Capcom Vancouver reportedly scales back next Dead Rising due to layoffs

Yesterday, February 5, Dead Rising developer Capcom Vancouver underwent a massive “restructuring,” which resulted in 30 percent of the studio being laid off and a project reportedly being canceled. Capcom is adamant that it will continue with its zombie-killer series, but it looks like the hypothetical Dead Rising 5 will be less ambitious than was previously planned.

According to Kotaku, the next entry in the Dead Rising series had been “over-scoped and under-staffed,” and the decision to lay off staff was made in part because Capcom wished to scale back the game.

“Capcom Vancouver has undergone a restructure which has impacted approximately 30 percent of the studio as part of its regular periodic assessment of upcoming projects and overall studio goals,” Capcom said in a statement to Kotaku and other media outlets. “The team is continuing to work hard to support the recent release of Puzzle Fighter for mobile and is dedicated to its flagship Dead Rising series.”

In an investor Q&A, Capcom admitted that Dead Rising 4 hadn’t resonated with critics, and attributed this to the game’s accessible nature. It was certainly easier to get into than previous games in the series, with the removal of the timer mechanic, but its tone jumped between the silly and the dark without much explanation. The addition of an exo-suit and over-the-top enemies made it feel like a completely different game than the original trilogy, and several bugs were present at launch. After initially releasing on Xbox One and Windows 10, the game came to PlayStation 4 last December.

“Moving forward, we intend to grow unit sales on a continuous basis by releasing additional [downloadable] content while implementing updates for improvements,” Capcom said in the Q&A.

Though Dead Rising 3 wasn’t the prettiest game and had some silly Kinect and SmartGlass integration, it still seemed to understand what made the series work. Should another game in the series get produced, we’re hoping for a return to the slightly more grounded style of the previous games rather than a superhero simulator — Capcom had success using this strategy with Resident Evil 7. Still, for those itching to mow down hordes of the undead, Dead Rising 4 is worth trying, even if it’s just to kill a zombie with an ICEE machine.