Contray to popular belief that the letters "RE" stands for "Resident Evil", they are actually the first two letters of the engine's full name, "Reach for the moon", which the logo appropriately shows.
Unlike its predecessor, the MT Framework, the RE Engine includes a variety of new graphical and rendering techniques such as Subsurface Scattering (a shader method used to produce highly realistic human skin), Dynamic shadows, FXAA + TAA, Shadow cache, moreover, rendering techniques include the ability to output 4K Resolution, HDR, a VR specific mode, among others.
On the other hand, the RE Engine enabled the developers to have photorealistic rendering and realistic shading. Characters, clothing and objects are scanned via a 3D photoshoot. According to Capcom's 2018 Annual Report, the latest facial technology developed by the Serbian company called 3Lateral was used for the character expressions in Devil May Cry 5. Also in the same game, models were cast in England for the main characters and real costumes were created from scratch, after makeup is applied, the models cast for each character are scanned as 3D objects while wearing the costumes.
For Devil May Cry 5, the clothing in particular were created in London and scanned in Serbia. Making Nero's new jacket alone cost as much as a small car, however his accessories were not scanned. The Devil May Cry van in the game took more than an year to make, the developers would even joke at the van feeling like a character due to how much time they spent on it, additionally, the writing on the van is the artist's own handwriting, including the blue neon sign.
The engine itself differs from its predecessor in terms of file formats and the whole game data is packed into a .PAK archive, making modifications a bit less comfortable.
RE Engine was created in 2014, during the beginning of the development of Resident Evil 7. The engine was originally designed with the game's linear nature in mind and was created to make game development more efficient. The reason the team did not choose a third-party engine was that "a highly generic engine developed by another company would not be appropriate" for a game like Resident Evil 7. MT Framework was not used for the project due to its slower development tools. Jun Takeuchi, the head of Capcom's Division 1 stated that "[they] had to rethink the way [they] make games. In order to carry out asset-based (graphic and 3D model elements) development, which is globally the mainstream, [they] began developing [their] new RE Engine".
When discussing Monster Hunter Rise, Yasunori Ichinose, the game's director, discussed porting RE Engine to Nintendo Switch saying, "a lot of background technical engineering work needs to be done just to achieve targeting a new hardware platform". He later mentioned the challenge of creating the large maps the team wanted, while trying to maintain the game's graphical quality.
The following games which has used the engine.
- Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (2017)
- Devil May Cry 5 (2019)
- Resident Evil 2 (2019)
- Resident Evil Resistance (2020)
- Resident Evil 3 (2020)
- Resident Evil Village (2021)
- Capcom Arcade Stadium (2021)
- Monster Hunter Rise (2021)
- Resident Evil Re:Verse (2022)
- Pragmata (2023)
- Exoprimal (2023)
- Resident Evil 4 (2023)
- Street Fighter 6 (2023)
- Dragon's Dogma II (TBA)
- The RE Engine logo was registered in the EU in February 2017 and is set to expire in September 2026.
- BIOHAZARD 7 document file, p.117.
- Capcom 2018 Annual Report - "The Heart of Value Creation"
- Hideaki Itsuno 伊津野 英昭 - Capcom Channel June 20th 2018 - DMC5 デビル メイ クライ 5 - Japanese Audio (original)
- CAPCOM CONFIDENTIAL: THE DEV 1 PODCAST Episode 5
- Capcom (December 22, 2020) . Resident Evil 7: Biohazard Document File. pp. 26–27. ISBN 978-1506721668.
- Robinson, Martin (2020-10-06). "Monster Hunter Rise looks like it'll be the best of both worlds". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2021-03-28.
- EUIPO entry on RE Engine.