Capcom 'analyzing' Resident Evil 6's disappointing sales

Why did Resident Evil 6 fall short of Capcom's expectations? "We are currently analyzing the causes, which involve our internal development operations and sales operations," they said.


With five million copies shipped so far, Resident Evil 6 is by no means a failure for Capcom. However, it has repeatedly been called a disappointment by the publisher, who expected the game to ship upwards of seven million units. What could account for such a sharp decline from its initially projected sales?

"We are currently analyzing the causes, which involve our internal development operations and sales operations. We have not yet reached a clear conclusion," Capcom told investors.

"We believe that global sales of 5 million units are proof that this is a popular title. However, we believe that the new challenges we tackled at the development stage were unable to sufficiently appeal to users," the statement continued. Capcom did say that Resident Evil 6 was designed to appeal to a "mass-market" audience--which is reflected on the game's focus on action, and not necessarily traditional horror.

"In addition, we believe there was inadequate organizational collaboration across our entire company with regard to marketing, promotions, the creation of plans and other activities. We will have to examine these results from several perspectives. We will reexamine our internal operating frameworks in order to identify areas that need to be improved concerning development as well as sales and administrative operations," the publisher concluded.

Oddly, there seems to be no mention of the lackluster reception of the game--by both critics and fans.

Andrew Yoon was previously a games journalist creating content at Shacknews.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    February 8, 2013 10:30 AM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, Capcom 'analyzing' Resident Evil 6's disappointing sales.

    Why did Resident Evil 6 fall short of Capcom's expectations? "We are currently analyzing the causes, which involve our internal development operations and sales operations," they said.

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      February 8, 2013 10:44 AM

      They need to spin-off the action-oriented gameplay into a new series and keep Resident Evil firmly in the survival horror genre. I don't think they're going to pull off both in the same game without bringing down the entire experience.

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      February 8, 2013 10:48 AM

      Did you play RE6, Capcom? Proof is in the pudding.

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      February 8, 2013 10:51 AM

      Get the fucking suits out of the design process.

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      February 8, 2013 10:57 AM

      What's there to analyze?

      They made a bold attempt at introducing new mechanics and they turned out to be very subpar.

      You change the familiar core game mechanics, you risk alienating the fanbase. You change it for the better, then you may gather new audiences. They failed to change it for the better because they essentially tried to chase 4 rabbits and lost them all.

      Taking a look at RE4's changes, the mechanics have changed but for the better. The control scheme essentially was the same "tank" controls the series was notorious for but outfitted for a 3d "over the shoulder" perspective. This works. It maintains fans familiarity while looking dynamically better than previous entries. Your character is far more nimble and combat effective which is counter balanced by a more aggressive zombie type. In terms of evolving a series, RE4 did a lot right by making changes to a formula and still keeping the game Resident Evil.

      RE6 took someone else's game and tried to mold Resident Evil around it. The controls felt off, the rules for cover were inconsistent, and the enemy AI was incompetent. You have a completely different game now that amounts to being a lousy clone of another game and you shoe-horned the Resident Evil mythos into it.

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      February 8, 2013 11:19 AM

      who plays RE games for the gameplay? The story is where it's at. I liked RE6's over the top cheesy story with all the ridiculous chase scenes. Ok the chris campaign pretty much sucked but the others were fun I thought. come at me bro

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        February 8, 2013 11:45 AM

        actually for me the only thing that's worth a damn in RE games are the merc modes.

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        February 8, 2013 12:55 PM

        I never got the impression that RE games were about story.

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      February 8, 2013 11:36 AM

      You put out an action game in a market that already has plenty of action games. People want a horror game.

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      February 8, 2013 12:22 PM

      Probably because there is almost nothing left of the foundation the series was built on. And gamers don't want games which were engineered to optimize maximum mass market enjoyment... they want games which are fun to play. Trust your fucking designers and take the committee out of the process.

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      February 8, 2013 12:31 PM

      For their "analysis", everyone at Capcom who can understand English needs to download the October 2, 2012 Bombcast and put the first hour on endless loop for about 6 hours.

