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DMC Dev: Letting Fans Run The Show = "Creative Bankruptcy"

Devil May Cry purists continue to wage war against developer Ninja Theory for the upcoming reboot, entitled simply DMC.

But as the developer has said multiple times, those annoyed fans need to redirect their venom, as Ninja Theory is only doing what Capcom asked. Furthermore, as studio boss Tameem Antoniades told OXM UK, making a game purely for the fans is a terrible idea.

But first, the idea of blaming the developer for the franchise's change in direction:

"The decision as to whether DMC needed a reboot or not: it's irrelevant what my opinion is because that decision was Capcom's. They felt it needed something, which is why they not only decided to take a bold step and reinvent it, but to give it to a non-Japanese dev. They had their reasons and that was our mandate. They wanted a reinvention - a reinterpretation - and that's what we went ahead and did."

It seems Capcom was concerned with the lower-than-expected sales for Devil May Cry 4 and subsequently approached Ninja Theory "to introduce a Western flavor." Antoniades said some people at Capcom felt the franchise "was a little stuck in its ways" and it needed to be "let loose." Therefore, the team was tasked with the idea of a reboot; a reinvention, if you will. But although the team always says they listen to fan feedback (and that includes death threats), Antoniades says sometimes, "the worst creative crimes are made when you're trying to make a game for someone else."

"From my point of view there's only one way to try and make a successful game, and that's to make the game you want to play. A game that everyone involved is proud of. So from that point of view I don't care if it sells a thousand units or two million units. I believe the time you spend making something has to be worthwhile. You've got 20 productive years of work in your life; if you're gonna spend ten or 15 percent of it on something, make it worthwhile.

Philosophically, the way to make a successful game is to believe in what you're doing, then hope that sales follow. I'm not trying to design around what I think people will want. That's where you get into creative bankruptcy. That, more than anything, will kill a series."

There's always a fine line to walk. How much internal creative inspiration do we use compared to gamer feedback? It must not be an easy thing to do, and we don't envy these guys.

Related Game(s): DMC

Tags: ninja theory, dmc, devil may cry reboot, capcom

3/23/2012 8:47:46 PM Ben Dutka

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Lawless SXE
Friday, March 23, 2012 @ 9:44:19 PM

Respect for Antonaides. A man unto my own heart. You can't listen to other people when you're striving to complete a creative endeavour. His statements are kind of like the antithesis to Bioware going back and doing a new ending for ME3... DmC shall be mine.

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Friday, March 23, 2012 @ 9:55:40 PM

"So from that point of view I don't care if it sells a thousand units or two million units."

Wasn't this the guy that was so upset that Heavenly Sword and Enslaved didn't set the sales charts on fire?

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Friday, March 23, 2012 @ 10:19:48 PM

Same guy, I don't know how upset he was but I doubt he was pleased. Though HS sold a ton for an exclusive game releasing on a sketchy console (at the time).

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 3/23/2012 10:20:25 PM

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Friday, March 23, 2012 @ 10:00:57 PM

While I'm not a DMC hardcore fan, I've always liked this series. Sadly, though, what I liked about it was it's look and feel. This demented Dante is cool and all, but I can't say I preference him over the real Dante. And 30fps is a cardinal sin as far as I'm concerned.
The hardcore will never let that argument go. I promise.

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Friday, March 23, 2012 @ 10:27:27 PM

I like the way he talks and I agree it's best to pursue the game you want to make but when building on an existing series you really should have some fan service in there, even if it's just bits and pieces from the old games you need to build around certain standards or you wind up with FFXIII and Ninja Gaiden 3.

I'm not worried about Ninja Theory though, they can create a great story which is something Devil May Cry is in desperate need of, and with Capcom paying attention to the fighting mechanic I'm hopeful it will be the first game in a long time to both have "Capcom" on it and be good.

Also, western developers taking something western is probably better than japanese developers imitating what they think westerners are into. I like things to stay Japanese, but if it must happen this is a safer way.

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Friday, March 23, 2012 @ 11:29:44 PM

This makes me think back to when everyone got pissed off because they changed the way Cole looked in Infamous 2. Though the Infamous 2 team gave in and pleased just about every fan of the original

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Saturday, March 24, 2012 @ 12:31:24 AM

Thank God they did too, that wasn't even a reboot it was the first sequel so it was a strange move.

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Friday, March 23, 2012 @ 11:50:53 PM

The way to make a successful game is to know the audience you are making it for, knowing what elements they love, and make it engaging. You are not making it for yourself, you are making it so people will buy it. If you are lucky, you are making games you like as well, but make no mistake, you are not the one buying it in the hundreds of thousands (hopefully).

