What’s Next For Resident Evil After Village?

Resident Evil Village, the first RE game to advance the main storyline of the decades-old Capcom franchise since 2017’s Resident Evil 7, took things in strange and unexpected directions. Rather than divorcing itself from the convoluted and often confusing plotline of the RE series—something its predecessor managed to do effectively, for the most part—Village cements itself as one of the franchise’s most impactful games in terms of narrative.

That said, after divulging more discoveries than both of the Revelations titles combined and shaking up how fans perceive the Resident Evil games, what’s next for Capcom’s lineage of survival horror titles?

What’s Next For The Winters Family?

Resident Evil Village made a clear effort to humanize the two-time protagonist Ethan Winters after his fairly milquetoast presence in RE 7 rubbed fans the wrong way. That said, in a shocking twist, Ethan’s story apparently comes to a close following Village’s climactic final battle; after dying in the opening sequence of the seventh game, Ethan’s body is now maintained by the megamycete, and his destruction of the fungal superstructure also apparently spelled his own demise.

That said, curious fans have pried into the game and discovered that the mysterious figure seen in the distance at the very end of the game’s epilogue is actually Ethan. It’s hard to know what to make of this, but the RE protagonist’s resilience has been proven time and time again, and his return for a potential ninth installment, though far-fetched, doesn’t seem out of the realm of possibility.

Plus, we know that Ethan’s daughter, Rose, as well as Chris Redfield, are alive and well in the future. Many fans speculate that a theoretical ninth RE installment could focus on Rose and the powers at which she hints during the game’s closing moments, but there’s no concrete evidence to back that up at the moment. We may also get a chance to step into the shoes of Chris Redfield for the third time in this trilogy.

Leaks Indicate Annual Releases

In November of 2020, Capcom suffered a breach that resulted in a ton of previously undisclosed information regarding upcoming game releases reaching the public. Covering everything from Monster Hunter to Ace Attorney and even an all-new IP, it was incredibly telling, and it indicated that Cacpom has tentative plans for releases in the Resident Evil franchise up to Q4 2024.

The series has never been known to adhere to an annualized release schedule, with major additions to the franchise typically only coming once every four or five years. That said, fans have been treated to a litany of survival horror titles under the RE banner in recent years, and, since 2017, we’ve seen RE 7, RE2R, RE3R, and now RE Village all come out in quick succession, with 2018 the only recent year to forego the debut of a new or revamped title.

That trend is apparently set to continue, with the next Resident Evil title, dubbed “Resident Evil Outrage” apparently set to come out in Q4 of 2021. Rumors suggest that this may actually be the long-fabled third installment of the Revelations series, but, given that we just received a major installment and that we haven’t heard anything about this new game in an official capacity, that doesn’t seem likely.

The leaks also posit that the rumored Resident Evil 4 remake will drop in Q4 of 2022. This isn’t the first we’ve heard of Capcom’s intentions to retool what’s commonly considered the most beloved game in the franchise, but the recent reveal of a VR version of the game throws a wrench in the works; it seems odd that greenlight a VR remaster of the 2005 game when an all-new next-gen version is apparently coming down the pipeline. If it is indeed coming, wouldn’t it make more sense to make VR available with that version of the game, instead?

Finally, the leak mentions something called Biohazard Apocalypse, slated for Q4 2023, and Resident Evil Hank, queued for Q4 2024. These are likely just codenames and it’s impossible to glean any real meaning from them, but some believe that “Hank” could actually refer to the Umbrella operative Hunk, whom fans will most recently remember from 2019’s iteration of Resident Evil 2.

What About Re:Verse?

When it comes to multiplayer offerings in the Resident Evil universe, Capcom seemingly has yet to strike the right balance. Resident Evil 6 was dragged for its increased focus on cooperative play, and, more recently, 2016’s Umbrella Corps was an odd attempt to introduce competitive multiplayer to the franchise that was met with almost universal backlash.

Yet, Capcom hasn’t backed down, with Resident Evil Village initially planned to launch with a multiplayer component of sorts in the form of Re:Verse. A greatest-hits ordeal that sees fan-favorite characters like Leon Kennedy, Jill Valentine, and even Jack Baker duking it out in online free-for-all matches set in famous RE environments. The title was eventually delayed after the beta received relatively lukewarm responses.

That said, Resident Evil Resistance, a multiplayer-only companion to last year’s Resident Evil 3 remake, did garner its fair share of fans, and plenty of gamers still enjoy the cooperative elements present in games like RE 5 and the two Revelations titles. While we don’t know exactly what the future holds in terms of Resident Evil multiplayer, it doesn’t seem likely that the publisher will shift their focus away from it anytime soon, and it’s likely that one of the aforementioned leaked games will have at least some sort of multiplayer element.

Should Fans Be Excited For The Future?

In the early-to-mid 2010s, The Resident Evil series appeared to be on its last legs. Publishers weren’t all that eager to gamble on horror properties that held more of a niche appeal than the standard military shooters that were popular at the time, and the negative reception of Resident Evil 6 seemed to indicate that the series would never recover.

Yet, nearly 10 years later, the franchise is as strong as it was back when it debuted on Sony’s original PlayStation console. With a final installment of Resident Evil’s new first-person trilogy and an apparent slew of releases lined up for the near future, there has never been a better time to be a fan of Capcom’s seminal survival horror series.

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