The Resident Evil series is known for popularizing the Survival Horror genre, but it was also an early adopter of online cooperative gameplay. Back before Resident Evil 5 allowed two buddies to blast mobs of infected villagers into red mist, 2003’s Resident Evil: Outbreak brought players together on the PlayStation 2 — and now it may be coming back.
Details are scant at the moment, but a recent message from a (supposed) former developer of Resident Evil Outbreak HD has spilled their guts about time spent working on the unannounced title. Some details will be redacted to help conceal the source’s identity, but the information shines through:
“I was working for an indie studio in Canada […] Believe me or not, time will tell. I know what two announcements are, one because I helped worked on the game, and the other, was because it was an accidental reveal to us because it was listed on documents we had to sign agreeing to a “Lips Sealed” policy while working there. Anyways, one of these announcements is that Resident Evil 6 is coming to PS4 and Xbox One. That is all I know about that.”
“The other announcement is about Resident Evil Outbreak. The studio I was working at had been working on a Resident Evil Outbreak like clone for a couple years as a side project. After awhile, we pitched it to Capcom in March 2015 and they were impressed, but did not green-light the game. Unexpectedly however, in late June 2015, my boss got a call from Capcom telling us they want us to develop an HD edition of Outbreak, which we are.
Its really odd they outsourced this to us, being an unknown indie studio, but the studio (which I wont reveal the name of yet), has the source code to the final version of the PS2 release, right before it was pressed to disc. Many breakthroughs happened when I was there. By [DATE REDACTED], we already had network play up and running under new server code. Removing SNAP and the other network required plugins were not as hard as people made it out to be. We already had network up and running and we also had part of the team completely finished on remastered textures for both the OUTBREAK and BELOW FREEZING POINT chapters.”
“Outbreak” and “Below Freezing Point” are chapters from the first Resident Evil: Outbreak (RE:O). This, along with the mention of “source code to the final version of the PS2 release,” seems to indicate that only the first Outbreak game would be remastered, with no mention of Resident Evil: Outbreak File #2.
Moving on, the source goes on to provide one more important detail:
“The deadline for the game to go gold as part of our contract is May 2016. So its probably going to be revealed at E3 2016, which would make sense. […] for 100% sure, expect REOHD sometime this year. Probably around Fall.”
There you have it! Assuming this is true, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise. Capcom recently announced their intent to focus on remastered ports of their classic games, due largely in part to the surprising success of Resident Evil HD. A remastered version of Resident Evil 0 is also dropping this month, with a complete Resident Evil 2 remake on the way.
Now, of course this is all to be taken with a grain of salt. We know not to trust random users claiming to be video game developers, especially when they boast involvement on such a long-running franchise, but there are a few intriguing details here. Even so, this particular source bounces back and forth from present-tense to past-tense when referring to their work on this remaster… so don’t come cryin’ to me if we never see RE:O re-released with a fresh coat of paint! As the source said, only time will tell.
Chris Cobb is an Associate Writer at MONG, and longs to form a wolfpack-like group for zombie apocalypse purposes. When he isn’t hanging out at local coffee shops mumbling “L4G,” you can follow him on Twitter