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A Look at Japanese Game Sales on Steam - Oct 2016 edition [Steamspy figures]

kswiston

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Looks like they need to start selling the TITS games for $5. At least the numbers will look impressive.

Numbers for the first game are impressive, and I don't think it has ever been much cheaper than $10 (at least on Steam). It's not like the PSP version was selling 200k in the west.

The second game will eventually sell. It's hard to convince people who bought the first for $10 (many of which never beat that game) to dish out $20-30 for the sequel.
 

Ascheroth

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Feb 17, 2015
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Looks like they need to start selling the TITS games for $5. At least the numbers will look impressive.

Nah, they way they are doing it is fine. The only thing they should do is have a bundle with the 2 games, but I guess they might just do that when The 3rd is out?

The Trails series is a long-term investment.
SC is ultimately a game whose sales are limited by a long-ass first game that needs to finished before it. Numbers show that nearly all who have completed FC have bought SC and numbers also show that FC has continued to sell well after SC has been released. This also shows that it's not a matter of price - as those who complete FC buy SC at the price it is, so heavily discounting it would just lead to some short-term profits while forsaking the probably more profitable long-term revenue.
 

StereoVsn

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Numbers for the first game are impressive, and I don't think it has ever been much cheaper than $10 (at least on Steam). It's not like the PSP version was selling 200k in the west.

The second game will eventually sell. It's hard to convince people who bought the first for $10 (many of which never beat that game) to dish out $20-30 for the sequel.

If you look at the numbers, everyone who beat the game pretty much bought the sequel.
 

GhostTrick

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Looks like they need to start selling the TITS games for $5. At least the numbers will look impressive.


FC is at 200k. When SC was release, it was at 140k. There's a growth possible here for the TITS game. SC is still a 30 dollars, 2D, 2006 obscure RPG. FC never was 5 dollars and there it is, in the 200k range. There's no need to go with the "games on Steam sells at 5 dollars" shtick, that often comes from "concerned" people about Japanese games sales on Steam, as if this move wasn't a good idea and shouldn't have happen, which basically often means remains exclusive to PS platforms.
 

Ratrat

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Hopefully they'll pick up. But the story is basically done with 3rd just being extra stuff. I cant see it selling much for that, but I guess Zero, Ao or Nayuta were never being optioned so this is a fine outcome.


That being said, it would be interesting to see a ranking by revenue.
 

Sesha

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Jan 28, 2013
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It's interesting how much Dark Souls dominates the list.

DmC got nearly a million PC copies sold on steam alone and that's just the PC version. Dang. So much for it ruining the series.

DMC1 - 2.1m
DMC2 - 1.7m
DMC3 - 2.3m
DMC4 - 3m
DmC - 1.7m

2-300k of owned copies of DmC on Steam are Humble Bundle sales. DmC didn't hit its revised numbers of 1.2m then 1.15m until six months after release, is the only game in the franchise not to hit initial sales targets at all, and is the lowest selling game alongside DMC2 when it was supposed to reinvigorate the franchise into something capable of selling 4-5m copies.

Capcom's initial plan was to release new entries roughly every 2.5 years. So far we've gotten two remasters with no sign of either DmC2 or DMC5. While it hasn't conclusively ruined the franchise, it had the opposite impact that it was supposed to. That's not a marker of success, despite how many people happen to own it on Steam. They can't even be bothered putting the Definitive Edition on Steam because officially it's not considered to be worth it.

DmC's been secretly killing it. Had no idea it sold that much.

Capcom Bundle copies. Non-bundle numbers are about 600k. It's about 1/3 of overall numbers, so sales are just more heavily weighted towards PC for some reason.

Yeah. It didn't bomb like some said. It did do lower than DMC4 did overall Ithough I think which I believe hit around 4.5 million or so.

DMC4 has sold 3m. DmC didn't bomb, but it heavily underperformed. It's the worst-selling game in the franchise alongside DMC2, and the only one that never met the initial sales target.
 

Iva Demilcol

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Those JSR sales...

