Capcom have spoken to IGN about the possibility of two of its more forgotten franchises – Dino Crisis and Onimusha – making a possible return this generation. If you’ve just had a “Oh Yeah! Where the hell have they been?” moment, the main reason we’ve been starved of Dino Samurai love appears to be rooted in economics. As in, follow-ups in each series didn’t exactly bring home the bickies for the Japanese publisher.
Christian Svensson, Capcom VP of Strategic Planning and Business Development, said:
“Onimusha is tricky in particular given how Japanese-focused the franchise has been. When you look at the timing and sales trend of how Onimusha has gone each outing – I won’t give you the exact numbers, but let’s just say every outing subsequently has been about 60% of the prior – the brand doesn’t right now have quite the resilience that you might think. While Onimusha 1 and Onimusha 2 are among our more successful titles, Onimusha 3 and Onimusha Dawn of Dreams, not so much.”
The company hasn’t forgotten its demon-slashing title, however, though by the sounds of things Capcom are hardly chomping at the bit to reinvent the Demon Warrior wheel. He continues:
“It’s not forgotten internally, there are discussions that go on, but I don’t think anyone has sort has come up with the ‘that’s it’ idea of how to get the game back up to 3 or 4 million units. You may see some things of the brand pop up in the future, I can’t say what, but there are certainly discussions about it.”
It’s not a lot, but it’s something.
Things are looking less rosy for Resident Evil inspired (in terms of presentation and gameplay dynamics) Dino Crisis. It’s been eight years since its last appearance and we’re not holding our breath a new edition will ever see the light of day. Svensson states:
“Dino Crisis 3 I think is where it went off the rails if I recall. Dino Crisis’ success really was an out cropping of Resident Evil 1 and 2. There are discussions, Dino Crisis comes up from time to time, but there isn’t any burning desire from R&D or the business side to light that franchise back up again. Until there’s an internal champion with something incredible, things just sort of sit there.”
Svensson goes on to comment that the Dino Crisis model of yesteryear just wouldn’t work in today’s gaming arena. If, and it’s a big if, the reptilian franchise’s DNA is ever extracted from some amber, expect it to follow its Resident Evil cousin and have its gameplay completely reimagined.