Capcom’s Koji Oda has revealed that Resident Evil was originally in development for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) before jumping ship to PSOne.
“Honestly, I feel like I joined the game industry at the best time,” Oda-san told Game Informer. “Typically, games would take half a year and no longer than a year to develop, so I feel like I was able to take part in a lot of different projects. It’s not that well known, but before Resident Evil went to the PlayStation, I was working on it for the Super NES.”
Things didn’t work out on the SNES of course, with Capcom instead tempted by the prospect of CD-based gaming with the PlayStation.
“This was back before the name Resident Evil had even been assigned to it,” he said. “The codename for this was literally just ‘horror game.’ On the SNES, we were working with limited hard drive space, so it’s not like we could dump a movie in there. If we had actually completed it on the SNES, I’m sure it would have been considerably different. For example, it was originally set in a place that had nothing to do with reality – more of a hellish place.”
Resident Evil now a multi-million selling juggernaut
Resident Evil coined the term survival horror and was originally conceived as a first-person shooter. Development then shifted to third-person with co-op, before finally settling on the single-player adventure we know today.
Be sure to read up more on the original game in our extensive History of Resident Evil feature.
Capcom celebrated the 20th anniversary of Resident Evil in 2016 by re-releasing the fourth, fifth, and sixth instalments for modern consoles. In addition, it also spruced up Resident Evil Remake and Resident Evil Zero for the PS4 and Xbox One.
Resident Evil remains Capcom’s best-selling IP to date, with over 80 million copies sold worldwide as of September 2017.