Resident Evil Launched 20 Years Ago Today

Happy birthday!

23 Comments

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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hyksiu

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I was 5 years old lol but I still remember the awesomeness of this game. And I remind myself of it all the time.

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MakoShark222

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I was there.

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LexLas

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Edited By LexLas

Can't believe it was 20 years ago today. I remember exactly where i was, and what my life was like. I'd stay up all night playing this game with friends, and making it to work in the morning. Had to make sure i paid my rent, and took care of my son and wife. Now he's in college, and moved out. Luckily i now have a 11 year old whom i can start this all over again with. Time just passes so fast. Resident Evil was an awesome game for the PS1.

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punksterdaddy

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@LexLas: Same here. Although 20 years ago I was only 19, so no kids then. I remember gathering together in my bedroom to play this. I had my notebook and pen by my side for taking down notes of what happened where for the RE:play. Good times.

I wish I could relive them but the dialogue in the newest release doesn't have that charm, it will never be good enough as we laughed for an age at the awesome line delivery from Barry "Just. take. a look. at. this!" and the always great classic "Jill Sandwich." I really think they missed a trick there, by not having the original dialogue as an option with REmake II or REmaster or whatever it was referred to as.

There are people whom never experienced it that way, despite the ports on PS3 etc.

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LexLas

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@punksterdaddy: I hear ya there buddy, i wish they would remake it how we would prefer it. By the way i was 20 years old, just had a kid early. RE is a gaming moment in our history which will remain the definition of fun gaming for us. Them cool days where we waited in the mail for demo disks, lol .. Great times !

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hystavito

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@LexLas: I wasn't into consoles around the time of the first few games in the series, but I remember getting together with friends who had them for sessions. I wasn't really a big fan of the games, but it's one of those things that reminds me of being young.

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tomb_light

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Edited By tomb_light

Okay so 5 wasn't scary... but it was still an immensely enjoyable and awesome game. Doesn't get enough love.

6 was pants. Just pants.

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NbAlIvEr10000

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Man, seems like yesterday when I was perusing Blockbuster looking for something new on the Playstation and coming across a game with a guy with a shotgun freaked out looking at giant spiders on the cover......."Resident Evil you don't say......alright I'll rent this I guess." ------> Life Changed.

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senorbusyman

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ive been RE fan since the beginning but they really dumbed it down with 6. Leons campaign in 6 was the only good once since it retain some of the classic RE survival elements like when they were in the school or when they fought that giant shark but another thing i love about RE are the soundtracks plus the announcer intros. im hoping Capcom does justice with RE7 & makes RE2HD Remake a success

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marcelinof

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That music makes me feel so safe.

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PrpleTrtleBuBum

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And RE is pretty much the only high-profile series that I am still interested in, I immensely enjoyed even RE5/6 and the 2 Revelations and RE7 will likely be a reason pushing me to get a new console or decent PC. I really hope there is no reboot in sight because I'm still interested to see where the plot takes Leon, Chris and the co. in the future.

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Henninger

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Edited By Henninger

Wow!! I feel old now. Hope they can take it back to the roots though. Looking forward for the Resident Evil 2 remake as well.

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chocolate1325

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A franchise I love alot despite recent entries. After 4 which is my favourite the series has gone backwards but I still think of the famous Licker scene.

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RSM-HQ

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Edited By RSM-HQ

It must be interesting to reflect on a series that had such a huge impact on gaming, only to become mediocre last generation. Though I still got fun out of Resi 5/ 6/ and Revelations; Capcom have let the standards slip and it's a shame that I'm more excited for a potential The Evil Within sequel than anything Resident Evil.

They need to aim high for Remake2 imo.

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DarthRevenX

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Edited By DarthRevenX

cool that RE has lasted 20 years but seriously with the last few entries being subpar to put it lightly it kinda seems insane to celebrate given that now they seem to want to get in on the COD market......

personally I always liked Silent Hill more for the horror aspect, SH was creepier and more cerebral like a Hitchcock movie you could interact with....RE was always a bit more like Rambo meets Romero's zombies......complete with the cheesy dialog.....but there was always a bit of actual horror to the games then came RE5, RE6 and REORC that had no real horror and were more action oriented and went more and more for the hardcore action market.....ORC should have been a cool spinoff tactical shooter in the RE franchise that told a story from the umbrella side and it just fell way short....RE5 and RE6 were just bad games plain and simple......RE4 was fun at the time it was made but it hasn't aged well and is the springboard where the current games come from....wanna blame a game for the downfall? blame RE4....

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turtlethetaffer

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That's insane. Well, we got the best game remake of all time and one of the best games of all time period out of this series. Plus some of the best (read: most cringe inducing) one liners in history.

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ello432

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Resident Evil is a franchise to me that has best demonstrated the evolution of the mainstream gaming industry over the last 20 years.

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immortality20

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Congrats, landmark series. I hope they announce resident evil 7 at e3.

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NbAlIvEr10000

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@immortality20: **** that!......I wanna see some Re2make footage.

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Xirtahm

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If that announcement doesn't make you feel old, then how about this... There are people who have now graduated high school and are either in college or even started careers that didn't experience the original Resident Evil the way many of us did.

In a year, the same can officially be said for Final Fantasy VII. Yeah... Canes and walkers, anyone?

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RSM-HQ

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Edited By RSM-HQ

@Xirtahm: My first Resident Evil was OutBreak so I don't feel old at all. This series is almost as old as I am :P

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Xirtahm

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@RSM-HQ: Yeah, but I was in my senior year when the game came out, haha. Good times. Good memories. XD

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RSM-HQ

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@Xirtahm: Now that's a dedicated gamer! xD

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