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Resident Evil 7 Producer Reveals Capcom's Controversial Demands

"Resident Evil 7: Biohazard" can at least partially be credited with the recent renaissance of the "Resident Evil" franchise. "Resident Evil 6" leaned fully into the third-person shooter action genre, resulting in lower review scores that left it at a range of 60-74 on Metacritic. "Resident Evil 7: Biohazard" featured a first-person perspective for the first time and went all in on survival horror, leading to Metacritic scores spanning 83-86, making it one of the best games in the franchise. More success followed for the critically lauded "Resident Evil Village," as well as multiple remakes.

According to executive producer Jun Takeuchi, Capcom almost released a very different version of "Resident Evil 7." Takeuchi discussed the game's development in a video with Shinji Mikami. He claimed that at the start of the production process, Capcom dictated that games needed to include elements that players like as part of a company-wide marketing strategy. "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 described. Thankfully, the team managed to steer away from these expectations, though it wasn't a simple process.

Developers pushed to take Resident Evil back to its roots

Takeuchi explained that, after hearing about so many failed attempts to get another "Resident Evil" game started, Kenzo Tsujimoto (one of the founders of Capcom) called Takeuchi into his office and put him on the "Resident Evil 7" project. "First, we decided that 'Resident Evil's' 'roots' are in horror. 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," Takeuchi said. There have been plenty of "Resident Evil" multiplayer experiences since, including the upcoming "Re:Verse," but the team just couldn't get it to work for the seventh mainline entry.

Takeuchi continued through the deluge of requests from the marketing team, scratching off anything that didn't work with the focused horror experience. "We went down the list, chopping them out until we had marketing's worst nightmare: a regular old single-player horror game," shared Takeuchi. While it may have been a nightmare at the time, the end result was a successful soft-reboot of the franchise resulting in multiple critically acclaimed titles since.