Resident Evil

Resident Evil, known in Japan as Biohazard,[lower-alpha 1] is a Japanese horror video game series and media franchise created by Capcom. It consists of survival horror, third-person shooter, and first-person shooter games. The franchise has expanded into a live-action film series, animated films, television series, comic books, novels, audio dramas, and other media and merchandise.

Video game and media franchise
This article is about the media franchise. For other uses, see Resident Evil (disambiguation).

Resident Evil

Created by Shinji Mikami
Tokuro Fujiwara
Original work Resident Evil (1996)
Owner Capcom
Print publications
Novel(s) Novel list
Comics Comic list
Films and television
Television series Television list
Video game(s) Game list
Official website

The first Resident Evil was created by Shinji Mikami and Tokuro Fujiwara and released for the PlayStation in 1996.[1][2] It is credited for defining the survival horror genre and returning zombies to popular culture. With Resident Evil 4 (2005), the franchise shifted to more dynamic shooting action; it influenced the evolution of the survival horror and third-person genres, popularizing the “over-the-shoulder” third-person view.[3]Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (2017) moved the series to a first-person perspective.

Resident Evil is Capcom’s best-selling video game franchise, with 120 million units sold worldwide as of September 2021. It is the best-selling horror game series, in addition to the film adaptations being the highest-grossing live-action video game film series, making Resident Evil the highest-grossing franchise in the horror and zombie genres.

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Release timeline
1996 Resident Evil
1998 Resident Evil 2
1999 Resident Evil 3: Nemesis
2000 Resident Evil Survivor
Resident Evil – Code: Veronica
2001 Resident Evil Survivor 2 – Code: Veronica
Resident Evil Gaiden
2002 Resident Evil (remake)
Resident Evil Zero
2003 Resident Evil: Dead Aim
Resident Evil Outbreak
2004 Resident Evil Outbreak: File #2
2005 Resident Evil 4
2006 Resident Evil: Deadly Silence
2007 Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles
2009 Resident Evil 5
Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles
2011 Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D
2012 Resident Evil: Revelations
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City
Resident Evil 6
2015 Resident Evil: Revelations 2
2016 Umbrella Corps
2017 Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
2019 Resident Evil 2 (remake)
2020 Resident Evil 3 (remake)
Resident Evil: Resistance
2021 Resident Evil Village

The development of the first Resident Evil, released as Biohazard in Japan, began in 1993 when Capcom‘s Tokuro Fujiwara told Shinji Mikami and other co-workers to create a game using elements from Fujiwara’s 1989 game Sweet Home.[4][5] When in late 1994 marketing executives were setting up to release Biohazard in the United States, it was pointed out that securing the rights to the name Biohazard would be very difficult as a DOS game had been registered under that name, as well as a New York hardcore punk band called Biohazard. A contest was held among company personnel to choose a new name; this competition turned up Resident Evil, the name under which it was released in the west.[6]Resident Evil made its debut on the PlayStation in 1996 and was later ported to the Sega Saturn.

The first entry in the series was the first game to be dubbed a “survival horror“, a term coined for the new genre it initiated,[7] and its critical and commercial success[8] led to the production of two sequels, Resident Evil 2 in 1998 and Resident Evil 3: Nemesis in 1999, both for the PlayStation. A port of Resident Evil 2 was released for the Nintendo 64. In addition, ports of all three were released for Microsoft Windows. The fourth game in the series, Resident Evil – Code: Veronica, was developed for the Dreamcast and released in 2000, followed by ports of Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3: Nemesis. Resident Evil – Code: Veronica was later re-released for Dreamcast in Japan in an updated form as Code: Veronica Complete, which included slight changes, many of which revolved around story cutscenes. This updated version was later ported to the PlayStation 2 and GameCube under the title Code: Veronica X.

Despite earlier announcements that the next game in the series would be released for the PlayStation 2, which resulted in the creation of an unrelated game titled Devil May Cry, series’ creator and producer Shinji Mikami decided to make the series exclusively for the GameCube.[9] The next three games in the series—a remake of the original Resident Evil and the prequel Resident Evil Zero, both released in 2002, as well as Resident Evil 4 (2005)—were all released initially as GameCube exclusives. Resident Evil 4 was later released for Windows, PlayStation 2, and Wii.

