The former creative force behind the Resident Evil series reveals that the critical and commercial blockbuster that was Resident Evil 4 might have been a very different game had things gone according to plan for Capcom.
Shinji Mikami is one of most respected names in the video game industry today. The mastermind behind the Resident Evil series, Mikami played a big part in creating some of Capcom’s most beloved franchises, including Devil May Cry, Viewtiful Joe, and Ace Attorney.
He recently spoke about the survival horror genre, and when Shinji Mikami talks about survival horror, you’d better pay attention. Mikami revealed that the shift in tone from the earlier Resident Evil games towards the more action oriented Resident Evil 4 occurred because of the commercial failure of the Resident Evil remake on the Gamecube.
The Resident Evil remake on Gamecube was extremely well received by critics, but it didn’t click with enough gamers and was considered a flop by Capcom.
Mikami notes that the sales figures of that title made him tinker with the tried and true Resident Evil formula.
“The Resident Evil remake is actually one of my favorites of the series too. But it didn’t sell very well. Maybe there weren’t many people ready to accept that. Because of the reaction to the Resident Evil remake,” he said in an interview with IGN. “I decided to work more action into Resident Evil 4. Resident Evil 4 would have been a more scary, horror-focused game if the remake had sold well.”
Resident Evil 4 had a rather twisted development process. It was a pure horror title at one extreme, and so action focused on the other that Capcom eventually made Devil May Cry from the remains of the latter concept. However, we all know that this story has a happy ending. Resident Evil 4 is considered by many to be the best game in the franchise, and has sold over 7 million copies over all platforms including the HD re-release.
Shinji Mikami is now going back to his survival horror roots with his new game, The Evil Within, which will be released sometime in 2014.