Resident Evil 4 was well-received by gamers and sold enough copies to justify further installments in the franchise, but it is by no means universally loved, as many fans of the Resident Evil franchise criticized it for moving away from the series’ survival horror roots and adopting a more action-oriented gameplay.
A recent interview with series creator Shinji Mikami reveals that the shift towards action is a result of gamers’ reaction to the Resident Evil Remake on the Gamecube, which didn’t sell well (as a sidenote, many attribute the poor sales to Capcom’s decision to release the remake as a Gamecube exclusive, when a large bulk of their target demographic are PS2 owners)
“The Resident Evil remake is actually one of my favorites of the series too,” Mikami said, “but it didn’t sell very well. Maybe there weren’t many people ready to accept that. Because of the reaction to the Resident Evil remake, I decided to work more action into Resident Evil 4. Resident Evil 4 would have been a more scary, horror-focused game if the remake had sold well.”