5.2 million Resident Evil 6 sales are great, says Cacpom. Its original sales target was 7 million.
“The main [Resident Evil] user group is now in their late-30s to 40s,” says Capcom in a special report on the series’ 17 years of success, “and the average age is also going up as the series goes on with an increasing possibility that some percentage of the existing users will outgrow games altogether.” Change is needed, which is why Capcom’s reaching out to people it wouldn’t otherwise consider part of its traditional gaming market.
Placement in fashion magazines, opening theme restaurants and the much-loved Universal Halloween Horror Nights are three strategies Capcom pursues to keep the Resident Evil name alive. Get people who’ve never touched a controller, and perhaps never will, and you’ve rejuvenated the fan base, goes Capcom’s logic.
“These collaborative events are opportunities to be enjoyed by non-gamers as well,” Capcom says, “so it is important to plan them so that anyone can enjoy them and not aim them at a section of our core gamers.”
It’s all part of a global reach strategy. Capcom can’t rely on consoles alone to spread its message, but even places that don’t have a significant gaming market segment have movie screens, and with each movie released comes new Resident Evil fans. In fact, claims Capcom, the brand has such strong recognition that all it has to do is put Resident Evil in the title and Hollywood comes running.
But gamers don’t come running. In the same article, Capcom boasts of 5.2 million global unit sales for Resident Evil 6, claiming it “succeeded in making its mark as a global title again.” That ignores the game’s original 7 million sales target, revised down to 6 million, a target that Capcom now admits it did not hit. That fiasco saw Capcom’s net income plunge.
Here’s hoping Resident Evil 7 – or whatever it ends up being – doesn’t have the same kind of “success.” Capcom has said that gamers’ response to Resident Evil 6 will be factored into its future releases; we shall see. “In the future, [Resident Evil] will discover new possibilities and progress as a title that can compete globally without disappointing any expectations,” says Capcom. But a title as movie, as pop culture icon, or as game?