The Story of the Dante That Devil May Cry Fans Never Wanted (And why Devil May Cry 5 is awesome)
We want to start out this post by congratulating Capcom on the string of stellar games they've released in the past few years. Resident Evil VII: Biohazard, Monster Hunter World, Resident Evil 2: Remake, and Mega Man 11 have all been stellar. But Capcom's history before that was a little bit rocky. For a long time they were releasing games that were controversial for many reasons (don't gets us started about Resident Evil 6), and were relying on current fanbases to keep their franchises afloat.
That is until 2013 when they decided to reboot Devil May Cry...
The Inferno (The Death of Dante)
After Devil May Cry 4, Capcom told its new developer Ninja Theory that they needed to reboot the franchise to appeal to younger audiences, which included altering the iconic main character of Dante to have less of a Japanese influenced design in favor of a more westernized version. Apparently the original designs were inspired by characters from Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight. The thing is though, Devil May Cry's anime-style Japanese hack and slash influence is what made the games so awesome. Ninja Theory and Capcom started nailing their coffin the minute they went down the westernization road.
The real problem was not really that this was Ninja Theory's first Devil May Cry game. Capcom Japan gave the property over to Capcom U.S. in order to maximize its potential in western markets. Even though bigger and better western franchises were constantly captivating audiences. Ultimately, the gameplay of the DmC reboot, while fun and unique, didn't fall in line with the trends of the wide western audience. So we were left with a game that only slightly appealed to both hardcore fans and new audiences alike.
After the launch of the first trailer, Ninja Theory were already having to stomp out fires among fans. They were confused and unimpressed with the new "Punk Dante" redesign. Even the creator of the series, Hideki Kamiya, was unimpressed; going so far as to say this game was "missing" its protagonist.
The backlash was to be expected. Dante was a beloved character in a popular franchise that seemingly didn't require a change. But even though they anticipated this backlash, they remained adamant that this will be the new Dante from then on.
The Purgatorio (Capcom Fades Away)
After DmC: Devil May Cry released, it actually generated favorable reviews. Critics praised the fun gameplay and art style of the game, but it ultimately ended up selling less than its predecessor worldwide.
DmC contributed to a series of less-than-stellar moves for Capcom, and subsequently the franchise went away. For a while, Capcom only had a few franchises that consistently kept them afloat led by Street Fighter and Mega Man. Those two franchises were ones that consistently catered to their hardcore fanbases, but did little to entice new players. Capcom was not in the position to continue growing.
The Paradisio (Capcom comes back in full force)
Like we said earlier, the past few years have been smart move after smart move with Capcom, and it wasn't long until they doubled back and announced that the original Devil May Cry Dante and Co. were coming back for Devil May Cry 5.
We've been playing DMC5 in our office occasionally, and it is really awesome. The hack and slash gameplay has never been better, the story is wild, and the Dante/Nero character contrast is back again in full force. Seeing a game that we all grew up with in the SD era played in 4K resolution will never get old.
The Sales of Devil May Cry 5 rightfully prompted Capcom's CEO to exclaim "Capcom is back!" And we're inclined to agree with him. Every game they've put out as of late has been a hit.
Everyone loves a comeback story, but we think the lesson that we can learn from this little story of Capcom needlessly rebooting a beloved character and then doubling back later, is that we should never lose hope in some of our favorite franchises. They all have the potential to come back.
Hope you liked this little piece of Capcom history! Make sure to leave a comment or reaction if you dug it. And also don't forget to stay up to date on everything Apex Legends.