Depending on your feelings for the multiplayer component of Resident Evil 5, this news may be seen as a blessing or a curse. A document has been forwarded to Kotaku suggesting that Slant Six Games, the makers of SOCOM: US Navy SEALs Confrontation are currently working on a multiplayer action title codenamed 'Resident Evil: Raccoon City.'
This certainly isn't the announcement of an upcoming Resident Evil 6 that many may have been hoping for, but it does mean more RE. Perhaps this expansion of titles is what Capcom was thinking of when they announced shorter development cycles for their top properties.
There are few details at this point, with Capcom refusing to either confirm or deny that any such project as in development. Slant Six lists a title underway on their official website, but it remains unannounced. The game is described as "an amazing new project," and the site notes that Slant Six are working in tandem with a "new publishing partner on a world class franchise." With this recent document surfacing, the evidence points to Resident Evil: Raccoon City being a real possibility.
While it's news that the Resident Evil series may possibly see an entirely-multiplayer and team-focused title in the near future, the larger story may be that this franchise will be added to the ever-increasing list of Japanese IP's handed to Western developers. While some may immediately be outraged that these unmistakably Eastern franchises are being handed to the West, it's hard to make a judgment before the finished result.
Devil May Cry has been handed to developer Ninja Theory, and while their decisions may have polarized fans, it's impossible to deny that they are injecting some change and reinvention into the series. With more and more Japanese developers giving the impression that Japan may not be the breeding ground for creativity it once was, perhaps this is a needed change.
Resident Evil is obviously set to take a stand against its in-house zombie rival Dead Rising, the franchise that seems to be stealing the thunder from the classic games that helped define the genre. With RE set to land on the Nintendo 3DS in a big way - and the implication that this might become a trend - Capcom has clearly not forgotten about their flagship survival title.
Many players may have good reason for being skeptical about the handing-over of RE to developer Slant Six, especially if they are already familiar with the issues surrounding the launch of Confrontation. Years have since passed, but Slant Six isn't making it easy on themselves by taking on a franchise as beloved as Resident Evil. Here's hoping that the future is brighter for the game, and the series as a whole.
It's difficult to gauge how fans will react to the announcement of a team-based RE game, so feel free to sound off in the comments. Like you, we eagerly await more details on Raccoon City, and wonder if there is still room for another title in the multi-player survival horror genre.