Resident Evil Launched 20 Years Ago Today

Happy birthday!


It's not just Pokemon and Sonic that are celebrating major milestones this year. Capcom's Resident Evil franchise debuted on this day 20 years ago, on March 22, 1996. To mark the occasion, Capcom has now released a new video in which franchise veteran Hiroyuki Kobayashi--who has worked on the series since its inception--reflects on his time with the horror franchise across games, movies, and more.

Kobayashi delivers his message in Japanese, but captions are available for English.

Kobayashi talks about how he joined Capcom right around the time work was starting on the first Resident Evil, on which he served as a programmer. Specifically, he programmed small creatures including spiders, bees, and crow.

He recalls tensions between the staff regarding Resident Evil, as the game was "something very unlike previous games," he explained. But the team was able to come together and settle their differences--and what resulted was the first entry in now what is one of Capcom's crown jewels.

The developer also says part of the reason why Resident Evil has enjoyed such enduring success is that it appeals to a wide audience with its zombie theme and story elements.

You may also be surprised to learn that Kobayashi says he is not a big fan of the horror genre personally. Plus, as a developer, he knows what's going to happen in the story, so the scare factor is lessened, he said about his own experience with the franchise.

Kobayashi also discusses the "essence" of the Resident Evil series. He said horror is at the core of the brand, but stated that Capcom has often looked beyond that, more to entertainment, for the newer installments. This is because Kobayashi wants the franchise to reach the widest possible audience.

There is also some talk about the groundbreaking Resident Evil 4, while Kobayashi goes on to acknowledge that not everyone has loved every entry in the series.

"Each title has its own tone, and while people may like one over another, the creative teams are just as passionate no matter which title," he explained.

By Capcom's latest count, the Resident Evil franchise has racked up more than 66 million copies sold across 101 different entries. The next games are new versions of Resident Evil 4, 5, and 6 for Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Resident Evil 6's re-release comes out this month, but a release date has not been announced.

Finally, Capcom said it will share Part 1 of another retrospective Resident Evil video series later today.

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