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Capcom explains how it markets Resident Evil to grow its audience

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Capcom's Resident Evil franchise is now in its 18th year of existence, and because the series has fans around the globe, it's important for the company to promote Resident Evil to different people using different methods in different regions.

"We change the points that we showcase to match the culture and characteristics of the regions," explained Capcom officials in a retrospective feature on Resident Evil yesterday. According to the article, Capcom focuses on Resident Evil's "horror atmosphere" in marketing for North America, while it highlights the series' characters in Japan. That distinction is evident in each region's unique cover artwork for the most recent main entry in the franchise, 2012's Resident Evil 6:

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Capcom also touched on the fact that Resident Evil's oldest fans are now in their late 30s and early 40s. Because the publisher believes there's an "increasing possibility that some percentage of the existing users will outgrow games altogether," it needs to continually grow the series' audience. So Capcom has tried thinking outside the box to market Resident Evil through non-gaming-specific avenues, such as collaborating with fashion brands to promote the series in fashion magazines. Similar ventures include the Resident Evil-themed "scare zone" at Universal Studios Japan during 2012's Halloween Horror Night, and the Biohazard Café and Grill S.T.A.R.S. in Tokyo.

"What we focus on when running promotions for Resident Evil is delivering a message that respects its 17-year story, which is a rarity in the game industry, and its world in a format that does not disappoint the expectations of users," said Tsutomu Masuda, senior manager of the promotion planning section of Capcom's consumer games marketing department.