With zombie-filled games continuing to sell in droves, it’s clear that players’ love of the undead never dies.MCV checks out what’s alive and kicking in the merchandise sector
Since seminal horror flick Night of the Living Dead kickstarted their cultural domination in 1968, zombies have remained a widely-loved topic – and video games are no exception.
From Capcom’s Resident Evil series, which has now sold more than 62 million units in total, to the cutesy take on the undead seen in Plants vs Zombies, the recently resurrected have become a guaranteed hit among gamers.
The third entry in Capcom’s Dead Rising series sold more than one million copies on Xbox One in its first month. Dead Rising 3’s million-selling accomplishment brings the total sales of that franchise to more than 7m units.
We’ve seen some new zombie hits emerge, too.
Including both boxed and digital copies, the debut entry in Deep Silver’s Dead Island franchise has sold over five million units since its launch in 2011. Following the release of standalone expansion Dead Island: Riptide in 2013, a full sequel – Dead Island 2 – is planned for later this year.
Not to forget PC hit DayZ either, which has now sold over 2m copies.
Zombies are even appearing in unexpected places.
The zombie-filled add-on to Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption, Undead Nightmare, saw critical acclaim following its release in 2010. Its standalone boxed release shifted more than two million units.
Similarly, Call of Duty’s Zombies mode has become a staple in the annual shooter, with an ‘Exo Zombies’ add-on for last year’s Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare arriving in March.
With a wide range of products available – from shirts and novels to board games and figurines – zombies will continue to attract the fear and fondness of consumers. You don’t need braaaains to see that.
Dying Light: Nightmare Row
Serving as a prequel to the upcoming title from Warner Bros, Nightmare Row tells the story of 18-year-old American athlete Mel Wyatt, who is left stranded in the city of Harran following the zombie outbreak. The novel was written by Raymond Benson, the author of over 30 published titles, including the official follow-up to the James Bond novels commissioned by the Ian Fleming Estate.
Distributor: Warner Bros
Contact: 020 7984 6700
Dead Island 2 T-Shirt
Players awaiting the next entry in Deep Silver’s zombie-bashing series can show their fondness for beating the tar out of the undead with this white shirt, emblazoned with a full-colour print of the game’s protagonist Ryan.
Distributor: Gaming Merchandise UK
Players can experience life as a zombie with this fast-paced game that sees friends face off in a competition to eat the most brains.
Manufacturer: Steve Jackson Games
Distributor: Esdevium Games
Contact: 01420 593 593
Resident Evil STARS T-Shirt
Followers of Capcom’s beloved zombie series can join the elite Special Tactics And Rescue Service (from the early games) with this top.
Manufacturer: Insert Coin
Distributor: Insert Coin
Pride and Prejudiceand Zombies
This cult mashup novel, which combines Jane Austen with the undead, is set for a film adaptation later this year.
Manufacturer: Quirk Books
Distributor: Random House
Contact: 020 8804 0400
The Walking Dead Monopoly
Between Telltale’s games, the comic and the TV show, The Walking Dead is very much alive. Fans can celebrate with this spin-off Monopoly.
Manufacturer: Winning Moves
Distributor: Winning Moves
Contact: 01706 558 539
Plants Vs Zombies T-Shirt –Zombies Ate Your Brains
Players of PopCap’s tower defense-cum-shooter series can declare their love for grey matter munchers with this spooky shirt.
Distributor: Gaming Merchandise UK
Resident Evil 6 Leon S. Kennedy Figure
The RE6 hero is recreated in high detail in this poseable Play Arts Kai model. Extra accessories are included.
Manufacturer: Play Arts Kai
Distributor: Square Enix