As diehard fans will know, Resident Evil’s timeline is pretty complicated. Mainline games exist alongside CGI films in canon, while there are several spin-offs to take into account across the years. The Netflix series confuses things further by jumping even further forward in time, being in dialogue with past events, and building on pre-existing canon.
To help make sense of it all, we’ve provided an overview of the Resident Evil timeline’s main events – including where exactly the new Netflix series fits in.
When does the Resident Evil Netflix series take place?
The Resident Evil Netflix series takes place both in 2022 and 2036. That makes them the latest events chronologically on the Resident Evil timeline.
In 2022, Umbrella is still alive and kicking, with Albert Wesker (who has seemingly returned from the dead) living with his daughters Billie and Jade in New Raccoon City.
14 years later and an adult Jade is surviving in a post-outbreak world. Flesh-eating zombies have overrun much of the population, with various corporations carving out their own regions and city states. It is also heavily implied that the outbreak started in 2022.
These events, as is revealed in the show, all take place decades after the Raccoon City Incident in 1998. There, a zombie outbreak was covered up by Umbrella and the US Government, with the city eventually being nuked to hide the truth of what really happened. If you’re new to the series and keen to see how that played out, be sure to play the Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3 Remakes.
Showrunner Andrew Dabb has already told us “everything that happened in the games exists in this world,” so here’s how the rest of the series fits alongside the Resident Evil Netflix show.
- Resident Evil Zero (July 1998)
- Resident Evil (July 1998)
- Resident Evil 2 (September 1998)
- Resident Evil 3 (September 1998)
- Resident Evil: Code Veronica (December 1998)
- Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness [Penamstan Civil War flashbacks] (2000)
- Resident Evil 4 (2004)
- Resident Evil: Revelations (2004-2005)
- Resident Evil: Degeneration (2005)
- Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness (2006)
- Resident Evil 5 (2009)
- Resident Evil: Revelations 2 (2011)
- Resident Evil: Damnation (2011)
- Resident Evil 6 (2012-2013)
- Resident Evil: Vendetta (2014)
- Resident Evil 7 (2017)
- Resident Evil: Village (2021)
- Resident Evil Netflix series (New Raccoon City scenes, 2022)
- Resident Evil Netflix series (2036)
For the TL;DR crowd: the Resident Evil Netflix series takes place both 24 years and 38 years after the first three games. Wesker arriving in New Raccoon City in 2022 comes 13 years after his supposed death in Resident Evil 5.
If applying ‘games are canon’ as a blanket theory across the entire series, Resident Evil: Village is the closest in date to the Netflix series, technically taking place a year before the events of the new show. What that means for Umbrella’s resurgence both as Blue Umbrella in the latter games and as an evil corporation in the Netflix series is unclear, and there are likely to be some discrepancies if you map out every game in relation to the Netflix series.
To keep things as straightforward as possible, we can be sure that the genesis of the story began in 1998 with the first three games; the Resident Evil Netflix series builds upon it decades later. Phew. We made it.