Capcom thought Resident Evil 6 would do gangbuster sales to the tune of 7 million.
Resident Evil 6 "surpassed" 4.8 million sales, Capcom revealed in its Q3 FY2013 results this morning.
"In the Digital Contents business, which constitutes our core competence, the flagship title Resident Evil 6 (for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360), despite recording brisk sales when it debuted, subsequently lost its momentum, resulting in the failure to achieve planned sales and fulfil its role as a driver of sales expansion," noted Capcom.
A power-brand like Resident Evil can command high sales straight out of the gate. But the post-launch momentum comes from word of mouth: people raving about the game because they thought it was really, really good.
Resident Evil 6 wasn't really, really good. It was hotchpotch of four separate campaigns thrown into one game. "Resident Evil 6 is an unwieldy tribute to the series' past, an uneven expression of its present and an unwelcome indication of its future," wrote Simon Parkin in our 6/10 Resident Evil 6 review.
Nevertheless, Capcom's having a good year of it. Sales and profit are up.
Capcom praised Dragon's Dogma's performance in Japan but didn't break out specific numbers. In July last year, Capcom announced 1.05 million sales for Dragon's Dogma. Standalone expansion Dark Arisen is now close at hand, due for release in April.
Capcom said its HD re-release of Monster Hunter Tri G for Wii U was a "smash hit" as well, but didn't note numbers. Capcom described the delay of 3DS exclusive Monster Hunter 4 to March 2013 as one of its "setbacks".
Broadly, Capcom noted that the Japanese boxed gaming market "picked up for the first time in a long while" thanks to the arrival of Wii U.
Capcom's other successes came from its increasingly profitable ventures into smartphone gaming and social gaming, both of which are growing exponentially in Japan.
The bottom line: sales were 48.7 billion yen (£342 million), up 39.2 per cent on the nine months ended 31st December in 2011. Operating income (income after expenditure) was 9.8 billion yen (£67.6 million), up 45.9 year-on-year.