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Is Resident Evil Still One Of The Industry's Defining Franchises?

So they've officially unveiled Resident Evil 6, which immediately got me wondering: does this legendary (yes, legendary)  franchise still enjoy widespread popularity?

These days, it seems as if the same question could be asked of most any major Japanese franchise, but that's another topic for another day. Right now, I'm specifically referring to Resident Evil, a series that has been one of the defining IPs for interactive entertainment for about 15 years. When you tell veteran gamers about freaky dogs jumping through the window, they know what you're talking about. This, along with Tomb Raider, was/is undoubtedly a signature franchise.

And although many fans still remain, one has to wonder if RE maintains its status. With the Western market dominating, it almost seems as if Resident Evil 6 could be overshadowed come the holiday season, when we'll certainly see another Call of Duty and perhaps The Last Of Us, among other highly anticipated, cutting-edge titles. A decade ago, the announcement of a new Resident Evil would rank among the biggest news of the year. Now I wonder if the situation is the same...or if we're looking at another decline. Personally, I can't imagine gaming without Resident Evil.

And I hope I'm not the only one. I also hope Capcom comes through and delivers a totally epic experience, which would be so sweet for the dedicated Biohazard fans (if you didn't already know, RE is called Biohazard in Japan). We've got the Tomb Raider reboot coming this year, and that looks plenty promising, right? So don't count out the Japanese devs. And maybe RE6 will be gigantic...

Tags: re6, resident evil 6, resident evil, resident evil games

1/19/2012 9:09:52 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (42 posts)

laxpro2001
Thursday, January 19, 2012 @ 9:39:57 PM
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IMO, the franchise is still enjoying and maybe even garnering more popularity. This is BECAUSE it is becoming more Western. I got RE5 long after it came out and though I enjoyed it, there was almost nothing Resident Evil about it.

There was not a single part in the game when I jumped or even had the slightest feeling of fear/tension. Its a shame because its not a survival horror game anymore... just a survival one.

I think one of the main reasons for this was because of the loss of in the ink ribbon saves (which should have went back to limited after RE4) The Japanese developers used to use very strategic placement of savepoints, but now it seems they took a page from western developers (FPS mainly) just to cater to a larger audience.

I wouldn't be surprised if they made a run-and-gun option to even further cater to western audiences... now THAT is scary 0_0

EDIT - I actually watched the video and they did indeed add a "run" and gun control scheme. Considering the direction they are heading I don't blame them but I wish that direction wasn't practically a complete departure from the roots :/

Last edited by laxpro2001 on 1/19/2012 9:47:52 PM

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Excelsior1
Thursday, January 19, 2012 @ 9:59:22 PM

Believe me, Resident Evil 5 did a lot of damage to the franchise so there is just no way its garnering even more popularity these days. In fact, a lot of the comments I am reading on other sites indicate to me that a lot of gamers are counting on Capcom screwing this up somehow...maybe that says more about Capcom's reputation these days than Resident Evil's but it would appear both are no where near to what they used to be in terms of popularity.

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LegendaryWolfeh
Thursday, January 19, 2012 @ 10:27:36 PM

Sorry but I don't care, tank controls are just annoying and unrealistic (haha realism in a video game). If I'm getting chased by a zombie, why would I stand and shoot..come on.

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berserk
Friday, January 20, 2012 @ 6:40:30 AM

Lol legendary , always funny reading that comment .

Like survival horror in a resident evil game can t exist without tank control or no moving and shooting at the same time .

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Geobaldi
Thursday, January 19, 2012 @ 10:06:39 PM
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Seeing as how it's not even really in the same genre as it started in, there's no real survival horror to it anymore, I'd say it damaged it's legacy and player base somewhat. Those new to the series may enjoy it but a lot of those that have been there since the beginning feel like Capcom has forgotten what made the series legendary to begin with. Just my thoughts on this series now, and the trailer for RE6 doesn't get my hopes up much either.

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Bigimpactpooch
Thursday, January 19, 2012 @ 10:48:03 PM
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i mean RE5 was the most sold Re game...it's still going strong.

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Neurotoxiny
Thursday, January 19, 2012 @ 10:48:09 PM
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I agree. It's almost like if they added guns to Mario... it'd completely change the game.

That's a bit of an exaggeration though :P

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Pandacastro
Thursday, January 19, 2012 @ 10:53:15 PM

Funny story, the original super mario game actually had a gun but then they canned it for the flower power up.

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Kiryu
Thursday, January 19, 2012 @ 10:58:01 PM
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Hope they make it more like RE3.No horror in re5

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TheCanadianGuy
Friday, January 20, 2012 @ 12:17:01 AM
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it certainly isn't as highly regarded as it was in the PS1 era (or after 4) but i think for the most part the diehard fans are still with it. its still one of my favorite franchises. i really only ever liked the main series. 123&4 overall 5 was a letdown even though i had fun playing it and still do. it just wasn't resident evil. hopefully with 6 they get the series back on track. looks like zombies are back thats a start!

