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Integrated Report 2019

Captivating a Connected World
Top page > The COO's Discussion of Growth Strategies > Case Study: Analysis of a Top Hit Resident Evil 2

Case Study: Analysis of a Top Hit

Resident Evil 2

Captivating fans across generations to
top four million units sold in one month

The Resident Evil series features survival horror games where players attempt to escape terrifying situations using weapons and other items. Since it was first released in 1996, the series has sold more than 91 million units total (as of March 31, 2019), becoming one of our best-known brands. Today, more than 20 years after its first appearance, it has the enthusiastic support of fans around the world.

Resident Evil 2, released on January 25, 2019, is a reimagining of the fourth best-selling title in the series, originally released in January 1998. It was rebuilt from the ground up for current-generation game consoles using our cutting-edge development tools. In addition to the highly immersive world and dramatic story enabled by the latest technology, effective promotion and digital strategy made the game successful not only among fans of the original but also with a whole new demographic of fans. It became a major hit, with sales exceeding four million copies approximately one month after its release.

Resident Evil Total number of units sold 91 million

Why it became a hit


A remake that exceeds all expectations

The original Resident Evil 2 is one of the series most popular titles. Recreating the game for current-generation game consoles meant there were high hurdles to overcome in terms of the fans' expectations for the game and the weight of the brand. In our effort to leave a sense of the original while remaking the game from scratch, it took 18 months of trial and error to figure out what to keep and what to change until the game's first stage at the police station was finally complete.

As a result, it was crowned "Best of Show" at E3 where it was unveiled, marking the first time the honor of most notable game was awarded to a Japanese third-party developer, and raising the expectations of stakeholders ahead of its release.


Fear created audio-visually with the latest technology

Our proprietary development engine, the RE Engine, enables both the use of high-definition graphics to portray the terror of groping through the dark while gruesomely real zombies hunt for flesh, as well as the use of real-time binaural technology for the first time to reproduce sound in sync with the player's perspective.

Enhancing the sound as well as the graphics has enabled us to offer a deeply immersive game experience, earning the game a high 90 point* Metascore, which serves as an indicator of game player purchasing.
*PlayStation 4 version


Appealing to fans new and old with social media promotions and digital strategy

In addition to creating entertaining photo ops at gaming events and releasing videos of influencers playing the game, we also distributed a "1-Shot Demo" trial version of the game. This limited, one-time only 30-minute trial roused user interest on social media, resulting in five million downloads.

Directing users of the trial version to the purchasing site after playing the game also led to a rise in the number of preorders and succeeded in acquiring a broad spectrum of players, ranging from casual to hardcore series fans.


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