Dead Rising star Frank West is finally coming to the PlayStation 3 after five years of Xbox 360 exclusivity – and Off the Record developer Capcom Vancouver predicts Sony fans will welcome him with open arms.
Dead Rising launched exclusively on the Xbox 360 in 2006. Dead Rising 2 launched across multiple platforms, but features motocross champion Chuck Greene instead. Downloadable add-on Case West launched, like prequel Case Zero, exclusively on Xbox Live Arcade.
All of which means Off the Record, which re-imagines Dead Rising 2 with fan favourite Frank West in the starring role, provides PlayStation 3 owners with their first opportunity to play as the quick witted photojournalist.
"It's fantastic," Capcom Vancouver co-founder Jason Leigh said of the move at Capcom's Captivate event last week. "If you're a Sony fan and you've got a PlayStation 3 and not a 360, you haven't had an opportunity at this point to play as Frank West.
"Perhaps you bought Dead Rising 2 and you've played the game as Chuck Greene, but that experience is very, very different. This isn't just a character swap and we're done. This is a very different story and a very different experience.
It's really exciting for PS3 fans and they're going to get an awesome game. I can't wait to see what the reaction is from those fans around the character and the story. They will really embrace Frank."
In September last year Capcom denied it was "alienating" PS3-owning Dead Rising fans following the announcement of Xbox Live-exclusive downloadable game Dead Rising 2: Case West.
Following Case West's Tokyo Game Show reveal PS3 gamers complained that they were being denied the beginning and end of the upcoming zombie kill-em-up.
"I think Inafune [Keiji, then head of global R&D] said that we're sorry that it seems like you're getting a little bit less of the Dead Rising 2 universe, but you'll still be able to enjoy the full game," insisted co-producer Shinsaku Ohara in an interview with Eurogamer.
"You'll just miss a little bit of extra. We haven't completely alienated PS3 gamers because Dead Rising 2 is a standalone boxed product."
Inafune had previously explained the Xbox 360 exclusivity of Dead Rising 2's downloadable games. "Dead Rising was our very first Xbox 360 title and Microsoft supported the title all the way," Ohara said.
"At the beginning we didn't know that this new IP would be a success, but the fans on the console really assisted in making it into one. So it's like a present, something that we gave back to the original Dead Rising fans."
While PS3 owners now have the opportunity to play as Frank West, he is a different beast than he was in the first game – and even Case West.
"Frank after the Willamette incident in Dead Rising became famous," Leigh explained to Eurogamer. "He managed to break the story, so he had a successful book and a talk show. He let the fame go to his head and let himself go and gained a little bit of weight.
"Here we are several years later and he's coming to Fortune City, and he's trying to resurrect his career. He's trying to get on TV, make a name for himself again. You're going to see how that plays out in the story."
Eurogamer's Dead Rising 2: Off the Record preview is live now.