We’re about a month on from the official unveiling of the PlayStation 5 now, and during the launch trailer, we got our first look at “Resident Evil 8,” complete with what appears to be a spooky storyline involving magic and werewolves along with all the usual zombie action. The trailer prompted a lot of excitement online, but now we might have reason to question whether we actually saw a trailer for “Resident Evil 8” at all.
As has been the case with several games in the “Resident Evil” franchise, this new release comes with a subtitle. It’s called “Resident Evil: Village.” Even though the title has been drawn in a way that makes “VIII” stand out and therefore indicate that this is the official eighth entrant in the franchise, Capcom has stopped short of referring to it as “Resident Evil 8” in any official documentation – and there might be a reason for that. Thanks to a recent interview that Kotaku carried out with Peter Fabiano and Tsuyoshi Kanda, we now know that they’d rather we focused on the “Village” part of the title and not the “eight.” To put it another way, this might not be the ‘official’ eighth game at all. This might be a related sequel to “Resident Evil VII” instead.
There’s another way of looking at this. Technically speaking, “Resident Evil 7” wasn’t really “Resident Evil 7” either. It came out under the name “Resident Evil: Biohazard,” with “VII” picked out in Roman numerals in precisely the same way as has been done with “Village.” Other people started calling it “Resident Evil 7,” and Capcom eventually followed suit. That might imply that things will be exactly the same this time around – or it might mean that there may be another game or two to go before we get around to the official ‘eighth’ game. This is, after all, a Capcom production. If anyone likes to release multiple versions of the same game with bolt-ons and additional material, it’s Capcom. Just ask any “Street Fighter” fan about that if you don’t believe us.
It would be easy to write this off as people reading too much into the situation, but there appears to be genuine confusion about the name – or at least the intention of the name – from Capcom’s end as well as the public’s end. A few days ago, they started inviting people’s opinions about the name of their new game. At the same time, people started noticing that what they thought was a “VIII” in the “Village” part of the title could, alternatively, be read as “VII.I”, or in other words, seven point one. Anyone is welcome to take the short survey about the game’s name, which is available through the official “Resident Evil” Twitter account and let the team know how you understand it and what you believe it to mean.
There’s still a lot of time to go between now and the day that “Resident Evil: Village” launches. During that time, Capcom could decide to do almost anything with it. They could decide that they want to recognize it as the official eighth game in the franchise and alter the title. They could also decide that they’re going to make an ‘official’ “Resident Evil 8” at a later date and retitle this one to make it clear that it’s a second part of the seventh game. Alternatively, they could leave things as they are and hope that the fuss about the name leads to some free publicity as they approach the release date. From a marketing point of view, that probably wouldn’t be a terrible idea – not that anything “Resident Evil” related tends to need much in the way of publicity to help it to fly off the shelves.
Within the past two or three years, we’ve seen the “Resident Evil” franchise become stronger than at any point in the past. The remade versions of the second and third “Resident Evil” games have proven to be enormously popular with players, and a remake of the fourth installment has now also been commissioned – although we probably won’t see it released until late 2021. We’ve even seen “Resident Evil” take over online slots with the release of an officially-connected online website like Rose Slots. It’s not the first video game to begin a new life as an attraction for online slots players, but it might be the highest-profile. It would probably have to compete with the official online slots game of the “Call of Duty” franchise for that offer. On top of all the games, there’s talk in Hollywood circles that a reboot of the “Resident Evil” movie franchise might also be around the corner. Fans of zombie horror survival scares aren’t going to be short of options at any point in the near future.
The issue with the game’s name is a curious one, but we suspect it ultimately won’t matter to the vast majority of players. All they care about is whether or not it’s scary enough to live up to its title, and if it’s fun to play. After seeing the trailer, we find it hard to imagine that players are doing to be disappointed in either respect. Perhaps it would be better if this was a sequel to the seventh game as opposed to an eighth standalone, though. If that were the case, it would mean not only do we get to spend some more time with the story of the seventh game, but also that another “Resident Evil” game would presumably also be in the pipeline for a later release. Why have one game when you can have two?
While the go-ahead has been given for this new game – whatever its correct title is – and the remake of the fourth “Resident Evil,” there’s still no news on whether Capcom will go all the way back to the origins of the series and remake the first-ever “Resident Evil” game, which was released in 1996. An ‘enhanced’ version of the game was released for the Playstation 2 in 2002, but seeing the origin story of the franchise again using the latest gaming technology would hold massive appeal for experienced gamers. Capcom, if you’re listening, we’d love you to make it happen!