In a recent press release Capcom revealed that the Resident Evil 4 remake has hit 5 million sales. This follows a galactic opening week where it hit 3 million sales in just two days, a milestone that took the original a full year to meet.
Even more surprising is the fact that Resident Evil 4 hits this record an entire two months ahead of schedule when compared to its main series sibling Resident Evil: Village. That game took close to six months to hit the same number, even though it was beating records as the fastest-selling Resident Evil game in the series.
Capcom puts this victory down to a "highly positive reception from customers as well as with the release of The Mercenaries", which is a DLC mode from the first game where you get to mow down hordes as a wider cast of characters.
While it's yet to be updated at the time of writing, this milestone improves its ranking on Capcom's shiny list of platinum titles, sandwiching it between Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak and Resident Evil 2 at number 14. Though with how quickly it's climbing I don't think it'll stop there for long, considering the Resident Evil 2 Remake has a cosy spot at number four.
The original Resident Evil 4 has a nigh-holy place in the third-person shooter canon, inspiring games like Dead Space, Gears of War, and even the Uncharted series. Meanwhile, while Resident Evil: Village was well-received on launch—including by PC Gamer's Andy Kelly—it just doesn't have that kind of legacy behind it.
This also signals, perhaps, a desire for a more classic Resident Evil experience. Both Village and its predecessor are first-person games. They've both sold excellently, but the popularity of Capcom's remakes shows the staying power of over-the-shoulder nostalgia. Besides—Ethan Winters is fun, but Leon Kennedy might be the prettiest man in horror gaming. That's probably not relevant to the sales figures, I just think it's an important footnote.
Capcom finished the press release with a promise to continue "leveraging its industry-leading game development capabilities in order to create highly entertaining gameplay experiences," which is business speak for 'we're going to keep making killer survival horror games'.