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The Real Reason Resident Evil 6 Was A Failure

"Resident Evil 6" proved to be a turning point for Capcom's horror franchise. The poorly received entry caused a five-year hiatus for mainline "Resident Evil" games, resulting in the franchise abandoning the third-person action gameplay it adopted with "Resident Evil 4." Instead, the series switched to a first-person perspective with "Resident Evil 7: Biohazard" – which allegedly had Capcom making controversial demands. Of course, a single poorly reviewed game isn't typically enough for a company to completely shift gears, but "Resident Evil 6" proved enough of an upset to cause Capcom to reevaluate the series.

While the next "Resident Evil" game seems to be far off, Capcom has released several entries for the series since the gameplay shift with "Resident Evil 7" — including a remake of "Resident Evil 2" and a sequel to "Resident Evil 7" called "Resident Evil Village." While it's impossible to know if "Resident Evil 6" was exclusively responsible for this shift in Capcom's strategy, the game's failure marked a change for the franchise. So, what exactly caused "Resident Evil 6" to fail and for Capcom to completely shift how it makes "Resident Evil" games?

Resident Evil 6 had a troubled development causing poor sales

During a Q&A for the 3rd quarter of fiscal year 2012, Capcom said it considered "Resident Evil 6" a failure due to underperformance. The game had sold 5 million copies at the time, but Capcom did not consider that a success. "We believe that the new challenges we tackled at the development stage were unable to sufficiently appeal to users," Capcom wrote. "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."

Capcom said at the time that it was reviewing its internal processes across the board to improve game development and marketing. Capcom also stated that "Resident Evil 6" had strong sales right out the gate but lost momentum quickly. For reference, both "Resident Evil 7" and the "Resident Evil 2" remake surpassed 10 million copies, although that happened a few years after release. According to IGN, "Resident Evil Village" sold over 3 million copies in its first week and cleared 5 million copies in just five months, setting a pace far ahead of its maligned predecessor.