Today, March 22, 2016, marks the 20 year anniversary of the Resident Evil series. To commemorate the anniversary, veteran Capcom developer and producer Hiroyuki Kobayashi talked about the game in a new video.
Kobayashi had his first start in Capcom with the first Resident Evil game itself. Developed for the PlayStation, Kobayashi explained that the 100 person team often got into arguments with each other during its development because it was not like other games that came before it. He describes the game as primarily horror, but with other elements, such as the entertainment aspect (AKA cinematic elements), and the puzzle aspect. Having this variety within the game design allowed the franchise to expand its appeal through the years.
Kobayashi also revealed that graphics were always a major focus of the series. As they made new games, they sought to utilize the power of the consoles they were making it for to make each game look better and more visually striking. They were literally doing trial-and-error with the first Resident Evil on the first PlayStation, but they improved their process in iterating with each console as they made each game. Funnily enough, Capcom always had bigger ambitions for each game than the console allowed, but they adjusted their scope every time.
Ultimately, there is no deep secret to making Resident Evil games. The franchise is where it is today simply because Capcom kept learning how to make survival horror games. Their developers passed down this knowledge to their successors, and each developer, including Kobayashi himself, contributed to this collection of knowledge with their own ideas.
Kobayashi makes special mention of Resident Evil 4. Originally developed for the GameCube, it brought huge changes to the franchise, many of which remain today. Among these are the accurate shooting gameplay, and the new experience that diverged from the very limited, nearly dungeon-like style of the original games.
The last new game in the series, Resident Evil Revelations 2, was released on the PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Vita. The next upcoming game, spin-off shooter Umbrella Corps, is coming this year to PlayStation 4 and PC. What are your favorite Resident Evil memories? Share your thoughts with us in the comments. You can watch the anniversary video below. Capcom also commissioned a special anniversary poster, which you can see above.