A variety of factors led to the switch.
Resident Evil 7 seems to be a rather important product for Capcom- not only is it one of the few AAA games that Capcom still has in the pipeline, as well as one of the first fully multiplatform game titles Capcom is making this generation, but it is also Capcom’s first foray into VR gaming, their refresh of their flagship gaming brand, and the vehicle for the launch of their new RE Engine.
In the company’s latest annual report, Capcom’s Lead Programmer of the Technology Section Tomofumi Ishida talked about the new RE Engine in detail, discussing why the company felt that they had to develop this new engine, instead of iterating on their MT Framework engine.
“Up to now, Capcom had built MT Framework, an innovative proprietary development engine used to make high-quality games,” he said. “However, conventional engine specs were insufficient for bringing the realistic world pursued by creators in Resident Evil 7 to life. Thus, this time we ended up simultaneously working on the development of both the game and the new RE ENGINE.
“The main feature of the RE ENGINE is its ability to dramatically reduce the time required for various game development processes. For example, the time required to test program changes has been reduced 90%, and materials made separately by creators can be combined in real time, which enables them to be used to instantly create other materials.
“This engine also supports the high-resolution graphics required for VR compatibility at a rate of 60 frames per second. We faced numerous difficulties in trying to make these features a reality, however the team pulled together as one to make it happen.”
It sounds, then, that the streamlined development pipeline, coupled together with VR capability, was enough to make Capcom switch to the development of the new RE Engine. Hopefully, this leads to a larger output of AAA games from the publisher. Resident Evil 7 launches on Xbox One, PS4, and PC in January 2017.