In the past two years, indie developer Telltale Games has found great success with its episodic, story-driven adventure titles, “The Walking Dead” and “The Wolf Among Us.” Despite their release approach, a semi-steady stream of content reminiscent of television shows, the games garnered not only critical acclaim, but also sales success.
This episodic approach, while proven a worthwhile venture by the team at Telltale, is an angle from which AAA development and publishing studios have shied away. Until now.
Capcom will release parts of “Resident Evil Revelations 2” one per week, during a month in early 2015. It’s important to note "Revelations 2" isn’t part of the main "Resident Evil" line, which has focused more on action and gunplay than survival horror in recent installments. The first "Revelations" game was broken up into episodes as well, but the entire game shipped on Day 1. The game’s producer, Michiteru Okabe, says it’s just a logical evolution of the "Revelations" series.
“Even the original ['Resident Evil] Revelations,'” Okabe said in an interview at New York Comic Con, “the way the story is presented, it was done in an episodic format, almost like a television show. We wanted to take that to the next level, so we thought it’d make sense to release [the episodes] one week at a time.”
Gamers will be able to purchase the entirety of "Revelations 2" up front, but they’ll only be able to play the episodes as they’re released each week (at a cost of $5.99 per episode, or $25 upfront for all episodes and some extra content. A full retail release with even more extra content will run $39.99). This approach has angered series fans, who worry that this move will fundamentally change the "Resident Evil" series. Their anger and skepticism are not without merit; however. Capcom has run into content issues a few times in recent years with “Street Fighter X Tekken,” and more notably “Resident Evil 5,” one of the main-line "Resident Evil" games.
Still, Capcom is testing the waters with this new-to-them formula. But even if it proves successful, it likely won’t influence future main-line games, like "Resident Evil 7."
“Every title has a different goal,” Okabe told International Business Times. Even if "Revelations 2" is critically and financially successful, it likely won’t affect the way the main games are developed. It doesn’t mean that Capcom will definitely go the same route with later entries in the "Revelations" subseries.
“It might mean,” Okabe said, “that future 'Revelations' titles might be delivered that way, depending on how ['Revelations 2'] is received.”
Capcom is taking a gamble on "Resident Evil Revelations 2." Depending on how the market reacts, more AAA developers could jump into episodic games. For now, Capcom and Okabe remain optimistic.
“We wanted to try something new,” he said
Capcom has not yet announced a formal release date, but 'Revelations 2' is slated for early 2015.