Resident Evil 5 infects nearly 5 million

Capcom CFO tells Reuters summit that latest survival horror shooter was just 30,000 units from going quintuple-platinum at the end of April.

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Capcom ended its 2009 fiscal year with a bang in March, seeing total revenues near $1 billion as early-year releases Resident Evil 5 and Street Fighter IV compensated for the publisher's weak holiday-quarter lineup. Capcom's zombie-infused shooter paid particular dividends, with RE5 seeing an initial global shipment to retailers of 4 million units.

Reinforcements are coming.

As part of the Reuters Global Technology Summit in Tokyo, Japan, last week, Capcom's chief financial officer, Kazuhiko Abe, provided an update on RE5 sales, saying that the survival horror game sold 4.4 million units globally by the end of March. That same month, US game industry sales were down 17 percent year-over-year as RE5 led software with a combined 1.52 million units across the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 editions of the game.

Abe also indicated that RE5 is quickly approaching the 5-million-unit-sold mark--if it hasn't already achieved the milestone. "We are still enjoying strong demand, very strong demand, that is," the executive said. "In the single month of April, sales came to as many as 570,000 units." Combined with 4.4 million units already sold through March, RE5 would have needed to sell a mere 30,000 units in May to surpass the next platinum-level milestone.

Abe further noted that RE5 sales are now expected to exceed 1 million units during Capcom's current fiscal year, which runs from April 1, 2009 to March 31, 2010. The PC edition of the game is expect to launch later this year. Earlier this month, the publisher forecast fiscal-year sales of ¥95 billion ($961.3 million), with operating income projected to rise to ¥15.5 billion ($156.9 million).

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