Sources: Capcom has overhauled its plans for a Resident Evil 4 remake | VGC

Capcom’s in-development Resident Evil 4 remake has seen a major change of leadership due to disagreements over its direction, according to people with knowledge of the project.

New studio M-Two has seen its role significantly reduced on the unannounced project, the sources told VGC, and mainline Resident Evil studio Capcom Division 1 has been brought in to lead a new direction.

As first reported by VGC last year, the Resident Evil 4 remake has been in development since 2018 led by Osaka-based M-Two, the studio founded by former PlatinumGames head Tatsuya Minami.

Little has been shared publicly about M-Two, but people with knowledge of the company said it was partly funded by Capcom and comprised of some former PlatinumGames employees, including developers from the Metal Gear Rising and Bayonetta 2 teams.

Our original report on M-Two and Minami’s involvement, published in Dec 2019, was later confirmed by the credits of Resident Evil 3.

The company partly contributed to the development of 2020’s RE3 remake, with Minami taking on an executive producer role, but the start-up’s main purpose was always to lead the next remake, Resident Evil 4.

However, multiple sources have indicated that, following a key project review late last year, it was decided that M-Two’s role on RE4’s remake would be significantly reduced. Capcom’s Division 1 – the internal team responsible for Resident Evil and Devil May Cry games – has now been brought in to lead the RE4 project, VGC understands.

It’s believed that the disagreements that led to M-Two’s reduced role involved the studio’s desire to stick faithfully to the template of the original Resident Evil 4, partly influenced by backlash to Resident Evil 3’s remake, which did not include significant portions of the original PlayStation game, much to fans’ disappointment.

Capcom’s production team, however, is said to prefer a direction which would see RE4’s remake inspired by the original, but with its own unique take on features, story elements and environments not necessarily confined to the blueprint of the original, similar to Resident Evil 2‘s use of Mr. X.

Sources said that the Resident Evil 4 Remake would now be partially rebooted under the new mandate, which could see its release delayed by as much as a year to 2023.

This kind of direction change is not uncommon within Capcom, the people said, and both Resident Evil 2 and 3 are said to have experienced similar overhauls during their development.

Capcom declined to comment when contacted ahead this story’s publication.

2005’s Resident Evil 4 is Capcom’s highest-rated game of all-time, according to review aggregation site Metacritic, with sales totalling 10.4 million copies across various platforms.

The horror instalment is regarded as one of the most influential games of the 2000s, with its off-the-shoulder viewpoint in particular widely adopted by many third-person shooters that followed.

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In the 15 years since its release, Resident Evil 4 has been ported and remastered many times, but never fully remade.

2020’s Resident Evil 3 features a number of potential nods to RE4’s remake, including the introduction of Parasite zombies – which appear similar to Resi 4’s Plagas – and at least one sequence similar to the quick time events which featured heavily in the fourth game.

With Capcom Division 1’s involvement, it’s likely that many original Resident Evil 4 team members will be involved in the remake.

Producer Hiroyuki Kobayashi is still at Capcom and worked on Resident Evil 6, while Resident Evil 4 designer Kouji Kakae recently worked on Devil May Cry 5.

Resident Evil 4’s original lead coder, Kiyohiko Sakata was the game director for the Resident Evil 3 remake via his company Red Works.

Resident Evil 4’s original director, Shinji Mikami, was approached to co-found M-Two but turned down the role due to his commitment to Bethesda’s GhostWire: Tokyo, VGC was told.

The veteran designer has since given his blessing to the Resident Evil 4 remake publicly. “As long as it turns out good I have no issues with it,” Mikami told IGN.