Rights to publish a line of Resident Evil novels was acquired by Simon & Schuster for their Pocket Books imprint in 1998 following the release of Resident Evil 2. Pocket Books initially wanted Steve Perry to write the novels, but instead tasked his daughter Stephani Danelle Perry on his own advise. S.D. Perry would write a total of seven Resident Evil books for Pocket Books, with five novelisations of games and two original stories. Capcom USA gave little input in the novels, and Perry had no access to story notes, relying instead on game manuals and Resident Evil: The Book for inspiration. After Pocket Books' rights expired, existing publishing rights were picked up by Titan Books.
With the success of the live-action Resident Evil films, Pocket Books began publishing novelizations based on the series; all three were written by Keith R.A. DeCandido. After their rights expired Titan Books eventually published two more, written by John Shirley, and Tim Waggoner, although no novelization of the fourth film in the series, Afterlife, was ever published.