Given the context, take this with a grain a salt. In an interview with Eurogamer, Resident Evil: Revelations producer Masachika Kawata said a reboot of the series is a possibility.
“If we did [go with an open-world], we would want to preserve what Resident Evil is and what makes it appealing to fans, while also making it accessible to new players,” Kawata told Eurogamer. “It would almost entail having a slight reboot to get the series into a place where it would work with open-world gameplay. That’s just a personal opinion.
“A lot of decisions would have to be taken before something like that is done to the series, but it is something that … There is a possibility.”
Keep in mind, Kawata’s response was to a question about “the likelihood of changes” to the series in the wake of Resident Evil 6’s less than stellar reception.
Honestly, I can’t fault Capcom for considering this possibility. Not unlike Robert Orci and Alex Kurtzman’s reason for rebooting Star Trek, future Resident Evil games will continue to be burdened by twenty years worth of established canon. Things have gotten more than a little messy, and more than a little convoluted. Working within the confines of its mythology is no doubt a chore. A fresh start would be easier.
I wonder, though, if they would do so by partnering up with a Western developer. It’s become a trend of theirs—look at DmC and Lost Planet 3.