In a must-watch documentary for Dead Rising and Capcom fans, the YouTube channel GameHistoryChannel speaks about Capcom Vancouver. This studio was responsible for the Dead Rising games in collaboration with Microsoft. After the fourth game released the studio was closed in 2018. But there’s an interesting perspective on the relation between Capcom Japan and Capcom Vancouver and how much Microsoft had to say about Dead Rising.
GameHistoryChannel has interviewed a couple of former developers from Capcom Vancouver. Speaking with them about Dead Rising, Microsoft and pitches for all kinds of new games, new IP and reboots alike. Capcom Vancouver had a lot of trouble developing Dead Rising 3, especially with the PlayStation 3’s cell architecture. During development Microsoft stepped in and offered a bigger budget and an extension of the development schedule, making it an Xbox One game. With this, Capcom Vancouver could push their ambitions on better hardware and Microsoft had an exclusive title in their hands. Due to the success of this partnership, they started working on Dead Rising 4.
With Microsoft being more invested in the project, the ambitions were clear. Microsoft wanted a competitor to Sony’s The Last of Us. Capcom Vancouver started building a more dark, gritty and stealth version of Dead Rising. Meanwhile, Capcom Japan was never as involved with the project as Microsoft. This meant Capcom Vancouver had creative freedom and Microsoft had more influence over the project.
In 2014 the project was presented to Capcom Japan, who weren’t pleased with the new direction for the IP. ”The brand of Dead Rising is not as malleable as Capcom Vancouver thought it was” one former employee states. Following this clash between Capcom Japan and Capcom Vancouver, a more Dead Rising-esque approach was chosen.
After this clash between companies executive staff at the studio was fired. Plans for a Dead Rising 5 were made, but that game got cancelled. Overall, 7 titles of Capcom Vancouver had been cancelled in different stages of development.
The studio has also tried to bring back Dino Crisis, but after discussions with Capcom Japan this never came to fruition. After a few months of work the idea was pitched, but it seemed Capcom wasn’t willing to invest in the technology a new Dino Crisis would require.
In 2018 the studio was closed.