Monday, December 30, 2013

Capcom Called Us Old!

Capcom has released a mini-feature, "The Secret of Success: Resident Evil" to mark the 17 years the franchise has been in our hands. And while the series has had it's ups and downs, the name has become recognized globally for it's steadfastness in the horror, third-person shooter genre and that games can be box office gold.

It's been doing well, all things considered. I know some people were none-to-happy with the direction of the sixth game, but it received a happy medium that still produced sales. Capcom fans are pretty loyal, so I'm surprised they would allow themselves to publish this statement: "The longevity of the "Resident Evil" title also comes with problems. The main user group is now in their late-30s to 40s, and the average age is also going up as the series goes on with an increasing possibility that some percentage of the existing users will outgrow games altogether."

That's a fast way to piss off your clientele. Remind us that we're getting older. Thanks guys!

While I understand the need for businesses to market to younger audiences to ensure a future for their product, you don't call your current users old. You also don't alienate them. Because the younger crew are not as easy to accept known-gaming franchises to their lineup, in which case you can always bank on your sales from the core customers.

Capcom wants to create more opportunities to lure in a younger market, from fashion magazines and merchandise, to Resident Evil themed caf├ęs. I'm not digging that latter suggestion, but the tag-team joint with Universal Studios to hold the Halloween Horror Night at the park in Japan IS a good idea. And, frankly, it makes the most amount of sense for tie-ins.

The problem, as I see it, with the waning interest in the RE games is within Capcom itself. In fact, it's the same issue we're seeing with a lot of developers. Many of them are tied to the old model of business and not embracing the uniqueness of the social media games. Products and stories of greater quality with much smaller budgets are being given to the public for next to nothing (and sometimes nothing at all) with the promise of more if they pay and play (it's been a successful venture for many companies), and turning into hits. It's not an issue of the fan base getting older, because we'll always be there. Management should probably review themselves first before calling us out.


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