Last year many hardcore Devil May Cry fans nearly had cardiac arrests when they saw the adolescent and rather urban representation of their all-time favorite protagonist Dante. Ninja Theory was doing more than just a reboot – they were changing the entire concept of who Dante was and his type of personality.
Such reboots obviously come under heavy scrutiny from both fans and critics, and many raised doubts in the new developer’s capability to compete with original concept or bring out something equally compelling.
The Ninja Theorists have spoken once again in their defense, as speaking in a new PSM3 interview, design lead Tameem Antoniades stated:
“Nothing needs a reboot unless that reboot works. Look at Batman. The parallel to the Batman reboot was Catwoman. Nobody needed that, but when it works it can change the course of a franchise in a positive way. It can make it survive.”
Additionally, he stated that blaming Ninja Theory for the change in direction is a little unfair, as Capcom itself had a role to play in this ‘mutation’ (as some would call it).
“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.”
So basically, Capcom went a little wavy in the head after Devil May Cry 4’s reception, and handed the project to Ninja Theory demanding westernization of the series. That’s how the story goes.
Okay, it all makes sense, but Ninja Theory shouldn’t entirely give itself in through explanations. Instead, it’s more important they try to bring out something fans will like. Antoniades doesn’t exactly do that, but he has a few positive things to say:
“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.”
Well said Antoniades. Now, about that weird hairdo of Dante’s…