In a console generation that has been dominated by HD re-releases and definitive editions, Resident Evil has carved out a decent amount of success as their action oriented titles (Resident Evil 4, Resident Evil 5, and Resident Evil 6) have collectively shipped 1.5 million units on both the Playstation 4 and the Xbox One worldwide. Just in North America, where the three titles were released both physically and digitally, the games have shipped over a million units. I’d have to say that’s a pretty great way to celebrate the series’ 20th anniversary.
There have been a lot of criticisms in this console generation because of the perceived reliance on the re-release, but this move just makes a ton of sense financially and from a marketing standpoint. Resident Evil has been Capcom’s highest selling series, moving nearly 70 million units since its inception in 1996, so it is a grand slam move for Capcom to capitalize on that for the 20th anniversary and to build up hype for the release of the newest installment, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, by providing HD re-releases for the 3 best selling games in the franchise. Even though they are only charging an MSRP of $19.99 per game for these re-releases, they are just raking in the cash.
It’s nice to see Capcom showing so much love to Resident Evil, one of my personal favorite franchises, and the continued stream of content the series has been getting has been great (Let’s just forget that Umbrella Corps exists because I still can’t believe that was an actual thing). With all of the main series games being playable on newer consoles in some form, talks about a full remake of Resident Evil 2 being in the works, and the fantastic looking Resident Evil 7: Biohazard coming out this January (Check out the latest trailer here), it is a fantastic time to be a fan of the series.