Capcom’s Resident Evil 7 could have been a live-service game according to its developers.
According to the game’s executive producer Jun Takeuchi in an interview on the Biohazard YouTube channel, Capcom wanted to make Resident Evil 7 a live-service title with microtransactions. This most likely would be similar to earlier Resident Evil games like 5 and 6 which had online multiplayer and DLC.
It was no secret that the development of Resident Evil 7 had been messy before it decided to switch directions and became the spiritual reboot it is today. Takeuchi stated that the team struggled with the additions Capcom wanted for the game, eventually leading to him being brought onto the project and scrapping most of these additions.
He said that while online multiplayer was considered for the game, it was scrapped when they couldn’t figure out how to maintain the horror aspect when playing with friends.
The DLC for Resident Evil 7 was kept, but thankfully they were a series of single-player story content that added more value to the game.
Were it not for Takeuchi’s decision to remove the live-service nature and online multiplayer, Resident Evil might not have seen a resurgence in popularity after the mixed reception of the action-focused Resident Evil 6. It would have most likely faded into obscurity and we wouldn’t have seen the Resident 2 and 3 remakes and Village.