The developers behind fan remakes of Resident Evil and Resident Evil Code: Veronica have announced that development on both projects has ceased after Capcom allegedly contacted them and asked the developers to cancel the project.
1996’s Resident Evil was the start of modern “survival horror” games, and 2000’s Resident Evil Code: Veronica, its third sequel, first came out for the Sega Dreamcast in 2000. Capcom soon ported an updated version to PlayStation 2 and GameCube and then created HD versions for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Resident Evil 4 producer Yoshiaki Hirabayashi recently confirmed to IGN that there were no plans for a new Code: Veronica remake. Two years ago, Briins Croft, Matt Croft, and the animator DarkNemesisUmbrella started their own remake projects for both games.
In a video announcing the Code: Veronica project’s cancellation, Briins Croft said that 90 percent of the Code: Veronica fan remake used existing assets from Capcom’s recent “Remake” games, such as 3D models, animations, and textures. The fans released an initial Code: Veronica demo back in June 2021, and planned to put out a much more substantial one in the beginning of 2023.
On December 23, Briins Croft announced in the projects’ Discord server that Capcom had sent them two cease-and-desist emails. One was “very kind” and inquired about where the animations and models had come from. The second was “hostile with a more aggressive tone.” Kotaku reached out to Croft to request a copy of the emails. He did not send the emails, but told Kotaku that Capcom started asking about the project on December 12.
The fan developers believed that Capcom canceled their unofficial remakes for being too visible and official-looking. “[The Code: Veronica remake] was going to be free, so we weren’t doing anyone any harm,” Croft said in the cancellation announcement video. The publisher seemed to disagree. Capcom allegedly cited copyright factors and licensing agreements as reasons why the project couldn’t proceed.
There’s been public speculation that the project was targeted for accepting financial donations via Kofi and PayPal. While they did accept such donations, the developers have refuted it as the reason for the project’s cancellation in both Discord and via an RT on their Twitter account. Kotaku reached out to Capcom to ask about its policies on fan projects, but did not receive a response by the time of publication.
“I was personally a bit surprised by Capcom’s decision. But hey, we were using [their] toys to create a free game, which was already creating a lot of visibility,” said Croft in the video. “So it’s okay. We can understand the cancellation.”
The developers’ announcements in their Discord were significantly less genial. “[Capcom] canceled it out of pure evil, since there are no signs that an official Code: Veronica is coming from them,” Briins wrote on the server. He also posted a meme that compared Capcom to Nintendo, which has a reputation for enforcing their copyrights aggressively.
The team will no longer be working on the Resident Evil remakes, but they intend to continue developing games. “We will continue a new project that will have a story inspired by Code: Veronica but without copyright problems.”