A trilogy of GunCon-compatible light gun games known as the Gun Survivor series featured first-person gameplay. The first, Resident Evil Survivor, was released in 2000 for the PlayStation and PC but received mediocre reviews.[10] The subsequent games, Resident Evil Survivor 2 – Code: Veronica and Resident Evil: Dead Aim, fared somewhat better.[11]Dead Aim is the fourth Gun Survivor game in Japan, with Gun Survivor 3 being the Dino Crisis spin-off Dino Stalker. In a similar vein, the Chronicles series features first-person gameplay, albeit on an on-rails path. Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles was released in 2007 for the Wii, with a sequel, Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles released in 2009 (both were later ported to the PlayStation 3 in 2012).[12] Also in 2009, Resident Evil 5 was released for PlayStation 3, Windows and Xbox 360, becoming the best selling game of the franchise despite mixed fan reception.

Resident Evil Outbreak is an online game for the PlayStation 2, released in 2003, depicting a series of episodic storylines in Raccoon City set during the same period as Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3: Nemesis. It was the first in the series and the first survival horror title to feature cooperative gameplay.[13] It was followed by a sequel, Resident Evil Outbreak: File #2. Raccoon City is a metropolis located in the Arklay Mountains of the Midwestern United States that succumbed to the deadly T-virus outbreak and was consequently destroyed via a nuclear missile attack issued by the United States government. The town served as a critical junction for the series’ progression as one of the main catalysts to Umbrella’s downfall and the entry point for some of the series’ most notable characters.

Resident Evil Gaiden is an action-adventure game for the Game Boy Color featuring a role-playing-style combat system. There have been several downloadable mobile games based on the Resident Evil series in Japan. Some of these mobile games have been released in North America and Europe through T-Mobile. At the Sony press conference during E3 2009, it was announced that Resident Evil Portable would be released for the PlayStation Portable,[14][15][16] described as an all-new title being developed with “the PSP Go in mind” and “totally different for a Resident Evil game”. However, as of 2021, no further announcements have been made, and the game is considered to have been canceled.[17][18]

In March 2011, Capcom revealed the third-person shooterResident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, which was developed by Slant Six Games for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows and released in March 2012. A survival horror game for the Nintendo 3DS, Resident Evil: Revelations, was released in February 2012.[19] In October of the same year, the next numbered entry in the main series, Resident Evil 6, was released to mixed reviews,[20] but enthusiastic pre-order sales.[21]

In 2013, producer Masachika Kawata said the Resident Evil franchise would return to focus on elements of horror and suspense over action, adding, “Survival horror as a genre is never going to be on the same level, financially, as shooters and much more popular, mainstream games. At the same time, I think we need to have the confidence to put money behind these projects, and it doesn’t mean we can’t focus on what we need to do as a survival horror game to meet fan’s needs.”[22]Resident Evil: Revelations 2, an episodic game set between Resident Evil 5 and Resident Evil 6, was released in March 2015. A poorly-received team-based multiplayer game set in the series’ universe, Umbrella Corps, was released in June 2016.[23]

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard was released for Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in January 2017.[24][25] Set in a dilapidated mansion in Louisiana, the game uses a first-person perspective and returns to the series’ survival horror roots.[26][27] Unlike Resident Evil 5 and Resident Evil 6, the gameplay emphasizes horror and exploration over action.[28][29]

A remake of Resident Evil 2 was released for the PlayStation 4, Windows, and Xbox One on January 25, 2019. It uses the RE Engine, which was also used for Resident Evil 7.[30] The remake outsold the original game within a year, selling over five million copies.[31] Following in the success of the Resident Evil 2 remake, Capcom revealed a remake of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis in December 2019, known as Resident Evil 3. It was released on April 3, 2020, alongside Resident Evil: Resistance, a team-based online multiplayer game previously announced as Project Resistance.[32][33]

On June 11, 2020, Resident Evil Village was officially announced during the PS5 Future of Gaming showcase. The game, released on May 7, 2021, is a direct sequel to Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, set in a mysterious European village and featuring the same first-person gameplay from its predecessor while incorporating action elements from Resident Evil 4.[34][35]

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