Capcom Is OK With Lower Sales If Reviews Are Better
"We'd prefer a game that got a 9 and sold less, than got a 6 but sold more."
Despite a much better critical reception, Resident Evil 7 didn't quite match the financial success of its predecessor, Resident Evil 6. Capcom says it's comfortable with that, though, since artistry counts for more and it would prefer a better critical reception at the cost of some sales.
"While we have shareholders to appease, it's not just about commercial performance," Capcom Europe COO Stuart Turner told GameIndustry.biz. "There is an artistic element that always comes in where we know this is the right way. And while if we compare RE7 to RE6 the absolute numbers are not the same, in terms of the profitability... it's completely fine. It ticked all of our boxes internally. It was really well received. And in some respects, getting some very good review scores counts as much for Capcom as a game that sells millions and millions and millions. We'd prefer a game that got a 9 and sold less, than got a 6 but sold more."
Those numbers aren't far off. RE7 received an aggregate score of 86 on GameSpot sister site Metacritic, while RE6 received only a score of 60. The two received an 8/10 and a 4.5/10 in GameSpot's reviews, respectively. RE7 has only sold 5.1 million units so far, compared to RE6's 7.1 million. But the company also says it's taking a longer view for measuring success. Resident Evil 7 hasn't sold as much yet, but it's making steady progress and may still surpass RE6 in the long run.
"We are less focused on day-one sales these days, too. We are looking much more at the long-term. And in that case RE7 is performing amazingly," said Capcom's Antoine Molant. "Even now, after almost two years, it's still the VR flagship title. That helps keep the game selling well."
In the same interview, Capcom opened up about its trepidation around the reveal for the upcoming Resident Evil 2 remake. The fan response so far has been largely positive, so it appears this approach is paying off in terms of reputation.
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