Some of you knew that Resident Evil was named after the first game’s location taking place in a mansion. But did you know the same title is named Biohazard in Japan. Well then Good for you. But for the rest of us that shut our eyes to the east, here’s an explanation on why the change was made. In an interview with Cris Kramer from Capcom (did not approve of the name Resident Evil), he explains why:
In late 1994, Capcom Entertainment in the US was starting to ramp up marketing plans for the game that would eventually become known as Resident Evil in the US. Capcom Japan had let us know that the name of the game was going to be ‘Biohazard’ in Japan, but I pointed out to the person who ran marketing at the time that it would be next to impossible for Capcom to register the name in the US.
As an example, I pointed out that a crappy DOS-based game had just come out in the US called ‘Biohazard’ (not to mention the New York hardcore band of the same name) and that we’d never be able to secure the mark. As a result, the head of marketing held a company-wide contest to come up with a new name for the game.
The person who actually came up with the name was a designer in Capcom Digital Studios, Capcom’s first US-based development group.