Releasing Tuesday, Resident Evil 6 lets gamers fight off undead beasts as multiple characters from the franchise’s 15-year history. It’s the largest Resident Evil game yet — and it’s gotten a significant push from both publisher Capcom and partners like Microsoft, who put it center stage during its E3 press conference earlier this year. In a holiday season filled with huge names like Halo and Call of Duty, it still manages to stand out.
Over the past 10 years, the “Resident Evil” franchise has raked in more than $700 million for Constantine Film — but if Paul W.S. Anderson’s childhood vacations had been more interesting, it might never have made a nickel.
Every summer, his grandparents would take him to a “grim” resort in England, where the only real entertainment for kids was the local arcade. For a long time, that simply meant pinball, but one day he walked in to find “Space Invaders” — and Anderson was hooked.
The fifth installment in this 10-year-old franchise ranks as its most ambitious. And to ensure success, writer-director Paul W.S. Anderson tapped deep into the game and film’s mythology, assembling a who’s who of characters.
It’s a franchise based on a videogame that not only has found an audience, but also continued to build on it with each release. That’s a feat “Tomb Raider” couldn’t manage, even with Angelina Jolie filling out Lara Croft’s short shorts.
That doesn’t mean there haven’t been a few solid hits that got their start in the console world. Popular franchises tend to come with a built-in audience, and when Hollywood supplements that with a big star it can be an immensely profitable venture — often spawning one or more sequels.
Saved games in the Nintendo 3DS title, which hits shelves Tuesday, can’t be erased. In other words, when your progress is saved, it’s there forever — even if you loan it to a friend or sell it to someone else. If you manage to beat the game, there is no way to get rid of your save file and play it again from scratch.
Zenimax Media, the parent company of Bethesda Softworks, continues to expand its talent pool. Shinji Mikami, creator of the “Resident Evil” franchise, has joined the publisher as part of Zenimax’s acquisition of his Tango Gameworks development house.
It’s the latest in a series of big moves for the company, which in the last year has acquired Arkane Studios and id Software and picked up $150 million in venture capital investments.