Can't believe I've been begging Sega for Future since long ago. Surely there must be some people from all those 1.6 million sales that may want to play JSRF.
 

icecream

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Jan 9, 2006
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If people want me to track visual novels not already included in the OP, give me a list of titles.

A list of titles that are significant or retail in Japan would definitely be relevant to this discussion, and the state of the ADV scene. They are also grouped by franchise:

Sekai Project

NEKOPARA Vol. 0 - 252,000
NEKOPARA Vol. 1 - 278,000
NEKOPARA Vol. 2 - 149,000

CLANNAD - 26,000
CLANNAD Side Stories - 2,000
planetarian ~the reverie of a little planet~ - 36,500

The Fruit of Grisaia - 25,500
The Labyrinth of Grisaia - 3,300
Idol Magical Girl Chiru Chiru Michiru Part 2 - 4,200

Root Double -Before Crime * After Days- Xtend Edition - 4,200



Visual Arts

Harmonia - 4,000
Tomoyo After ~It's a Wonderful Life~ English Edition - 2,800



MAGES.INC

Steins;Gate - 13,800



MangaGamer

Go! Go! Nippon! ~My First Trip to Japan~ - 171,500

eden* - 64,000

Higurashi When They Cry - Ch.1 Onikakushi - 62,400
Higurashi When They Cry - Ch.2 Watanagashi - 17,700
Higurashi When They Cry - Ch.3 Tatarigoroshi - 6,300
Higurashi When They Cry - Ch.4 Himatsubushi - 2,800

Umineko - 3,600



JAST USA

Flowers -Le volume sur printemps- - 2,800
Littlewitch Romanesque: Editio Regia - 4,200
Sonicomi - 8,400



CFK Co.

Princess Maker 2 Refine - 10,100
 

kswiston

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I will add all of those visual novels when I am not on my phone. I wasn't trying to disclude the genre. I just don't have any awareness of it, and often can't tell the difference between a "major" Japanese title and something made by two American genre fans in GameMaker Studio.
 

icecream

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Often can't tell the difference between a "major" Japanese title and something made by two American genre fans in GameMaker Studio.
Some umbrage may have been taken at that statement :p

But indeed, it is also difficult because a majority of these publishers release both commercial and indie ADVs thus for someone who is not well versed in the genre it may be hard to pick out which are commercially relevant.
 

kswiston

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Natsume seems to be leaving some serious money on the table given the fact that Stardew Valley is up to 1.6M copies now. Even 10% of that would be more than worth chasing with a Harvest Moon port.
 

jj984jj

He's a pretty swell guy in my books anyway.
Aug 30, 2005
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Natsume seems to be leaving some serious money on the table given the fact that Stardew Valley is up to 1.6M copies now. Even 10% of that would be more than worth chasing with a Harvest Moon port.

The only thing they can port now is their new shitty games though. They did announce Seed of Memories for PC and Wii U initially with mobile but maybe they realized it would be embarrassing to release it, especially after Stardew Valley.

Some did ask the Story of Seasons producer if they're interested in bringing Story of Seasons to PC at E3 though:
RPG Site: Have you ever explored Steam due to its increasing popularity as a way for Japanese developers making profit in the West, and have you seen Stardew Valley before?

Hashimoto: I have been watching Stardew Valley even before its launch, so I do know of it. For the Steam version or PC version, that is not impossible but I just want to see where the users move. PC is not very friendly to kids. I just want to make sure everyone can enjoy the game when I port to different platforms.
http://www.rpgsite.net/interview/4888-interview-with-story-of-seasons-producer-yoshifumi-hashimoto

Doesn't sound like they're interested yet. Though after how the Little King's Story port turned out, maybe that's for the best right now.
 

Oregano

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This thread is showing that with the right release at the right time you can hit it big but it's almost as difficult as on consoles. There seems to be even bigger difficulty with sequels.

It's still a good idea to consider Steam release but it's not the saviour that a lot people expected it to be,
 

epmode

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This thread is showing that with the right release at the right time you can hit it big but it's almost as difficult as on consoles. There seems to be even bigger difficulty with sequels.

