Capcom has announced that Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (2017) has shipped 4.1 million units. This new figure, when combined with official in-game player stats, suggests that the game could have some 475,000 PSVR players, putting it among the highest known number of VR players for any single VR game available on tethered VR headsets.
Update (3/8/18): The latest official figure from Capcom puts the sales of Resident Evil 7: Biohazard at 4.8 million units, showing continued growth since 4.1 million units at the time of our last check in November. The share of PSVR players according to official stats has also risen from 11.52% to 13.25%. 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 636,000 players.
The success of the game’s VR mode, which is only available on PlayStation, makes us wonder if we could see an eventual release of the VR mode for PC headsets like the Rift and Vive. There is precedent for PSVR exclusives coming to PC headsets, as we saw with Batman: Arkham VR (2016) and SUPERHYPERCUBE (2016), among others.
Original Article, Updated Figures (2/16/17): Resident Evil 7: Biohazard is not a VR-only game. Available on PC, Xbox One, and PS4, 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) available for any tethered VR headset (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. Now, as of March 2018, the official stats show some 419,000 players.
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 4.8 million units across all platforms; the company said in 2017 that it plans to continue to promote the game with in-store PlayStation VR demos across Japan.
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 3.16 million players) up to 4.8 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 13.25% of the 3.16 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 636,000 players.
Now, we need to acknowledge one important variable that we can’t control here, 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 636,000 PSVR player figure up or down.
What we can say with a good deal of certainty is that—because of the discrepancy between opt-in players and total players—the known quantity of 419,000 PSVR players is likely significantly fewer than the actual figure (the only way for this to not be the case would be if the overwhelming majority of PSVR users opted-in for data collection while other groups overwhelmingly did not).
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.
To put the numbers into perspective, the single highest-selling paid Vive title that we could find (that hasn’t been part of official hardware bundles), Space Pirate Trainer, has a reported 156,000 owners (according to SteamSpy data, not including Oculus Home owners). Another way to look at it is the revenue contribution from PSVR players which—if our best guess is 636,000—comes out to $38.2 million, assuming MSRP.
Even if we scrap the extrapolations, the official count of 419,000 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.