The developer of the Dead Rising series is, in a bit of bitter irony, now dead itself. Trouble has been brewing for Capcom Vancouver for a while now, with the studio being forced to cut 20 percent of their staff and cancel an ambitious new action-adventure IP set in New York back in February of this year. The studio refocused their efforts on Dead Rising 5, but apparently Capcom decided to pull the plug anyways. Capcom issued the following statement to Kotaku:
“As a result of reviewing titles in development at Capcom Vancouver, Capcom has decided to cancel the development projects at this studio and will concentrate development of major titles in Japan. A skeleton crew will remain until January 2019 to finalize closure operations and logistics. We appreciate the hard work and contributions of all the studio team members in creating unforgettable gameplay experiences for the Dead Rising series and Puzzle Fighter.”
Some Capcom Vancouver employees, including design director Aidan Scanlan, confirmed the unfortunate news…
Unfortunately Capcom Vancouver shuttered today. I’m in a bit of a shock, but if you know of anyone looking for an 18 year experienced game designer send them my way. Spread the word!
— Aidan Scanlan (@aidanscanlan) September 18, 2018
The closure of Capcom Vancouver will result in the loss of 158 jobs. According to a statement released yesterday, Capcom expects the cancellation of Capcom Vancouver projects to cost them ¥4.5 billion (around $40 million dollars).
The shuttering of Capcom Vancouver is somewhat surprising, as Capcom as a whole is on a hot streak right now -- Resident Evil 7 and Monster Hunter: World were surprise smash hits, and Resident Evil 2 Remake, Devil May Cry 5, and Mega Man 11 are hotly anticipated. Of course, all those games are the work of Capcom’s internal Japanese development teams. For years Capcom attempted, with mixed success, to shift most of their development to Western studios, but it seems that strategy is done. Capcom’s Japanese teams are resurgent, and western studios like Capcom Vancouver are yesterday’s news.
No word on what will happen to Dead Rising following Capcom Vancouver’s death, but I’m pretty sure the series will rise again. Given the direction Capcom is heading, I suspect one of their Japanese teams will be given the task of reviving the series.