It's still a good idea to consider Steam release but it's not the saviour that a lot people expected it to be,

A big problem with Japanese PC ports is that very few companies are releasing them day and date with the console versions. They're losing a lot of money that way.
 

Durante

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I think what this thread really shows is that if you do a day-and-date release and your game and port are decent you will be very successful.
Publishers who primarily provide old and/or bad ports should have a look at Namco's numbers.

Even with old ports you can be successful if the game being ported and the port are good, but it's far less of a safe bet than a timely release.
 

TheSeks

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Might have just missed it myself, but I think you've missed out Dead or Alive 5.

He did. It might be the only semi-successful Tecmo title for them on Steam.

But it seems like outside of like.... NISA, Treasure (but they only have Ikaruga), Capcom, and Namco most are Niche. Arc has success but they have success because they know they're niche.
 

kswiston

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As I mentioned before, I purposely dropped Dead or Alive 5 because it went free to play on PC. You can't buy the game on Steam anymore. Only character and costume DLC.
 

Ascheroth

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I think what this thread really shows is that if you do a day-and-date release and your game and port are decent you will be very successful.
Publishers who primarily provide old and/or bad ports should have a look at Namco's numbers.

Even with old ports you can be successful if the game being ported and the port are good, but it's far less of a safe bet than a timely release.

Yeah, late ports have a couple of immediate disadvantages.
The biggest of which is probably visibility: Late ports usually just get dropped onto Steam without much fanfare. The thing is, Steam has a huge library and there are daily releases of new games. Most 'casual' users aren't going to notice your game if you don't make it known. Releasing it on Steam at the same time as on consoles means your game benefits from the marketing push.
Price: You just can't sell late ports at full price if you actually want them to sell.
Hype: Probably overlaps with the first point, but once a late port hits Steam all the hype is mostly dead. If you're game isn't amazing, chances are many people who would have bought the game at release might not care anymore since all the info is long out and the next new shiny games are already on the horizon.

That said, I do understand that it's not as easy saying 'just release it all at the same time everywhere'. The resources might just be not there, especially for smaller studios.
 
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pfft. LR and IX were released like four months apart. And it still outsold "the last real FF" by 45k. And FFIX now is like a dollar more and LR.





Vivi's cuteness cannot not help FFIX.


Are you from 2012? This act seems out of time...

We see exactly the same stuff with, like, Dragon Quest releases on portables. A bunch of people buy the shiny new ones, then all the remakes completely bomb. People don't always come back for more in the short term for games without large marketing pushes.

That old sub-$20 thing ain't helping the lack of novelty factor, either.
 

CrichtonKicks

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Damn, the lack of dropoff between Danganronpa titles is absolutely insane.

Regarding: TitS:SC. As others have noted, FC continues to grow at a nice rate. The franchise continues to bring in new people and that should continue next year with the release of ToCS3 and TC. I think that will keep SC's sales consistent over time even if it's never going to be huge hit.
 

Pachael

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Thanks for the updated lost, adding them to my wishlist.

The Umihara series had a change in publisher to Degica, so they should be added here:

DEGICA
Umihara Kawase - 4,000
Umihara Kawase Shun - 7,000
Sayonara Umihara Kawase - 9,000

A big problem with Japanese PC ports is that very few companies are releasing them day and date with the console versions. They're losing a lot of money that way.

Other than Dark Souls 3 and MGSV Phantom Pain, have many new PC releases have been done day and date with their console releases?
 

TheSeks

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Other than Dark Souls 3 and MGSV Phantom Pain, have many new PC releases have been done day and date with their console releases?

0 if you exclude those. All the ones I've bought are like a year or two to six months late.
 

desmax

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Other than Dark Souls 3 and MGSV Phantom Pain, have many new PC releases have been done day and date with their console releases?

Yomawari came out on the same day.

Also some titles from Namco like Zestiria and God Eater 2
 

Shengar

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Berseria should do very well later considering the good word of mouth around it, and if God Eater 2 Reburst is an indication, being a good port as well.
 

Oregano

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A big problem with Japanese PC ports is that very few companies are releasing them day and date with the console versions. They're losing a lot of money that way.