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        February 8, 2013 12:41 PM

        Parsing through the "inadequate organizational collaboration" paragraph seems to suggest that they're acknowledging that the RE6 production effort was essentially a rudderless ship. When Captivate 2013 rolls around (at whatever extravagant location it's scheduled for; Hawaii, Miami, Rome, ...?), they have some explaining to do.

        Also, that "global sales of 5 million" isn't just "sell-in" to retailers (not "sell-through" to consumers), it's also revised DOWN from the initial pre-release projection of 7 million, and the post-release Halloween 2012 revision to 6 million.

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          February 8, 2013 12:49 PM

          You know, they could save money by going with a more survival horror and less bombastic version of the game so the production values wouldn't be so crazy. They could give fans what they want and probably do it cheaper if they were smart. Then they wouldn't have to sell 7 million to be successful. No game should need to sell that much to not be a disappointment.

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        February 8, 2013 1:17 PM

        I don't 100% agree, but I do think there are legitimate complaints there. For all the game's missteps and flaws, I still am amazed that the GB crew liked RE5 as much as they did (well, half of them) and hated 6.

        I love giant bomb, but if you look at that, or Brad's (I think) re (hi brad, you'e awesome otherwise) there are a ton of objectively wrong things in that review. He even says if I recall that the 180º quickturn is missing from the game(?!!) which it tottlaly is not. So I dunno? Maybe some of these things were missing from earlier builds?

        The game has some huge flaws though, including bosses that are at times effectively timed events and bullet soaks

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          February 8, 2013 1:37 PM

          RE5 was waaaay better than 6, and I did not care for RE5... as an RE game.

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            February 8, 2013 1:51 PM

            Really? I understand not liking it as an 'RE Game' but that's not the metric most should be reviewing it for. I mean, I feel like this has been forgotten about in the years since, but when RE4 (which I think is a great game!) came out, tons of RE faithful decried it as a betrayal of the series, etc.

            I felt like RE5 was definitely more 'focused' than RE6. What did you feel otherwise was better? I played both (only) coop with a friend completely.

            RE6's issues were (off the top of my head, I could come up with more)
            - Lack of focus - needed to leave a little more on the cutting room floor.
            - Mechanics/controls were two steps forward, 1.5 steps back (amibitious, but some unneeded, and many unclear)
            - The game has a ton of random mechanics, none of which are explained in the game. Half of them have useful tooltips but good luck getting those at a point that's relevant.
            - About half the bosses have really bad design/cues (but some area great!) including bosses that basically just need to be fought for a certain amount of time but nothing indicates that to you, forcing you to waste resources.

            Controls are a bit overloaded, so you just have to master some random button combinations (specifics aside, not untrue of RE5, or even games like Demon's Souls)

            I heard some people stay the story was incoherent in RE6, which I thought was an odd complaint (compared to other RE games, not known for the best/most coherent story). I mean, they managed to do it in a way that I figured out the deal with Carla, etc without even noticing the clothing option well before I got to the last campaign. (Since everyone got a random apparel change)

            Mercenaries mode felt better in 6 in a lot of ways, but more interesting char/loadouts in RE5. Both need a revamp/re-imagining (everyone always does a victory lap at the beginning to get timers, etc) of mechanics - a standalone XBLA-style Mercs title would be dreamy.

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              February 8, 2013 1:58 PM

              I wouldn't review it by that metric, but then, I didn't have to review it. In short, it's a twitchy, distracted mess of a game that didn't know what it wanted to be, and included not even a trace of what made Resident Evil a powerhouse: atmosphere, tension, and survival-oriented choices.

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            February 9, 2013 1:33 AM

            I don't like hearing this, RE5 was crap. :(

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          February 8, 2013 2:52 PM

          The trusty old 180-degree turn from previous games sometimes turns only your character while leaving the camera stationary, exposing you to unnecessary risk as you then have to manually swivel the perspective around after you've wasted time expecting a basic game mechanic to work like it's supposed to.

          Trust me, I'm not gonna get upset at you about a critique that 30 seconds of fact checking would have proven erroneous.

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            February 8, 2013 4:51 PM


            I don't recall that it didn't swivel the camera, though - unless I was doing that on autopilot every single time I ever did it. Or maybe I was moving forward, in old habits.

