Resident Evil's good (and controversial) week

by: Cyril -
We all knew that Resident Evil 5, released last week on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, would be a huge hit.  After all, this is the first Resident Evil sequel since 2005's GameCube installment, and the game's hype is at an all time high thanks to amazing graphics and online co-op.  Well, today Capcom confirmed what we already knew.  Between all regions (including North America, Europe and Japan), Capcom shipped a staggering four million units of Resident Evil 5.  This news proves once again that when it comes to survival horror games, Capcom is the master (even if this newest installment is the opposite of scary).

While this is certainly good news for the long running company, it is important to clarify that this four million unit number is the amount of SHIPPED games, not the amount that have been sold.  Still, with that many units in stores around the world, it stands to reason that Resident Evil 5 will definitely sell millions of units, if not a figure north of four million.  In contrast, Capcom's last numbered installment, Resident Evil 4, sold around 320,000 units in the first twenty days.  The game would later go on to sell some six million units on four different formats (GameCube, PlayStation 2, PC and Wii).

Unfortunately it was not all good news for Capcom.  As we reported last Thursday, Capcom announced that they were offering a several new multiplayer modes at a price.  A rather limited deathmatch-style mode was one of the new modes, as was something called Survivor's Rule.  These modes retailed for $4.99 (400 MS Points) and hit the marketplace almost immediately after the game's mid-week release.  Understandably, charging people for what many games come with for free was met with a lot of anger.  In fact, based on the several forums and talkbacks I looked at I couldn't find a single person defending this action.

Well, there was one person, but it was a Capcom employee.  Talking to CVG, an unnamed Capcom staffer said that "although Versus mode makes use of the assets that exist in the game, the functionality is not currently in the game and is above and beyond the initial scope of Resident Evil 5."  Capcom concluded by saying that this was not a simple unlock code (like the things you buy for their other big game, Street Fighter IV), but rather brand new code that had to be developed and is not found on the disc.  Either way, this has certainly added some clouds to what would have otherwise been a great launch.  Still, even with the pay-to-play online multiplayer, I have a hunch that Capcom won't have any problem convincing people to pick up their newest survival horror action game.
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