Capcom's controversial reboot of action series Devil May Cry was inspired by actor Daniel Craig's "rougher" James Bond, the producer of the game has revealed.
The Dante in DmC, in the works at UK studio Ninja Theory, is young, angsty, slightly ungainly and has black hair worn in a lanky emover – a stark change from the white-haired protagonist devised by the series' original creator Hideki Kamiya.
The game's Tokyo Game Show reveal sparked an outpouring of anger from series veterans. Even Kamiya himself weighed in on Twitter.
Capcom and Ninja Theory explained the "rebirth" of the series, as it's called, Dante's redesign and the passing of development duties to a studio outside of Japan to Eurogamer in an interview published today.
"If you think of Rocky 3 versus Raging Bull, it's that kind of difference," Ninja Theory boss Tameem Antoniades said.
"He's younger, he's rawer, he's cool in his own way. But it's different."
Capcom America's Alex Jones, who is collaborating on the project, backed the move.
"When you see the Casino Royale remake, you see Bond before he's actually killed anyone, and it's a really traumatic event. He's rough-hewn, he's not polished or debonair, but you can see the essence of what that character will become. That's what we want to do with Dante. The core of him is there, it's just a rougher version. It's a becoming. He's not fully actualised."
Both Antoniades and Capcom acknowledged fan concern over the reboot, but urged patience and understanding.
"It's a new developer doing it, isn't it?," Antoniades replied when asked for his explanation for the reaction.
"Of course long-time fans are worried about us handing over such a big title to another company, another development team," Capcom's Hideaki Itsuna, who's worked on all four Devil May Cry games, added.
"But what myself and Eshiro-san [Motohide, producer] want to convey is that people shouldn't be worried or concerned, it's nothing like that.
"We've worked with Ninja Theory for a long time in pre-development, and we've seen that they're really talented and they have a lot of know-how, and we know that they're very serious about making this game good."
Eshiro said the decision to reboot the series was in part due to a desire to increase sales.
"Taking Devil May Cry 4 as an example, including the PC versions we sold 2.7 million of that particular game, but we looked at the market and saw that there were other action games selling four million, five million, all these copies," he explained.
"One of our goals for this game is to create something new and fresh that keeps the old fans but also catches new people, so that we can increase our overall appeal, our sales and our audience."
DmC is yet to be dated. Check out Dante's new look for yourself in the reveal trailer below.