Last edited by TheCanadianGuy on 1/20/2012 12:18:53 AM

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SmokeyPSD
Friday, January 20, 2012 @ 12:21:06 AM
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Honestly Resident Evil fell out of my good graces before Final Fantasy even did. I see it as a trilogy. I enjoyed Resident Evil 4 but I didn't view it as a path that Resi should be going on in and I was right, the series has just continued on it.

Resident Evil 5 was supposed to be a renaissance for the series, a back to roots of Res 1 but done with a high technical proficiency instead we got what we got.

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ZenChichiri
Friday, January 20, 2012 @ 10:19:01 AM

While I agree that the story in RE4 took a nosedive in terms of continuity (wiping Umbrella out in a flash) I believe it took the gameplay to new heights. RE5 was the one that threw the horror out the window, and I blame that mostly for the franchise falling out of the good graces of its longtime fans.

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SmokeyPSD
Friday, January 20, 2012 @ 1:12:38 PM

For me the gameplay still became too action orientated from Resi 4. It was both, the story and gameplay, though you are right the horror was still there. I still enjoyed it. I just saw a path beginning as I said and I was right.

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ZenChichiri
Friday, January 20, 2012 @ 1:36:09 PM

Yup. The path that led to RE5, which I definitely agree with you about.

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Dancemachine55
Friday, January 20, 2012 @ 12:53:54 AM
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Dead Space certainly took a large chunk of that survival horror market share, but if RE 6 plays out as well as the trailer looks, we might have something truly great to play come November.

... besides The Last of Us. :)

Trailer looks amazing!!! Judging by the intial reactions to the trailer, looks like a true return to the survival horror formula of previous RE titles. Here's hoping for Dead Space controls (two sticks for moving and aiming simultaneously)

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___________
Friday, January 20, 2012 @ 3:03:47 AM
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nope!
most people dont give a sh*t about not only RE games anymore, but all crapcom games themselves!
they just have taken them far too far from their original roots almost turning them into totally different games!
honestly remove the title, and the characters and you would not know RE5 was a RE game!
in fact you would know its not because it plays so differently from the iconic series!
theres a reason why not only crapcom, but all asian developers this gen have gone from top of the tree to garbage feeders!
just trying to change their games FAR too much!

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Snaaaake
Friday, January 20, 2012 @ 4:58:04 AM
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Well Resident Evil had to evolved.
I used to whine about it but then I realized times have changed.
Resident Evil ain't about evil spirit or cursed world or whatsoever supernatural stuff.
It's all science so it had to be changed, well it was done wrong in RE5 but from the RE6 I'd say Capcom is on the right track for this one.

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Clamedeus
Friday, January 20, 2012 @ 3:17:26 PM

Evil Spirits, cursed world? o.O What are you talking about. I could of sworn RE wasn't about that stuff but about a Virus.

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Mamills
Friday, January 20, 2012 @ 5:00:02 AM
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RE6 looks amazing, and it also looks like they listened to the complaints about RE5.
me n my buddies will be grabbing this 1 day 1

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Vivi_Gamer
Friday, January 20, 2012 @ 5:13:15 AM
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Had I not seen that trailer for RE6, I would have flat out said no. I enjoyed RE4, but felt since then they lost the fear factor. I love RE1-3 everything about them, but RE5 I just felt no interest in, it felt liek a generic gruesome action game. RE6 seems to be bringing the fear back. If this is a November release it's a new game to add to my 2012 list. Veyr impressed indeed.

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godsman
Friday, January 20, 2012 @ 6:51:59 AM
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RE5 racial remarks were so ridiculous. I hope nothing like that will happen to RE6. I would like someone to write an article about this. Why was it ok to shoot chinese in China, but not Africans in Africa?

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SmokeyPSD
Friday, January 20, 2012 @ 7:33:58 AM

It really grinds my gears that gamers today seem to think gaming is somehow immune to criticism of racist and homophobic culture. There was weight to complaints against Resi 5.

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Snaaaake
Friday, January 20, 2012 @ 8:06:24 AM

Racist are usually the one who yelled racism first.

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SmokeyPSD
Friday, January 20, 2012 @ 8:55:44 AM

Actually no.

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ZenChichiri
Friday, January 20, 2012 @ 10:23:40 AM

What's so racist about the setting being in Africa? As a matter of fact you know what some of my friends of varying skin colours say? They say that when people try too hard to treat them differently so as to not be racist, it's almost as bad as racism itself because they just want to be treated "normal".

Why is having RE5 in Africa racist then? Japanese people made the first game about killing white zombies. Oh wait a sec, I forgot, we're not supposed to talk about the 3rd world otherwise we're being racist. Shhhhh guys.

Last edited by ZenChichiri on 1/20/2012 10:23:56 AM

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SmokeyPSD
Friday, January 20, 2012 @ 11:00:37 AM

The imagery of it all plays right into early 90's, yes racist imagery of Africa being an out of control, dangerous place. Do I agree with that interpretation, not necessarily, but gamers too often just say, oh, it's all good when in most other mediums now people are brought to bare MUCH more.

