Resident Evil 7 revitalized Capcom’s horror franchise, giving it a much-needed shot of horror after the incredibly maligned Resident Evil 6. However, some decisions seemingly could have made Resident Evil 7 as big of a flop as RE6. A recent deep-dive retrospective into Resident Evil’s history between executive producer Jun Takeuchi and former franchise director Shinji Mikami revealed that Capcom marketing wanted Resident Evil 6 to be a live-service game, complete with multiplayer and microtransactions.
This frightful possibility was revealed during the aforementioned retrospective posted recently on the Biohazard YouTube channel. According to Jun Takeuchi, before he stepped on board with the development of Resident Evil 7, the game was in a dire state with the development team and Capcom marketing butting heads.
“Right around that time there was a big push at Capcom, a big ‘marketing’ push, saying ‘we have to make the games players are asking for,’” Takeuchi explained. “So we were being told ‘make this, make that’, it was really hard on the directors at the time. ‘Online multiplayer’ this, ‘downloadable content’ that. ‘Ongoing service games! Microtransactions! Make a Resident Evil game that ticks all those boxes!’”
Takeuchi goes on to explain that it was Capcom president Kenzo Tsujimoto stepping in and giving him the reins to salvage Resident Evil 7. He went on to re-establish the development team’s priorities when it came to approaching the game’s core foundations.
“First, we decided that Resident Evil’s roots are in horror,” Takeuchi continued. “We talked about it a lot. The idea of multiplayer got killed off pretty quickly. If we could properly put it together, we could make an exciting horror multiplayer game, but we didn’t really have any good ideas, so we set it aside. We went down the list, chopping them out, until we had marketing’s worst nightmare – a regular old single-player horror game. That’s what we ended up with.”
That “regular old single-player horror game" turned what was becoming a frustrating project into one of the franchise’s best-selling entries. Resident Evil 7 has since gotten an upgrade on PS5 and Xbox Series X/S alongside the remakes of Resident Evil 2 and 3, and a Resident Evil 4 remake is on the horizon. Stay tuned for more details on the future of the franchise right here at Shacknews.