Resident Evil 5 Not Racist, Not a Political Statement Says Producer

Those who caught the latest Resident Evil 5 trailer might have noticed a slightly more racially diverse zombie horde than in the game's debut clip, which sparked outcries of racism due to its African setting and primarily black cast of enemies.

But Resident Evil 5 producer Jun Takeuchi told Kotaku that the controversy didn't prompt any change in the title's production, and had no effect on the design.

"In terms of the reaction, we're in the business of entertainment," Takeuchi stated. "We didn't set out to make a racist game or a political statement. We did feel there was a misunderstanding about the initial trailer."

The trailer also saw the introduction of Chris Redfield's possibly cooperatively controlled partner, who was described by the report as "ethnically ambiguous." When asked of her debut, the producer said that her inclusion reached back to the game's early development.

"We wanted Chris to have a partner who was familiar with the environment," Takeuchi said of the new character. "She's been in there since pretty much the beginning."

Consumers and gaming journalists alike have voiced uneasy discomfort since the trailer's debut. Last April, Newsweek tech editor N'Gai Croal told MTV Multiplayer that though the original trailer wasn't explicitly racist, it contained imagery which was "dovetailed with classic racist imagery."

"This imagery has a history... that has to be engaged, that has to be understood," Croal said. "If you're going to tread, if you're going to engage imagery that has that potential, the onus is on the creator to be aware of that because there will be repercussions in the marketplace."

Gamers and critics will be able to judge for themselves when Resident Evil 5 when the title hits the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 early next year.