Earlier this week, an online petition calling for the creation of a remake of Resident Evil 2 reached a milestone of 30,000 signatures. The question is, how significant is it to Capcom?
Resident Evil 2, part of the famous series that revived the survival horror genre which was populated by games such as Clock Tower, Sweet Home and Alone in the Dark, is described by many fans as the best Resident Evil game in existence. Released in 1998, this second entry in the series built upon the formula that was introduced in the original Resident Evil title. Limited ammo, static camera angles and strategic item management are some of the elements Resident Evil players must consider when venturing through the Arklay mansion and Raccoon City. After Resident Evil: Nemesis and Code Veronica were released, this formula was abandoned in favor of a more action-oriented shift in the series. While Resident Evil 4 was well-received, Resident Evil 6, the latest entry in the main series, proved to be a critical disappointment for fans and Capcom alike. Among some of the complaints lobbed by fans is the loss of the survival horror feel that was the initial draw of the series.
Around this time, many fans began to look back on the earlier entries in the series with nostalgia, but it is important to ask if it would be possible to breath new life into the classic formula. The answer is simply yes and comes in the form of the 2002 remake of the original Resident Evil, where the 1996 title received an upgrade to its graphics and some additional elements to its gameplay, thus providing a balance between the game’s original feel and a fresh perspective. Thus, a remake for the additional classic Resident Evil games seemed a logical request by diehard fans. In a Gamespot interview with Yoshiaki Hirabayashi last fall, the Capcom producer stated that a remake of the second game is a possibility, which helped to prompt an online petition to be created.
The petition was originally posted on September 27, 2012, and had a goal of 10,000 signatures. Once that milestone was reached on October 1st, the petition creator increased the target to 15,000, and again to 20,000 on October 24th. Finally, this week, the petition received over 30,000 signatures. The creator also stated on the petition’s page that he had posted it on Capcom Unity’s official forum, and that he had also tweeted it to Capcom back in October.
What does this all mean? In the end, is 30,000 a significant number? In my opinion, the milestone achieved this week, while significant in the petition process, might not be enough to move Capcom to consider working on the remake yet. Considering the balance of demand and cost, I think many more signatures will be required for Capcom to at least respond to the petition. One thing is for certain, however. There is a defined community demanding the return of the series to its survival horror roots and they are letting their voices be heard.