's survival horror roots. It's especially interesting to see Capcom courting FPS players with RE6 - since many industry followers figured that Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City was going to be the publisher's answer to FPS-action fans, allowing the core Resident Evil series to focus more on atmosphere and (
I think Revelations did a good job of appealing to both audiences. There are classic elements in that game. I don’t think it’s at all an impossibility. I won’t get into the details too much about what the Resident Evil 6 team’s intentions were because we’ll talk about that more at Captivate. I think they’ll say the same thing, and that is part of the fun is figuring out how to scratch the itch of both audiences.
It'll certainly be interesting to see whether or not the Resident Evil series can truly compete with other traditional Holiday season heavy-hitters - like the Assassin's Creed, Halo, and Call of Dutyfranchises. It's not an unrealistic goal for Capcom, since Resident Evil 5 sold impressive numbers over time (over 5.8 million copies by June 2011) - though, comparatively, Assassin's Creed 2 (which launched months later) has far-surpassed those numbers (9 million copies by January 2010).
That said, Resident Evil 6, which Svensson describes as "the biggest Resident Evil game ever," definitely has a lot going for it - with new features that include a dynamic conversation system, more versatile (and faster moving) enemy types, and improved character mobility - not to mention rumored 6 player co-op.
As an aside from all the future Resident Evil 6 talk, Svensson also reflected on one of Capcom's embarrassing slip-ups - an overly-obvious typo on the Resident Evil: Revelations packing dubbing the game "Resident Evil: Revelaitons." While the SVP somewhat laughs at the problem, it's obvious he wasn't laughing when 90,000 copies of the game went out with the typo:
I can’t even tell you how many people looked at that package and approved it. Nintendo of America, Nintendo Japan, ESRB, I don’t know how many people internally, and our guys in Japan. I can’t come up with an excuse for it. It just happened. We’re not happy about it [...] There are only about 90,000 units that have the misprint. If you’ve got it and it’s shrink-wrapped, that’s a new special edition, that’s our new strategy. [laughs]
Check back here at Game Rant for more information on Capcom Holiday blockbuster Resitend Evil 6 (sorry, couldn't resist).
Resident Evil 6 releases November 20, 2012, on the PS3 and Xbox 360, with a PC release to follow.
Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for further updates.
Source: Game Informer