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Remasters & remakes are different + why no RE2 Remake yet

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With the release of the remasters, people keep complaining that it appears Capcom isn’t listening to fans because they haven’t done a RE2 remake. However, many of these complaints are not valid because many people are not familiar as with Capcom’s history, what sales actually show, and how game development works as they think they are. We have yet to see a RE2 remake because the first remake had good reasons to be made, sales trends does not show support for one, and remasters and remakes are not the same, therefore not related to Capcom’s recent releases and plans.

There were reasons for the first game to be remade. Some of the content planned did not make it into the game. Most notable, the Trevor family story line. The book BIO HAZARD The True Story Behind BIO HAZARD which was released a year after the original game shows it was planned from the beginning, not added just for the remake. So the remake was made to "complete" the game, whereas Resident Evil 2 already had a period of dissatisfaction and reworking to the developers' liking (the scrapping of what is known as RE 1.5). Also, the scenario writer for RE2, Noboru Sugimura, passed away in 2005. So RE2 is already "complete" without anything known to be missing. Lastly, ‘’Resident Evil Zero’’ was in development at the same time as the remake, presumably, assets were shared making development easier.

Many people believe “fan demand” speaks loud enough to warrants action by companies. A basic rule of understanding markets is to know what people say they want is often very different from what people actually buy. So sales should be analyzed to understand Capcom’s decisions. Also, the claim “fans want this” can’t be made as many try because very few people have performed formal surveys that samples the population meaningfully. The remake’s initial release had poor sales. Comparatively, RE4 reached the same numbers in only one third of the time. The Wii release of the remake also had very small sales whereas the other releases of RE4 have all done well. This means Capcom should focus not only on making titles like RE4, but also remakes and ports are expected to not make as many sales. Earlier this year, the remaster reached 1 mil in sales but this isn’t as significant as people think it is. This is likely what they were aiming for. People tend to ignore Revelations 2 has sold just as much, and that RE5 and RE6 are two of Capcom best selling titles ever at over 6 mil each, and the PSN releases of RE1-2-3 apparently weren’t significant enough to have any news reported on them.

Finally, it is important to know, remasters and remakes are not the same, they are very different. Capcom and many companies rarely do remakes, Capcom’s only remake is Resident Evil for GC from 2002. Ports, updates, and remasters are not remakes. Remakes are made from the ground up with new graphics, sound, voice acting, made to display better on new technology, etc. It does not use the older existing game as base from a technical standpoint. A remaster uses an already made game and making the quality better. While content can be added, it is not a completely new production. Appropriately, Capcom advertises these as such. The advertising for the RE remaster never involved them saying it is a new “remake”. The point of remasters is that they are very cheap to produce, as opposed to a remake which would require a fuller budget.

With sales and production considered, it is not a logical to expect a series of remasters to lead to a remake, they would lead to more remasters. This is exactly what is occurring as Capcom has announce they are interested in doing more in their 2015 fiscal. Many people aren’t aware RE Zero is the 6th RE game to be remastered. While it is not impossible for a RE2 remake to happen, these are the reason why we have not seen one yet, shouldn’t be expecting one, and shouldn’t be upset at Capcom hasn’t done it.

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