Capcom has announced that Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (2017) has shipped 6.8 million units. This new figure, when combined with official in-game player stats, suggests that the game has achieved an impressive milestone of reaching more than 1 million PSVR players, making it perhaps the most successful VR title on any single platform.
Update (December 19th, 2019): The latest official figure from Capcom puts the sales of Resident Evil 7: Biohazard at 6.8 million units, showing continued growth since 4.8 million units at the time of our last check in 2018. The share of PSVR players according to official stats has also risen from 13.25% to 15.96%. The article below has been adjusted to account for the latest figures, revealing that the game’s PSVR player base could be as large as some 1,085,000 players.
The success of the game’s VR mode, which is only available on PlayStation, makes it surprising that we still haven’t seen the release of the VR mode for PC headsets like the Rift and Vive, despite precedent for PSVR exclusives coming to PC headsets, as we saw with Batman: Arkham VR and SUPERHYPERCUBE, among others.
Original Article (February 16th, 2017), Updated Figures: Resident Evil 7: Biohazard is not a VR-only game. Available on PC, Xbox One, PS4, and Nintendo Switch, the game was built primarily for traditional displays, but, on PlayStation only, the game has a VR mode which allows it to be played from start to finish on Sony’s PlayStation VR headset. That VR mode has received surprising praise for a game not built specifically for VR, and has seemingly propelled the game to be among the most successful titles (by number of VR players) on any single VR platform (whether ‘made-for-VR’ or just ‘VR-capable’).
Closer to the game’s launch we reported that official Resident Evil 7 stats from Capcom claimed over 81,000 PSVR players. Less than a month after the game’s launch, those same stats read nearly 133,000 PSVR players. In March 2018, the official stats showed some 419,000 players, and now the count at the end of December 2019 is at 752,817.
But there’s a catch. The official stats are only based on data from users who specifically opt-in to share them, which means they represent only a subset of the actual figures. The latest figures from Capcom however show that the game has shipped 6.8 million units across all platforms.
That number gives us some additional insight into the full scope of the data. Specifically, it lets us adjust the total number of players from the game’s opt-in data (presently 4.72 million players) up to 6.8 million players (with the acknowledgement that ‘shipped to retail’ vs. ‘sold to customers’ will create some margin of error). And since we know that now 15.96% of the 4.72 million opt-in players are PSVR players, we can reason that a similar percentage of the actual total players are also PSVR players, which would put a best guess of the game’s total PSVR playerbase around 1,085,000 players.
To put the numbers into perspective, the single best selling VR game we’re aware of is Beat Saber, which announced it had sold more than 1 million copies across all platforms back in March 2019 (though this was before the launch of Quest); Resident Evil 7, has likely reached more than 1 million VR players on PSVR alone.
Another way to put the number of Resident Evil 7 figures into perspective is the revenue contribution from PSVR players which—if our best guess is 1,085,000—comes out to $48.8 million (assuming 75% MSRP to account for reduced pricing over time). Of course, we can’t account for the number of PSVR owners who happened to buy the game and only tried the VR mode as a novelty versus the number of owners who bought the game specifically for its VR support.
It’s also worth acknowledging an important variable that we can’t control in the 1.08 million player estimate, which is the potential difference in opt-in rates between different platforms. It could be that PSVR users are more likely to opt-in to data collection than other player groups. It also could be that they are less likely—we don’t have a good reason right now to bet one way or the other, so for now it’s an unknown. That opt-in rate could adjust the 1.08 million PSVR player figure up or down.
Even if we scrap the extrapolations, the official count of 752,817 VR players on a game available only on one headset speaks well of both the size of the PSVR install base, and the power of a AAA production tied to a well known IP to attract VR players hungry for content.
No matter which figure you look at, that makes Resident Evil 7 a surprising VR success, especially for a game that’s only playable in VR on one headset, and not actually designed specifically for VR in the first place.