Resident Evil 7 Was Originally A Live-Service Game With Microtransactions

Resident Evil 7 Was Originally A Live-Service Game With Microtransactions
Images Capcom

Written by 

Tom Chapman


23rd Aug 2022 13:50

It might be held as the best the Resiverse had to offer, but did you know Resident Evil 7 was nearly a whole different ball game? While we all remember the 2017 legend for its frights, the original plan for this Resident Evil return to form was for a live-action game that was stuffed with microtransactions. Paying to have Ethan's hand sewn back on doesn't sound like much fun. 

After the disappointment of 2012's Resident Evil 6 being slammed for being too cinematic, RE7 went back to basics and dialled up the scares. Ethan Winters making his way through the crumbling confines of the Baker Ranch while Jack Baker chased him with an axe made this easily the franchise's scariest entry - and one of the scariest games of all time. Seriously, don't play it in VR.

What Was The Original Plan For Resident Evil 7?

Resident Evil 7
Click to enlarge

Over on the Biohazard (the name of the franchise in Japan) YouTube channel, Executive Producer Jun Takeuchi explained (via VGC) how Capcom wanted Resident Evil 7 to be a live-service title with the addition of microtransactions. According to Takeuchi, Capcom felt the pressure to make "the games players are asking for."

Takeuchi said, "There was a big push at Capcom, a big 'marketing' push, saying 'we have to make the games players are asking for.'" Expanding on what things were like at Capcom HQ at the time, he added, "So we were being told 'make this, make that,' it was really hard on the directors at the time. 'Online multiplayer' this, 'downloadable content' that. 'Ongoing service games! Microtransactions! Make a Resident Evil game that ticks all those boxes!'"

Before Takeuchi was brought on board, Capcom President Kenzo Tsujimoto reportedly phoned him up and said the game was in pretty bad shape. Assuming these early versions were a live-service multiplayer stocked with microtransactions, we're not surprised they were quickly given the boot. You only have to look at the problems and delays surrounding Resident Evil Re:Verse to see a Resi multiplayer is easier said than done.


How Did Resident Evil 7 Evolve?

Thankfully, Takeuchi said the devs went back and asked "What is horror anyway?" This is presumably what led to RE7's pivot back to the survival horror elements that defined the series back in 1996. Takeuchi concluded, "We decided that Resident Evil's roots are in horror. We talked about it a lot. The idea of multiplayer got killed off pretty quickly. If we could properly put it together we could make an exciting horror multiplayer game, but we didn’t really have any good ideas, so we set it aside."

In the end, he described RE7 as "marketing's worst nightmare" when the team turned in "a regular old single-player horror game." It was for the best that RE7 ditched all notions of a multiplayer, because let's be honest, seeing Ethan go it alone was what made it special. Having him team up with Chris Redfield at the end for co-op sounds like an awful idea. Still, we're a little bummed we didn't get a Mercenaries mode.

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