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History lesson: Why Biohazard is Resident Evil out West

Jason Dobson

If you're like us (lucky!), at times you've wondered while munching on green herbs why Capcom opted to rename Resident Evil from its original, if not equally silly sounding Japanese title, Biohazard. It turns out this is one scheme that can't be pinned on Albert Wesker. Capcom's Chris Kramer explained to GamesRadar that, as with so many conspiracies, it all came down to marketing.

"In late 1994, Capcom Entertainment in the US was starting to ramp up marketing plans for the game," explained Kramer, who pointed out that while the company had settled on the name Biohazard for Japan, "it would be next to impossible for Capcom to register the name in the US." He called out a "crappy DOS-based game" and a New York-based punk band, both named 'Biohazard,' as potential hurdles to securing the title. "As a result," recalled Kramer, "the head of marketing held a company-wide contest to come up with a new name for the game."

The winner, of course, was 'Resident Evil,' a groan-worthy pun given that the first game took place in a mansion. It's a title that Kramer himself voted against, calling it "super-cheesy." And now you know. And knowing is half the ... OH CRAP, BEHIND YOU!

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