Resident Evil 7: Biohazard is arguably responsible for turning Capcom’s business model around following a string of bad decisions made by the company last decade. The acclaimed survival horror game not only brought the franchise back to its roots, but was the turning point for the studio’s return to delivering strong single-player offerings. However, at one point, Capcom actually wanted Resident Evil 7 to be a live-service game with online multiplayer and microtransactions.
This is according to series executive producer Jun Takeuchi, who spoke with Shinji Mikami on the official Biohazard YouTube channel recently. Takeuchi explained how Capcom pressured the team to implement such features into the game, but things changed once Takeuchi joined the project.
“When we started working on Resident Evil 7 we went back to that ‘what is horror anyway?’ discussion. I talked about it a lot with [Resident Evil 7 director Koshi] Nakanishi – ‘so what are we going to do?’ We’d talked about that stuff even before starting work on Resident Evil 7, actually.
And 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’. 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!’”
It’s easy to see why Takeuchi was initially quite frustrated by this push at the time, especially considering that the series was already on shaky stilts with fans following the mixed reception of the action-heavy Resident Evil 6. However, Takeuchi was eventually asked to join the project after much discussion. He added:
“Seriously, there were so many demands… those poor directors. Finally, our president, [Kenzo] Tsujimoto stepped in. He’d heard about all the unsuccessful attempts at that point. So this is one of those unforgettable moments for me.
It was January 4, the first working day of the new year. The president called me to his office. ‘Resident Evil 7 is in pretty bad shape. Takeuchi-kun, step in and help make it!’ So that’s how I ended up working on Resident Evil 7.”
As the saying goes, the rest is history. Resident Evil 7 ended up steering the franchise back in the right horror-focused direction and this signaled to Capcom what fans really wanted from the series. This might’ve spurred on later decisions like the highly requested remake of Resident Evil 2 and the creative horror circus show that was Resident Evil Village.
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard is currently available for PS4, Xbox One and PC with free upgrades available for PS5 and Xbox Series X/S.
Source: Video Games Chronicle