If you are a game dev you are no longer in highschool dreaming of making a game that you love, for you to play. In the real world you have to know your audience, the one you want to sell it to, to make money. I am sure the vast majority of the games that come out on to whatever device fail, for this reason as well as inundating the market with a game that has already been produced 100 times and offering nothing new, except it was a game you wanted to play.

That said, don't let that stop you from doing it, as long as you know you are not the one buying it. Its a business, one that can be fun if you know who your real audience is.

Have fun and keep playing! :)

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Saturday, March 24, 2012 @ 12:34:21 AM

I don't think you got the point. If what you said was true there would be no titles like Bioshock, which was a pretty daring vision that wouldn't have happened if they stuck to what figures say people want.

I don't think anyone was clamoring for Rockstar to make a western and then Red Dead make a huge splash...

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 3/24/2012 12:35:28 AM

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Saturday, March 24, 2012 @ 2:15:08 AM

@ World, I'm going to have to say I believe he does know what he is talking about. We could still have the games like Bioshock, but for Devs to think that the game is being made with only "their" intentions to play it is a little one sided. They have to consider the folks that will play it. It's how they make money. I know they want to be creative with it, but for this particular title it's Devil May Cry, it's an established franchise not an original like Enslaved. I love Ninja Theory when they create unique original titles. Those are the games they want to play and should be proud of making. (Heavenly Sword is a perfect game) In the case of DMC, they need to factor in their audience, because honestly it was those fans that got the game to be what it was anyway.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, March 24, 2012 @ 10:06:18 AM

No, World is right.

This whole "games are a business" philosophy is true, of course, but it doesn't - and should never - dictate entirely what developers create. If that were the case, we'd never have truly innovative titles, now would we? The designers had no idea anybody would like echochrome; they just wanted to create what was in their heads.

MOST new IPs, while based on existing formulas, come entirely from a developer's head. Fans only know what they like, what already exists; if you go by them, you'll just keep making the same thing over and over and over.

As Antoniades says, doing that really IS "creative bankruptcy."

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Sunday, March 25, 2012 @ 8:46:16 PM

The scary thing about your comment is what RE developer was saying about RE... 'it needs more action'.. they said.. why? coz, the western market buys up first person shooters like crazy... if developers only look at this... there will only be FPS or shooters left in the market.. thats what the audience in the USA seem to only want...
I respect ninja theory, and i really liked their last 2 games.
so i will give this one a chance too

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Saturday, March 24, 2012 @ 2:46:47 AM

that is exactly what i was trying to say the other day.
developers need to make games they want to make, not what they think will sell.
you go chasing things that are already popular your going to be beating a dead horse!
as he said best way to make sure your game sells well is make something the team really enjoys.
after all developers are game developers for a reason.
and chances are what they enjoy is what millions of gamers will enjoy too.
follow your ideas not some sheet of paper!
listening to fan feedback is important but making it the be all end all is definitely suicide!
after all some "fans" are f*cking idiots!
the pricks who destroyed assassins creed for instance crying that the death cut scenes were too long.
create something new, something that has not done before and that the team is extremely excited about.
chances are if your 100s of staff are excited to play it, then millions of gamers will too!
gamers want something new, not the same old cow dried out a million times!
create something new and you have a far better chance of selling well then creating something that has been done a million times before!

however that said they need to grow some balls and stand up to crapcom!
ok crapcom wanted the reboot, they wanted something different.
but NT should of stood up to them and argued this is NOT what fans want!
then when they got all the backlash and death threats take it to crapcom and say i told you so.
us fans cant get through their thick skulls, maybe a developer can!

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Saturday, March 24, 2012 @ 1:16:08 PM

Can you explain to me why Call of Duty shatters records every year it comes out then? Tell me what game sells more than Call of Duty and then maybe I will consider what you have said as a valid point to the whole selling millions for originality part.

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Sunday, March 25, 2012 @ 3:10:36 AM

i thought that was quite obvious.
it shatters records simply because its the ONLY game out there that does what it does!
its a really good MP game that caters to allot of different people, has really good support and is reliable.
allot of MP games out there are really restrictive in how you can play them, where this gives a much more relaxed feel to it.

then the support, almost every day there in communication with their fans taking in feedback and giving updates on whats upcoming.
there constantly releasing patches and updates, they quite often release 3 or so map packs in the time the competition has released 1!
not to mention all the community events, double XP events, gaming with the devs nights, they do so much to support their game that other developers dont!
KZ3 for example, the developers improved it over 2 so much but why did it flop?
because no one liked it?
nope, because there was no support!
the game got barely any DLC, barely and support so of course its going to fall flat on its face!
only MP out there that are still being played years after release is halo, gears, COD and BF.
well what do they all have in common?

then theres the reliability of it.
dedicated servers, a matchmaking system that actually works!
ranked servers, silky smooth 60FPS and ZERO lag!
every single MP game i play i cant play simply because theres so much god dam lag!
COD is the only game ive never had any problems with, because the developers sit there and make sure its a smooth experience.
there the only ones out there putting in the commitment for the long hall so of course its going to be one of the very few that does not fall on its face!

oh and a question for you, why are we comparing this to COD?
i NEVER said it would break sales records!
god you people love putting words in my mouth.
give a guy a rope, you turn him into a cowboy.
a BIG difference from a game selling well what i said, and a game breaking sales records what i did not say.