That obviously isn't holding true for everything though. God Eater 2 hasn't done too well, although I bet it's console sales are pretty bad as well.

That's not to put down Steam though, it's just like every other system. There's going to be winners and losers and you're not handed success.
 

icecream

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There's going to be winners and losers and you're not handed success.
Success is not determined by the exact number of sales in a vacuum.

If a series performed low on console release, it does not magically do amazing numbers on Steam. That has nothing to do with the platform, but the franchise itself. The idea behind Steam is it's a low-effort/low-cost platform for distributing these games compared to retail.
 

Oregano

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Success is not determined by the exact number of sales in a vacuum.

If a series performed low on console release, it does not magically do amazing numbers on Steam. That has nothing to do with the platform, but the franchise itself. The idea behind Steam is it's a low-effort/low-cost platform for distributing these games compared to retail.

You are totally correct but there's definitely been an expressed sentiment that a lot of Japanese games would be successful in the west if only they released on Steam. That's obviously not totally true.
 

GhostTrick

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That obviously isn't holding true for everything though. God Eater 2 hasn't done too well, although I bet it's console sales are pretty bad as well.

That's not to put down Steam though, it's just like every other system. There's going to be winners and losers and you're not handed success.



Game is around 60k in 2 months. Sure it's been discounted up to 50% as of today, but we're talking here about the HD port of a handheld game. It didn't do great but I think it did fine.



You are totally correct but there's definitely been an expressed sentiment that a lot of Japanese games would be successful in the west if only they released on Steam. That's obviously not totally true.



Said no one ever. What people said is that if it can sell on consoles, it can sell on Steam. And it's also true that great game still manages to be a success on Steam when they weren't so hot on console. Not everything will be successful, but what makes sense will be. You won't make shovelware a success, although even this will somewhat manage to make up for the porting cost and bring decent revenue in the long run.
A lot of Japanese games indeed sold a fair amount on Steam in West. When you add up 200 to 300k to your release in West because of adding a platform, that's a success.
 

icecream

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There's definitely been an expressed sentiment that a lot of Japanese games would be successful in the west if only they released on Steam. That's obviously not totally true.
Again, success is relative to the product.

If a game only sold 5,000 copies on consoles in Japan, 5,000 on consoles in the US, then sells 5,000 copies on Steam, that could likely be framed as a success. Even though numbers-wise they are all paltry.
 

Durante

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And it's also true that great game still manages to be a success on Steam when they weren't so hot on console.
This is particularly true for games which were well-received and are a fit for the Steam audience, like VC.

A lot of Japanese games indeed sold a fair amount on Steam in West. When you add up 200 to 300k to your release in West because of adding a platform, that's a success.
I'd argue that 200k or 300k is far more than what you need to justify a basic port, even for a complex game. Hell, some of the games we are talking about here (e.g. IF titles) are built on budgets which will make them highly successful if they achieve those numbers across all platforms and regions, never mind for just a port!
 

Oregano

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Game is around 60k in 2 months. Sure it's been discounted up to 50% as of today, but we're talking here about the HD port of a handheld game. It didn't do great but I think it did fine.







Said no one ever. What people said is that if it can sell on consoles, it can sell on Steam. And it's also true that great game still manages to be a success on Steam when they weren't so hot on console. Not everything will be successful, but what makes sense will be. You won't make shovelware a success, although even this will somewhat manage to make up for the porting cost and bring decent revenue in the long run.
A lot of Japanese games indeed sold a fair amount on Steam in West. When you add up 200 to 300k to your release in West because of adding a platform, that's a success.

It's a port of the PS4 version and you got Resurrection with it. 60k isn't a great amount, especially with discounts.

...and people have definitely said that.
 

Pachael

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Tales of Zestiria and Dragon Ball Xenoverse are the first which come to my mind.

Both also did extremely well at full price, just like DS3 and MGSV. I think I see a pattern.

Xenoverse is off by three days, but I'll include it.

