A day where you find out a beloved franchise has been sent to the storage room to collect dust is always a sad day indeed and, for many, today was one of those days with the announcement that Darkstalkers would be shoved aside. According to details revealed by Capcom’s head of fighting games Matt Dahlgren, the reason why many’s hopes for a Darkstalkers sequel has been quashed is due to the poor sales figures of Darkstalkers: Resurrection.
Released earlier this year on the PSN and XBLA, Darkstalkers: Resurrection was a re-release Night Warriors: Darkstalkers’ Revenge and Darkstalkers 3. The release received rave reviews–averaging around 82% on Metacritic–but the sales figures, I guess, were too low. I can’t tell you how low they were because I can’t find those sales figures, but according to Capcom they were low.
So now we don’t have any sequel plans. In one sense, this would make sense if you consider how Capcom is doing right now regarding their video game-to-sales situations as of late. I don’t think it’s any surprise to anyone now that Resident Evil 6 really didn’t live up to Capcom’s, and gamer’s, expectations. While the game was certainly on track from the start to overshadow Resident Evil 5, which has over 5 million units sold under its belt, Resident Evil 6 has only managed about 4.9 million units sold–certainly a tragedy for Capcom’s survival horror series.
Then, of course, there was DmC: Devil May Cry, another big Capcom release that they were betting on. Well, those bets fell short because DmC: Devil May Cry only sold around 1 million units which was not even half of the Devil May Cry 4 sales. Take into account these spectacular errors and the fact that Capcom really doesn’t have too much going for them at the moment (recently we learned another Street Fighter game is coming plus we also have Lost Planet 3), one might understand that they wouldn’t want to place finances to develop on a series when the last game released didn’t do too well.
However, is the failure of Darkstalkers: Resurrection resting squarely on the shoulders of us gamers who didn’t buy it? I don’t really think so.
Consider, if you may, what they released when people asked for a Darkstalkers game: a re-release of a couple of their classic titles. That’s all fine and dandy, but one thing that people need to realize is that these kinds of releases, especially ones that hearken back to about 20 years ago, are really for a niche audience–that is those who wish to relive the nostalgia of those classic titles. While it certainly isn’t always the case, if you’re expecting to try and bring new people into the Darkstalkers flock to boost awareness and get all that feedback for a new title, doing re-releases is not always the best way to go.
Honestly, I feel that those who wanted a Darkstalkers game–a new one–were wanting something along the lines of what Street Fighter IV was upon its release: a Darkstalkers game that was just as much for the older fans as it could be for those who are new to the series. After all, that’s one of the ways that you can obtain a new fanbase for your series. Now I understand that in their current situation, a new Darkstalkers right out of the gate would have been a bit more to ask, but could they have maybe waited? I’m sure fans would have been patient to receive a brand new Darkstalkers game instead of just a re-release that would only succeed at quenching nostalgia.
To all you Darkstalkers fans that now have to either wait a long, long time or an eternity, I feel your pain. After all, the same thing has happened to me regarding a certain blue bomber character. So, would you have waited a bit longer to see if a brand new Darkstalkers game would release? How are you all taking the news of a once classic fighting series being put to dust in the sun?