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Saturday, March 24, 2012 @ 8:40:33 AM

Agree with this.

Like how Guerilla Games messed up Killzone 3, it was rubbish compared to Killzone 2 which was goddamn awesome.

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Saturday, March 24, 2012 @ 9:55:47 AM

deves are always blamed, people need to look at the bigger picture.

imo, alot of times it's the publisher thats too blame, not the studio.

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Saturday, March 24, 2012 @ 12:11:30 PM

Well, I cannot say I'm happy about this reboot, but I think the fans of Mass Effect 3 we're completely out of order to protest against the ending like they did. I'm just waiting for Ninja Theory to get this out of the way and create a new title like Enslaved and for Capcom to make DMC5.

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Saturday, March 24, 2012 @ 1:14:51 PM

I'm not saying Devs shouldn't make the games they want to make. I'm just saying they should have consideration to fans of an already established franchise. I think you folks are failing to see what I'm trying to get across. Original games are fine, though they are risky. Just take a hard look at Enslaved. It did not sell very well. Though the story and concept were very awesome. Now let's not drag in other Dev teams that have been successful, we are focusing on Ninja Theory here. Sure Capcom had a hand in where the new Devil May Cry went, but that shouldn't have stopped the Dev team, Ninja Thoery, from thinking there are some fans of this series that might appreciate if we kept some of their favorite things in here. Call it Fan service. They could still make the game they want while respecting what made it what it is.

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Sunday, March 25, 2012 @ 7:18:25 AM

and what about team bondi and quantic dream?
just because 1 developer does a original idea and it sells poorly does not mean original ideas sell poorly!
enslaved sold poorly for 3 simple reasons.
1 it released at a really bad time, so many other new games were releasing which looked better.
2 its not exactly in a empty genre, theres a billion and one other games very similar to it!
3 its made on the UE3 engine and allot of people hate that engine especially for its poor performance on ps3, really bad frame rate issues and screen tearing.
in other words NT did everything in their power to make sure it sold poorly!

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Sunday, March 25, 2012 @ 4:40:50 PM

Letting fan run the show = That Simpson episode where Homer designed a car...

Consumers in general are never very happy and not very smart when it comes to knowing what they really want or need :P

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Sunday, March 25, 2012 @ 4:53:39 PM

he is right. but at the same time, you have to take the feedback potential fans give you and try to make them happy, without ruining your own vision too much. all devs have a vision of what they want their game to be. but if you make no money from sales, it will be a total flop and all of your "creative work" will have been for naught. thousands of dollars spent on a failed work. sure you will be proud when you put it out, but if it flops, you will be rather upset.

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Sunday, March 25, 2012 @ 5:32:56 PM

The major difference in this lies in the fact that Ninja Theory holds questionable quality in videogame developing. They can make a solid story but the actualy gameplay isn't very good imo.

I played heavenly sword. Great story, presentation but horrible gameplay.

Enslaved was interesting but I thought it was a miss.

I don't trust Ninja Theory with this project. I hope they deliver but I feel their arrogance may be their undoing.

at best this should have been a spinoff, this looks like its heading into NG3 and RE:RC territory

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Sunday, March 25, 2012 @ 8:40:26 PM

The only problem with the DMC game to me is the same with the new Spider-Man reboot. It's to soon (And there was Bleeping WEB coming out of his NECK!!! NO DEVIL TRIGGER WTF). Give the game a 7 year break at least, they just came out with one in 2008 and one before that in 2005 that stuck to the original Dante. That's not even mentioning the new HD collection.

I just hope they don't do what they did to MEGAMAN! I heard that game was suppose to end at X5 and they continued all the way on to those garbage trans-gameplay confused PS2 sequels with horrific voices.

As for Ninja Theory, as long as they stick to the core game mechanics (Or at least VERY CORE)I can't see them doing any harm. Plus DMC's stories have always been lacking outside of the "cool moments" and "tear-whipping-devils-never-cry" scenes.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012 @ 9:37:54 AM

First of all, I would just like to say that, because Devil May Cry 1,2,3 were so good because the developer's of those games and capcom's decisions knew what they were doing. Since Capcom and a lot of other companies are going 'western' is actually not appealing to some people which in turn is distancing themselves from their fans or customers. I don't know how Capcom makes these decisions or if they think it will appeal to the masses because I don't think it will.

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