Capcom Devs Trace Resident Evil 7’s Return To Horror Roots, Watch Eerie Launch Trailer

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Ask any Resident Evil fan worth their salt to identify the best entry into Capcom’s horror flagship and they’ll likely direct your attention toward Resident Evil 4. Released in 2005, and later remastered for current-gen systems, RE4 was considered by many to be the near-perfect symphony of survival horror and over-the-shoulder action, but its sequels strayed too far into action territory for some. That all changes with the launch of Resident Evil 7.

Ditching the blockbuster sensibilities of its immediate peers, Capcom has scaled back to focus on the key elements that made Resident Evil so special to begin with – the inventory management, the exploration, even the goofy dialogue. But above all else, long-time fans are most excited to experience the franchise’s knack for old-school horror and nightmare-inducing thrills, and according to Capcom producer Masachika Kawata, such a change of pace was imperative in order to keep the series alive.

Chatting to Games Industry in anticipation of the sequel’s arrival today, January 24, here’s what Kawata had to share:

“From a business perspective, Resident Evil 6 was a success,” acknowledges Kawata “But we had pushed that style of Resident Evil gameplay, with the big storyline and the hero characters, pretty much as far as we could. It was a blockbuster scale of game. That almost left us with no choice but to change the series in order to keep it alive, because where do you go after that size and scale of game?”

Prior to launch, Capcom was bullish in its sales forecast for Resident Evil 7, claiming the franchise revival could sell – and that’s sell, not ship – 4 million copies on day one. It’s too soon to tell if RE7 can hit that lofty target, but Kawata-san already has his eye trained on lifetime sales.

“Certainly if you compare the sales of Resident Evil 1, 2 and 3 as a unit [the more traditional horror games], and compare it to Resident Evil 4, 5 and 6 [which are more action-orientated], the sales were a lot higher on the more recent titles. But that’s not just because of the types of content, we have got better at selling our games. The market has got bigger as well. So just because we are going back to horror, I don’t expect we will see a drop to historical levels. The whole company is behind this title and the horror approach, and I’m confident that we are going to do well with this one.”

Resident Evil 7 claws onto PS4, Xbox One, PC and definitely not Nintendo Switch today, January 24. Expect Capcom to roll out the game’s first slice of DLC free of charge sometime next week.

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