Resident Evil: Revelations producer Masachika Kawata said that the move towards action-orientated gameplay was necessary if the series hopes to compete with the likes of Call of Duty.
"Especially for the North American market, I think the series needs to head in that [action-oriented] direction," Kawata told told Gamasutra.
"RE4 started in that direction, and RE5 kept going in that direction. And I think that especially for the North American market, we need to keep going in that direction, and take that a step further.
"Looking at the marketing data [for survival horror games] ... the market is small, compared to the number of units Call of Duty and all those action games sell. A 'survival horror' Resident Evil doesn't seem like it'd be able to sell those kind of numbers."
Kawata did, however, point out the difference between the series' numbered instalments and spinoffs such as Operation Raccoon City, suggesting that Resident Evil 6 will focus more on survival horror.
"I can't really speak for Resident Evil 6, but I don't think that it necessarily has to go all the way in that [action-heavy] direction, the Call of Duty direction," he added. "It doesn't have to be a straight up shooter. But my impression is that Resident Evil 4 and 5 aren't shooters, per se.
"So we have our numbered series, and we can say we have a more adventure-oriented version, like a Revelations-style game. And we also have Operation: Raccoon City, which is a third-person shooter.
"So I think that by extending the market in this sense, we can still have the numbered titles keep their identity about what Resident Evil is supposed to be, but still expand and hit other markets as well."
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City was released on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 today. The PC version will be available on May 18.
The game takes place during the events of the second and third instalments of the Resident Evil series.
Players take control of either Umbrella's special ops removing evidence of the viral outbreak or USS agents searching to uncover it.
In addition to the story mode, multiplayer will take the form of competitive versus modes, including a 'Heroes' mode featuring eight classic characters such as Leon S Kennedy, Jill Valentine, Hunk, Ada Wong and Claire Redfield.
An Xbox 360-exclusive 'Nemesis' mode is also available for 320 Microsoft Points (£2.75 / $4).
The game can be picked up from Blockbuster for £4.99 if players trade Mass Effect 3, FIFA Street, Street Fighter X Tekken or Twisted Metal X.
> Read Digital Spy's Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City review
Watch the launch trailer for Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City below: