Thanks to Serkan Toto, a Japanese analyst and CEO of consultancy firm Kantan Game, it seems that there is a strong probability that Resident Evil 7 is in development, and will be officially announced at E3 2016. He has released more details about the alleged sequel on his twitter, stating that the game would “(essentially) be a clean slate” and will be a return to the franchise’s horror roots.
This isn’t the first time that the existence of a follow-up to the primary Resident Evil franchise has been hinted at. In October 2013, a contract employee credited herself as a “costume designer for the video game Resident Evil 7” on her résumé. Also in 2013, a long-time producer of the Resident Evil series, Masachika Kawata, spoke of the possibility of a new entry in the franchise if the sequel managed to maintain “what Resident Evil is and what makes it appealing to fans.” In an interview from last year, Kawata further alluded to a sequel by saying, “we’re currently not at a state to talk about it, but please stay tuned”, when asked about Resident Evil 7. Additionally, during Capcom’s latest financial review the company referred to Resident Evil: Umbrella Corps as a “warm up to the full-scale offensive planned for the second half of the [fiscal] year.” The end of the fiscal year for Capcom is on March 31, 2017.
With the accumulative information surrounding it, and the fact that it’s almost been four years since the release of Resident Evil 6, it doesn’t seem implausible that this year’s E3 might be where Capcom finally reveals their renewal of the series. 2016 also marks the 20th anniversary of the Resident Evil series, so the time frame would make sense. It is not yet known in what form the announcement will be – whether we’ll see gameplay or just a pre-rendered trailer – as we still only know relatively little thus far. However, from other rumored information about the game that Serkin Toto tweeted, it seems that Jordan Amaro, a designer who previously worked on Metal Gear Solid 5 and P.T. at Kojima Productions, might be part of the development team. This could be promising for Resident Evil 7, as the unfortunately canceled P.T. showed immense potential with its terrifying playable teaser.
With word of this sequel also being a reboot of the franchise, one has to wonder if it could be as successful as the last game to reinvent the series, Resident Evil 4. However, it is slightly worrying that the last iteration of the game, Resident Evil 6, was universally panned by critics and fans alike. It’s also worth mentioning that Capcom’s last attempt at rebooting one of their popular franchises was the generally fan-hated DmC: Devil May Cry; a game that really wasn’t that bad, but still failed at revitalizing the franchise.
In the end, only time will tell what Capcom has in store for us at this year’s E3 and what will become of the Resident Evil series.