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Resident Evil 2 -- Capcom Surprised by Strong Pre-Orders; Discusses Focus on Reception over Sales

Capcom was concerned on how Resident Evil 2's camera and point of view would be received, but the choices they made are paying off.

Resident Evil 2 has received a lot of attention since its reveal at E3 2018, and today Capcom Europe Chief Operating Officer Stuart Turner and  Marketing Director Antoine Molant talked about it extensively in an interview on Gamesindustry.

First of all, we hear from Turner why the game features a third-person camera.

“We had discussions on whether we could make a game that was everything for everyone. For those guys who want tank controls and want fixed cameras… can we do that?”

“But the world has moved on and these players have changed. And if we did [introduce old school mechanics], these fans might play it and actually decide it’s not what they wanted after all. But we played around with a few things in development. We did try first-person, we did try fixed camera. But the way the game has been designed, we decided that a third-person view works better.”

That being said, Capcom was certainly not unconcerned about whether the change would be received well by the fans, as explained by Molant.

“That was probably the main worry, or question mark, that we had. We knew there were expectations around the game, and we knew it looked great and would be a good game. But around the point of the tank controls and fixed cameras, we were worried that the fanbase would be divided. But, although there might have been some initial dissenting voices, the reaction was overwhelmingly positive.”

Turner explains that the publisher was concerned about who the game would appeal to, but they’re seeing pre-orders, and they’re “a little taken aback by how well it has gone down.”

Interestingly, Capcom decided against adding the word “remake” to the title, because they want to deliver the message that it’s a major launch like Resident Evil 7 Biohazard. The two games were developed in parallel, so there are currently two separate teams working on mainline games within the franchise.

According to Turner, while Capcom has shareholders to appease, they’re also concerned about the artistic factor. While Resident Evil 6 sold more than its successor,is “completely fine” in terms of profitability, and it was very well received, which is relevant for the publisher.

“In some respects, getting some very good review scores counts as much for Capcom as a game that sells millions and millions and millions. We’d prefer a game that got a 9 and sold less, than got a 6 but sold more.”

That being said, Capcom is currently looking much more at long-term sales compared to the day-one rush. Resident Evil 7 is doing “amazingly” in the long run.

Speaking more of Resident Evil 2, it’s coming in the last week of January. The senior management team Capcom tends to like that window because they prefer not to compete against companies spending tens of millions in marketing. Turner mentions that Capcom is in some respects “a boutique” publisher, so the January windows fits the company well.

Launching before Christmas has inherent rewards, but also risks. As a Japanese publisher, Capcom prefers to avoid risks rather than gamble on massive success. Even if that’s not always the case, like with Monster Hunter World.

If you want to see more about Resident Evil 2, you can enjoy the latest gameplay, some info on the Collector’s Edition, Claire, and the box art some more recent gameplay the announcement trailer, and the first screenshots and details. You can also read our hands-on preview.

Resident Evil 2 will launch on January 25th, 2019 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. You can already pre-order the game and the Deluxe Edition on Amazon.

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Giuseppe Nelva

Hailing from sunny (not as much as people think) Italy and long standing gamer since the age of Mattel Intellivision and Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Definitely a multi-platform gamer, he still holds the old dear PC nearest to his heart, while not disregarding any console on the market. RPGs (of any nationality) and MMORPGs are his daily bread, but he enjoys almost every other genre, prominently racing simulators, action and sandbox games. He is also one of the few surviving fans of the flight simulator genre on Earth.

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