In a recent interview with Games Industry, producer Masachika Kawata was asked about the decision to make Resident Evil 7 more horror-oriented, considering that the two most successful titles in Capcom’s history, Resident Evil 5 and Resident Evil 6, were more action-oriented. According to Kawata, they made such a dramatic shift because RE6 pushed that type of gameplay to the limit:
From a business perspective, Resident Evil 6 was a success. But we had pushed that style of Resident Evil gameplay, with the big storyline and the hero characters, pretty much as far as we could. It was a blockbuster scale of game. That almost left us with no choice but to change the series in order to keep it alive, because where do you go after that size and scale of game?
Offering up his own take on why the combined sales Resident Evil 4, 5, and 6 are “a lot higher” than the combined sales of Resident Evil 1, 2, and 3, Kawata explained that it isn’t just the type of content offered within each title.
“[…] we have got better at selling our games,” he said. “The market has got bigger as well. So just because we are going back to horror, I don’t expect we will see a drop to historical levels. The whole company is behind this title and the horror approach, and I’m confident that we are going to do well with this one.”
Capcom previously said they felt confident about selling four million copies of Resident Evil 7 on day one, but Kawata says they’re looking at lifetime sales, not just the first day. “Because some fans might be on the fence a bit, and be unsure about the new direction,” he continued. “So whether or not that has an effect on our initial out-of-the-gate sales, I am not sure yet. But over the lifetime of the product, I’m sure we will be able to hit our targets.”
Looking at Capcom’s top-selling titles of all-time (as of September 30, 2016), Resident Evil 5 is #1 with 7.1 million copies sold on PS3 and Xbox 360, followed by Resident Evil 6 with 6.6 million on PS3 and Xbox 360, Street Fighter II with 6.3 million on SNES, and Resident Evil 4 with 5.9 million on PS2, Wii, and GameCube.
You can head over here to read our Resident Evil 7 review.
Do you think Resident Evil 7 will hit its initial sales target?