It’s almost hard to imagine a time before Resident Evil existed. The game franchise, often credited for popularizing the survival horror genre, was originally released for the PlayStation system 20 years ago, and it introduced players to the S.T.A.R.S. team as it uncovered the mystery behind a zombie-infested mansion. Capcom is celebrating its legacy the best way it knows how.
The best-selling series, which has had several sequels and spin-offs over the years–along with a popular movie series starring actress Milla Jovovich—will see plenty of exposure from the publisher, starting with a series of developer interviews posted to its official Resident Evil YouTube channel over the next few weeks. The first video, an interview with series producer Hiroyuki Kobayashi, has already been posted—and this is just the start of a year-long celebration.
So, what has kept the zombie series going for two decades? In spite of current games like Resident Evil 6 taking a more action-based approach, the “horror” aspect has been its biggest draw. This has been especially true in one of the series’ biggest sellers: Resident Evil 4. It became the Nintendo GameCube’s biggest seller when it first released in 2005, and went on to be re-released on a variety of consoles and PC, doing admirably well each time. In keeping with the celebration, the game is coming to Xbox One and PlayStation 4 this fall.
Capcom’s not through yet. The company has already announced a number of re-releases from the series. Last year, a remake of the original Resident Evil launched for modern gaming systems to great success. Resident Evil Zero, a game that helped plant roots for the franchise, was recently given a high-definition makeover for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. Finally, Resident Evil 6 releases next week for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 with the full collection of content, and Resident Evil 5 will follow suit sometime this summer.
Remakes are nice, but fans want Capcom to finally announce Resident Evil 7. The publisher has already promised that the celebration for Resident Evil will “continue over the next year” and that the team is “already hard at work to deliver some amazing new surprises.” There’s a good chance we’ll finally see the game’s reveal in just a few months’ time, when the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) rolls around. Coincidentally, the last Resident Evil movie, The Final Chapter, releases early next year. In the meantime, a new game called Umbrella Corps, which focuses on competitive multiplayer, arrives on Xbox One, PS4 and PC later this year.
That’s all on top of the other marketing campaigns Capcom has in mind for the game. The company continues to offer exclusive Resident Evil-themed products through both its online store and at game expos. It’s even going to introduce a limited edition T-Virus Perfume, with the Umbrella Corporation logo featured on the front. The perfume will go on sale at the Capcom Café in Japan starting next week, followed by a Resident Evil-themed deodorant spray. But given how fast it spreads, we could see wider release.
Congratulations to Capcom for reaching such a high benchmark with its iconic horror series. Here’s hoping for 20 more years of zombie dogs jumping through the windows.