After the huge success of the first Resident Evil, Capcom of course had to do another one. The original Resident Evil was one of the best selling games on the PlayStation ever, so it would have been dumb of Capcom to not create a huge franchise of this title.
About one year after the release of RE, Capcom showed first preview videos of the sequel. You could see Elza Walker and Leon S. Kennedy as the main characters. Later on it was told that they cancelled the game, because it was too much like the original RE. The designer who was responsible for it left and so we got RE2 like we have it on our shelves now.
Two years after the first RE, Capcom released Resident Evil 2 on January 21st 1998.
The only questions was if the sequel could live up to Resident Evil. The answer was yes and it also was a million-seller all over the world.
Release Dates: Japan: December 31st 1997 | US: January 21st 1998 | PAL: Mid 1998