This Fall season has been quite the disappointment for some of the biggest publishers in the gaming industry, with lower than anticipated sales for AAA franchises like Titanfall 2, Watch Dogs 2, Dishonored 2 and even Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. Perhaps only DICE's Battlefield 1 escaped this trend.
Speaking with MCVUK, Capcom's EMEA Marketing Director Antoine Molant talked about this topic in relation to the publisher's continued strategic choice to use January for its titles. In January 2015, Capcom released Resident Evil HD; in January 2016, Dragon's Dogma launched on PC alongside Resident Evil 0 HD Remaster; in January 2017, the seventh main entry in the Resident Evil franchise will debut.
January is becoming the little Capcom window. Looking at the market, you see that January and end-of-January sales into February and March are actually quite good. Obviously there’s less competition there. It’s post-Christmas, you’d think that people have a bit of money to spend, they’re back at work or school or wherever, and want to have fun. It’s early in the year.
The October, November and early December window... we’ve seen, this year, I’m sure some publishers will be gutted to see the sales of some of the franchises. There were a few winners as well and that’s great. Everything is more expensive in terms of advertising, communication, you don’t get as many voices and people talking about your game because they are focused on games they actually playing.
It’s the same at retail. The pre-order campaigns are about pre-Christmas stuff, so January gives us a really nice window. You can see some publishers are already starting to push back their game into the Q1 window as opposed to Q4. Also, part of it was simply the fact that the game [RE VII: Biohazard] wasn’t ready to ship before Christmas and wanted to work on it. We were more than glad to fulfill and get the game released in January.
Resident Evil VII: Biohazard is set to launch for PC, PlayStation 4 (with full PSVR support) and Xbox One on January 24th, 2017. A demo will be available on December 19th for PC; in the meantime, you can check our latest report with new info and screenshots.