The other thing I'm noticing is that 4/6 listed here from Namco (including Yomawari and God Eater 2: Rage Burst later). They've really stepped up, haven't they.
 

GhostTrick

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It's a port of the PS4 version and you got Resurrection with it. 60k isn't a great amount, especially with discounts.

...and people have definitely said that.



The PS4 version is an upport of a Vita game. That's an HD port of a handheld title. Sure you get Resurrection with it... that's the point of an HD remaster. 60k is before the 50% off by the way. 60k in 2 months ? That's a decent amount for a niche title like this.

Who said every games will be a success ? I want to see the receipt.
 

Tagyhag

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Good numbers to reference the next time a small Japanese game is announced for Vita/PS4 and the inevitable port begging follows "so it can reach a wider audience".

I'd love to read your reasoning as to why you'd want to keep those games on just those platforms.
 

Oregano

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Again, success is relative to the product.

If a game only sold 5,000 copies on consoles in Japan, 5,000 on consoles in the US, then sells 5,000 copies on Steam, that could likely be framed as a success. Even though numbers-wise they are all paltry.

Well sure, as I said it's totally worth doing a Steam release if you can but for the most part it's going to be supplementary revenue. To quote Nirolak from the Media Create thread:

Right. Dragon Quest Heroes is actually one of my favorite examples. Given how the game was priced versus how it sold, they made around a million dollars on Steam after Valve's cut.

That's a great ROI for a port that likely cost very little given Koei Tecmo's tech stack, but it's also very small compared to what the game made in Japan, and you would never green light a game of that scope based on it.

In the context of the current struggles of the Japanese market companies are going to be relying on that extra revenue more and more but for a lot of products and publishers it's going to be a difficult proposition.

EDIT:
The PS4 version is an upport of a Vita game. That's an HD port of a handheld title. Sure you get Resurrection with it... that's the point of an HD remaster. 60k is before the 50% off by the way. 60k in 2 months ? That's a decent amount for a niche title like this.

Who said every games will be a success ? I want to see the receipt.

Well if that's the attitude then JP publishers are fucked because most of their games are/are going to be Vita/handheld up-ports.

And okay no one has directly said every game will be a success.
 

Psycho_Mantis

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You have an extremely odd way of reading these figures if you think the PSV version of any game is considerably outselling the Steam version.

But, hey, more power to you.



The point of this thread is not to measure how much these games are making on Steam, but rather the penetration Japanese games have on a platform that traditionally has not featured many of them in the past. The price of the games itself doesn't matter here. It's how many people own them, regardless of the way they acquired them, what's important.

And said penetration is directly related to the price floor of these games. Console games don't hit such floors.
 

AHA-Lambda

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Oh man, those Higurashi/Umineko sales don't look encouraging :-/

I assumed Origin did the best because it's PC exclusive, the rest are on other consoles.

The Silver Case - Owners: 3,847 ± 1,602

:(

I did my part.

However, I bloody hated it
 

GhostTrick

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And said penetration is directly related to the price floor of these games. Console games don't hit such floors.



Which one ? Give an exemple, with numbers.
Unless we're going with the old tired shtick "5 dollars on Steam or bomba".


Well if that's the attitude then JP publishers are fucked because most of their games are/are going to be Vita/handheld up-ports.

And okay no one has directly said every game will be a success.



What I mean by that is related directly to the budget and sales mindset behind this port.



DQH is another late and rather bad port.



Late and stealth. That was 2 months after PS4 release and it was announced like 2 weeks before release.
 

Producer

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Thing to keep in mind about VNs is that often they already appear on another platform (Vita, PS4, PS3), another PC distributor and/or have been out for a long while (Steins;Gate on JList has been out for a year before Steam).

Plus a lot of the bigger ones already had a successful Kickstarter with a decent amount of backers already. So Muv-Luv, Clannad, etc already pretty much sold to their built in audience and covered cost of development (i.e. most pledges were quite a bit higher then Steam price). VNs in Japan are also quite niche and do not sell a lot of copies either in general.

Or, more importantly, there have been fan translations available for years and thats how traditionally most people played VNs before they got official localizations/console ports.