Resident Evil 4 Remake devs were convinced it would be delayed because of tech issues: "I've never seen bugs like this"

Resident Evil 4 Remake
(Image credit: Capcom)

A new documentary has shown the brutal reality of quality assurance work on Resident Evil 4 Remake a month before it launched.

NHK World Japan produces a documentary series called '100 Cameras,' where, as the title suggests, 100 cameras are positioned to tell the story that unfolds in front of them. In the latest release in the series, called 'Game Developer,' Capcom's studio in Osaka, Japan, is the focus of the cameras, as the final month leading up to the launch of Resident Evil 4 Remake is explored.

Simply put, Capcom's remake is not in a good state. We can see director Yasuhiro Anpo encounter a litany of bugs in his playthrough of Resident Evil 4 Remake, for example, including the screen freezing at numerous points, protagonist Leon falling through the map, and other visual bugs taking place, such as Leon and Luis's hands not properly connecting in one scene.

At one point, a fellow developer reveals they uncovered about 70 bugs in just one day of playtesting. "At this rate, we won't make the release," Anpo exclaims. Other developers uncover a raft of other bugs, including a puddle inexplicably flashing, and items vanishing. One developer even just pretends that a bug isn't there and marks it as fixed.

This all leads to a brutal showdown with Capcom's quality assurance department. QA lead Ito wonders aloud why the "fixes are so sloppy," and posits that "if they're gonna do it, they should do it right." Ito then has a meeting with director Anpo, where he stresses that he's "very concerned" over the state of the game, and adds that he's "never seen bugs like this."

However, development wasn't done adding new elements to Resident Evil 4 Remake, even a month before launch. New aspects like menu screens and lighting were still being added to Capcom's remake, which in turn led to more bugs for the QA department and Ito to sort out. Ito, as you can probably imagine at this point, is not best pleased.

Enter Yoshiaki Hirabayashi, otherwise known as the "demon producer" on Resident Evil 4 Remake. Hirabayashi isn't pleased with aspects of Resident Evil 4 Remake like the lighting in certain scenes, asking the development team to either increase or decrease the brightness in scenarios. This just makes even more work for the QA team, because these scenes then have to be debugged all over again.

Despite all these problems, Resident Evil 4 Remake somehow ships on time and to completion. The NHK World Japan documentary is a surprisingly frank look at the state of game development in Japan, particularly among QA staff - you wouldn't expect to see Japanese developers openly arguing and disagreeing with one another, but it's nonetheless a pretty refreshing peek behind the game development curtain.

Read up on our new games 2024 guide for a look at all the titles Capcom and other developers have slated to launch over the year. 

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.