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SmokeyPSD
Friday, January 20, 2012 @ 1:08:40 PM

*20's*

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Beamboom
Friday, January 20, 2012 @ 7:47:39 AM
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As long as they keep the coop play I'm totally ready for another adventure. RE5 was the first RE I've played and a coop buddy and I had a great time with it.

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TheCanadianGuy
Friday, January 20, 2012 @ 9:04:08 AM
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another thing i think that may have damaged the franchises credibility is how meny mediocre spinoff games theres been. i think they should have just stuck with the main series. like the 2 outbreak games WTF! they were horrible. dead aim ? survivor ? err! thats why when a new resident evil is announced its not as exciting as it once was. in my opinion.

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Excelsior1
Friday, January 20, 2012 @ 9:35:25 AM

Well, none of those spin offs were that grreat but I still think it was RE5 that damaged the franchise the most. It sold well BUT I am almost certain hardcore RE fans walked away feeling pretty dissapointed.

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TheCanadianGuy
Friday, January 20, 2012 @ 10:12:05 AM

perhaps your right but for me putting out a buch of garbage spinoffs is more damaging to a well established franchise than 1 average main title. if RE6 is amazing i think they can be forgiven for 5. but all those spinoffs idk it just looks so unprofessional.

Last edited by TheCanadianGuy on 1/20/2012 10:12:52 AM

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TheCanadianGuy
Friday, January 20, 2012 @ 10:25:39 AM

oh and how about back in like 2002 or 2003 they "Rereleased" RE 2&3 on gamecube and charged FULL PRICE! i remember that made people real sour. that certainly hurt the franchise that was pretty much when they started milking it

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SmokeyPSD
Friday, January 20, 2012 @ 1:10:18 PM

I kindof agree, the spinoffs and that it the rereleases were even just on only gamecube to begin with, no where near the natural home of Resident Evil soured me too. Resident Evil 5 sealed the deal though.

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Geobaldi
Friday, January 20, 2012 @ 1:47:22 PM

Personally I enjoyed the Outbreak games better then RE4 and RE5 combined. I still own those two previous games as opposed to the later ones.

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TheCanadianGuy
Friday, January 20, 2012 @ 3:19:22 PM

O_O better than 4?! resident evil 4 ?! seriously ? care to explain why exactly ?

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SoulController
Friday, January 20, 2012 @ 9:09:13 AM
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The trailer was awesome but I'm still skeptical. Besides, Dead Space is the end all be all in survivor horror for me

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jimmyhandsome
Friday, January 20, 2012 @ 9:17:21 AM
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Resident Evil 5 was the best selling game in the franchise, so yes, its more popular than ever. The trailer looked sick, it'll appeal to hardcore fans of the orignals, as well as the "shoot 'em up crowd". Capcom will have a winner this holiday.

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PMartinNL
Friday, January 20, 2012 @ 9:33:17 AM
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RE5 was a blast to play and I'm looking forward to the next installment. RE 5 along with MGS are two of the best looking games of this GEN in my opinion.

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DjStiv3
Friday, January 20, 2012 @ 3:37:24 PM

lol funny you should say i stuck to buying re5 and mgs4 as my first two games for ps3 in 09

of course i knew they would be the most beastly over amped games to play for current gen and i was right re5 was a slight let down but it was good enough just like re4 i hate actual puzzles but hey capcom makes awesomely fun games even with puzzles included so who cares if for two seconds i have to put up with a puzzle

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Robochic
Friday, January 20, 2012 @ 6:52:46 PM
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re games are always going to be fun, i didn't enjoy the 5th one like i enjoyed the 4th one but i do believe they are kinda pushing it this year with about 4 coming out for different systems, so i worry about rush job.

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eLLeJuss
Sunday, January 22, 2012 @ 1:47:22 AM
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Horror - Resident Evil
Fighting Game - Marvel / Tekken / SF
RPG - Final Fantasy
RTS - Starcraft
MMO - WoW
Action/Adventure - uhhhhhhh i dunno
Platform - Mario
Racing - Gran Turismo
Stealth - MGS
Open world - Gran Theft Auto
Shooter - Counter STrike (probably CoD now)

I think these are the main franchise of each genre. I don't know which one to put for action adventure i think DMC? i just wrote which one is the title that most people will think of when u first say the genre.

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Sirius
Sunday, January 22, 2012 @ 4:32:57 AM
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I just hope that RE 6 goes back to their roots. If I want to play a simple action game oriented like resident evil 5 I'll look elsewhere. The essence of the game in the last entry was completely lost.
Let's see if they do it right this time.
And no, I don't think people are as excited with this franchise as it were before in the old good days when capcom was still making good resident evil games.
The same is happening to Final Fantasy, for me this were two games that didn't make it to the divine altar of this generation of gaming.

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