            Aside from that anyways, the game has all kinds of goofy controls that it never tells you about, like how there's shit you can do to stand up faster.

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              February 8, 2013 4:52 PM

              I just saw the 'sometimes'. Odd - never saw that.

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            February 8, 2013 5:16 PM

            What the... why would a 180-degree turn function NOT turn the camera? Shadows of the Damned did it perfectly, and that was Mikami!

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            February 9, 2013 1:42 AM

            This isn't really true.. RE6 isn't like 5 or 4 where the camera is locked behind the character or returns there after released. It's a free camera that acts more like an Uncharted or Dead Space one where your character orientation and camera view orientation are separate.

            IIRC the A button on 360 centers the camera to where your character is pointed. Sometimes in games this is clicking in the camera stick but in RE6 it is the A button. It's really quick to turn into a direction and hit A to look there immediately without having to pan the camera around there, especially if your thumb is already over the face buttons.

            So yeah it does have a 180 turn its just not exactly the same. You hit down (if you were facing forward) then hit A right after. Not at the same time.

            (there is also the fact that you can set options so that when you hit right trigger it either aims in the direction your guy is facing or the direction the camera is facing, this can be used as a quick turn around into shooting a dude coming up on you move)

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          February 8, 2013 5:26 PM

          Gotta understand too that this 'love' of RE5 was even a disgruntled love....I mean series wise it's a big step down from RE4 but it's still good.

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            February 8, 2013 5:42 PM

            It makes me think of this:

            (Idle News Podblast, February 5, 2009)

            Chris: "So basically what you're saying happened is [Capcom] looked at God of War, Gears of War, and Prince of Persia, and said, 'I see what American gamers like! Muscles, cover systems, quick time events, and not dying!... and games that are bright!'"

            Nick: "Honestly, I usually wouldn't simplify it to that point, but I really do think they looked at games like that and went, 'Okay, we need some of this stuff...'"

            Jake: "So hopefully, when they make Resident Evil 6... they will look at Left 4 Dead."

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        February 8, 2013 1:27 PM

        So listen to it 1.5 times?

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      February 8, 2013 12:38 PM

      their initial sales projections for this game were so crazy

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      February 8, 2013 12:54 PM

      Piracy blame incoming.....

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      February 8, 2013 1:15 PM

      Giraffe blow jobs are the culprit.

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      February 8, 2013 1:54 PM

      Disappointing game, disappointing sales. Nothing to see here.

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      February 8, 2013 2:48 PM

      At least 4.8 million sold is disapppointing?!

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        February 8, 2013 2:53 PM

        Against their projections, and the development and marketing costs, it absolutely can be. We're in an era where the biggest games are routinely shipping over 10 million now. Assassin's Creed 3 did 12 million, and that's a game that was widely hailed as disappointing.

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        February 8, 2013 6:40 PM

        At 4.8 million I doubt they have even broken even on total cost to market.

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          February 8, 2013 6:48 PM

          I would be pretty shocked to hear ~$250-300 million was insufficient to break even on a game that wasn't in development all that long and was pretty iterative

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            February 9, 2013 7:54 AM

            A publisher sees maybe half of the price of a physical retail sale. So cut your $250-300 million to $125-150 million which sounds about right for the cost to develop and market this game (split about 50/50 and including some overhead for running the publisher/developer, amortized over Capcom's lineup for the year).

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      February 8, 2013 5:22 PM

      they could start by bringing back the atmosphere - i mean all this para-military action movie shit is just like what the RE movies try to do- so fucking rote and bad. Fuck call of duty and all those games for homogenizing the shit out of what used to be interesting series (RE included)

      word of mouth was bad, the demo was bad, reviews were bad - but honestly don't think people didn't buy it because of these things ultimately....I think it had zero atmosphere. RE5 was heading down the wrong direction but at least it was an interesting setting in Africa and all....that was new and people had never seen that coming.

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      February 9, 2013 5:51 PM

      Like all of Capcom's projections in the last few years, they're expectations are absurd. 5 million is fantastic, they're really lucky they got that....and they don't even know it.

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      April 11, 2013 10:36 AM

      If you want to try out thi game before buying go to and download it from there. There you can get it for free. Then if you like it you can buy it or keep playing for free.

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