UPDATE 17/05/2016 10.13pm: CEO of Japanese video game consultancy firm Kantan Games, Serkan Toto, believes that Resident Evil 7 is in development and that it will return to the series' "horror roots".
Toto stated on Twitter that "The entire game will go back to RE's horror roots and (essentially) be a clean slate."
He further noted that it will be revealed at E3 and that Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain and P.T. designer Jordan Amaro will be working on it.
None of this has been officially confirmed as of yet, so let's file it as a rumour for now. But coupled with everything else going on, it sounds quite plausible.
ORIGINAL STORY 10/05/2016 9.19am: People are talking about Resident Evil 7 - and this time there may be some substance to the speculation.
Yesterday, Capcom released its figures for the financial year ending 31st March 2015. The company made a tidy profit, despite Street Fighter 5 coming in some 600,000 sales below expectations.
But hidden away in the corporate doublespeak was the following gem:
In the fiscal year ending March 31, 2017, the Company is scheduled to release the strategic titles of "Sengoku BASARA Sanada Yukimura-den" (for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3), which showcases the life of Sanada Yukimura, and "Resident Evil Umbrella Corps" (for PlayStation 4 and PC) of the "Resident Evil" series, which marked its 20th anniversary in March 2016, as warm up to the full-scale offensive planned for the second half of the year. Additionally, the Company is also scheduled to launch "Ace Attorney 6" (for the Nintendo 3DS system) and "Monster Hunter Stories" (for the Nintendo 3DS system).
Now, eagle-eyed Resident Evil fans have homed in on the "warm up to the full-scale offensive planned for the second half of the year" comment. Tongues are wagging, and they're mouthing the words: Resident, Evil, and seven.
2016 is the year of the series' 20th anniversary, and what else but a proper Resident Evil sequel would justify a comment such as "full-scale offensive"? Is Capcom planning to go to war? Is the company set to invade our homes? Or is it preparing to announce Resident Evil 7? With E3 right around the corner, perhaps we'll see the next big Resident Evil game pop up during Microsoft or Sony's press conferences. Wouldn't that be fun?
It's been nearly four years since the divisive Resident Evil 6 came out. Of course, Capcom's released a bucket full of remasters of old Resident Evil games since, and it's working on more. But it feels like now would be a good time for the next main entry in the franchise. A reboot? Hopefully a return to form.
Wouldn't a proper open world Raccoon City be cool?
Countering the enthusiastic speculation, however, is the thought that Capcom's "full-scale offensive" comment may reference already announced remasters. In February Capcom announced PlayStation 4 and Xbox One ports of Resident Evil 4, 5 and 6. The Resident Evil 6 remaster is already out. Resident Evil 5 follows in the summer, and Resident Evil 4 comes out in the autumn.
There's also a highly-anticipated Resident Evil 2 remake in the works. Could that be set for spring 2017?