Ninja Theory's Tameem Antoniades has revealed to OXM that the studio has received death threats in response to its handling of Capcom's Devil May Cry reboot.
Formally titled DmC: Devil May Cry, the game resculpts series protagonist Dante as a Westerner, and takes him on a trip across the possessed city of Limbo. The game's continually shifting, hostile environments are intriguing, and its combat looks silky-smooth, but some fans have found the changed art style hard to swallow. Series creator Hideki Kamiya has expressed disappointment over the new look.
"[Enslaved writer] Alex Garland warned me about it because he experienced a similar thing with 28 Days Later where people were upset that it didn't feature real zombies," Antoniades told OXM during a preview showing you'll read about in issue 81. "And now with his upcoming Dredd movie."
"So I was half prepared for it, although I have to say that it has been pretty eye opening to see some of the creative ways in which people have chosen to vent their hatred. We didn't expect death threats in comic book form or anti-DmC death metal songs!"
Shortly after the game's announcement in September 2010, Antoniades explained that the recast Dante is a "rougher version" of the sneering pretty-boy from previous games.
The company's Alex Jones feels the outrage will die down as more gameplay footage and impressions enter circulation. "It's pretty hard for me to back the decisions we made without showing actual gameplay to the public. So until that time comes, and it will come soon, I just have to put up with the rage.
"Though I must say, lots of people have come and said that they are now interested in DmC whereas they had previously lost interest in the series. We'll see how this plays out."
Ninja Theory intends to stay true to the original Devil May Cry's spirit where it really counts. "There is of course an expectation from the fans, which is something that has always been firmly in the minds of both ourselves and Capcom," Antoniades went on. "The Devil May Cry franchise is well established and much loved, so we want to keep the essence of what makes the series unique.
"But DmC is a re-birth, so we've been able to explore Dante's early years in the narrative, meaning that if you're entirely new to the series you won't start the game with a disadvantage or feeling that you need to catch up with the story of the previous games first.
"There is a lot of innovation in the game, but where we're dealing with key areas of the Devil May Cry DNA, such as the combat, we've been particularly careful to ensure that innovative features sit hand in hand with the core elements that we're looking to preserve."
Antoniades later added that "combat is something that we are taking very seriously and is one of the areas that we're working closely with Capcom on. Technical, fluid combat with depth is one of the key pillars of the Devil May Cry series and as such is right at the top of our list of priorities. We wouldn't be making a Devil May Cry game if this wasn't the case."
Check out our most recent Devil May Cry preview and the gameplay footage below. Impressed? Read more about the game in issue 81, which can be bought from the Apple Newsstand, Zinio or ordered online with free delivery.