Though it was panned by many critics in the West, Capcom's Resident Evil 6 has already sold 676,000 copies for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in Japan since debuting there last week.
That's a lot more than Resident Evil 5 sold during its opening week back in 2009, which was around 398,000 copies across both consoles. Media Create figures show that Resident Evil 6's PS3 version alone, which pushed almost 635,000 units, managed to outsell Resident Evil 5's total sales.
The PS3 version's average review score on Metacritic, 63, is quite low for such a high-profile, triple-A release, and many critics have gone further, savaging the game for straying too far from the franchise's roots. Polygon's review called the release "a desperate, ugly bid to appeal to as many people as possible."
Yet in Japan, Resident Evil 6 received a near perfect 39 out of 40 review score from Famitsu, one of the country's most prominent video game magazines and review outlets. And in the UK, it became the fourth biggest seller of 2012, according to Chart-Track.
Producer Hiroyuki Kobayashi recently spoke about the challenges in trying to introduce new elements while still appeasing series fans: "We want to make sure that what we do pleases [the fans] but the initial reaction might not always be positive."
"We do listen to the fans but we can't be beholden to them at every turn or I don't think we'll ever make progress in terms of the series' development," Kobayashi added.
Capcom expects to sell 7 million copies of Resident Evil 6 around the world by the end of the current fiscal year (ending March 31, 2013), and has already shipped over 4.5 million units.