There is good and bad news for Capcom as Resident Evil 7 crosses another important milestone but still remains one of the franchise's lowest-selling titles.
Back in 1996, no one could expect that the decaying confines of the Spencer Mansion would to grow into the gaming giant that Resident Evil has become. With some 25 games under its belt, a record-breaking franchise of movies, and no end in sight for the ongoing series, Capcom is proving that its zombie games still have some serious bite. However, while RE7 launched to critical acclaim last year, the latest figures offer a grim outlook.
After winning Best VR Audio at the 2018 Game Audio Network Guild Awards, Capcom shared a post revealing that Resident Evil 7 has sold an impressive 5.1 million copies but missed one crucial piece of information. It is a significant number of games to sell, but when breaking down the figures across the rest of the series, the number looks less impressive. In fact, it turns out that Resident Evil 7 has sold the least copies for a Resident Evil game since Resident Evil 3 in 1999 and has even been beaten by the first two games (e.g. back before the franchise hit its stride).
Admittedly, RE7 has only been out for a year, but considering that previous game Resident Evil 6 has shifted 10 million copies since 2012, it looks like an uphill struggle for the newest addition to the family. Also, 5.1 million copies seems almost impossibly far away from Resident Evil 5's high of 11.84 million since 2009. That being said, Capcom set a minimum sales target of 10 million Resident Evil 7 copies last summer and will keep pushing to reach it. Interestingly, Monster Hunter World has snatched the crown as Capcom's best-selling game ever, so the company can't even blame a decline in the industry for the news.
It isn't that RE7 is a bad game; in fact, it is held as one of the best in the series. Swapping the tried-and-tested third-person view for a first-person campaign, Resident Evil 7 also returned to the horror that made Resident Evil unique in the first place. With news of a possible remake of Resident Evil 2 coming later this year and with Hollywood already planning a Resident Evil movie reboot, there is no denying that the Umbrella Company still has a firm grip on the world of video games and beyond.
Perhaps the market is just a little too saturated with zombie video games right now for Resident Evil 7 to really thrive. With upcoming titles like Overkill's The Walking Dead and The Last of Us Part II sharing the same space as Resident Evil, there are a lot of similar stories vying for players' attention.