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Media Create Sales: June 1-7, 2009

duckroll

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Jun 7, 2004
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donny2112 said:
Somewhat off subject, but would you also say Japanese RPG gamers are fairly averse to non-well known RPG brands, as well?

That seems to be the impression I get from the lamenting over non-brand name DS RPGs failing to light up the chart based on the quality of the game itself. If that is the case, then it falls on the publisher to get the name out to the public to build up awareness/desire for the game.

I think Japanese gamers as a majority tend to stick very closely to established brands and what's popular and in. Anything new, different or more niche tend to fall between the cracks more often than not. I'm not entirely convinced that advertising and awareness alone can break this trend entirely.

What generally happens is that every now and then a new IP tends to get really good word of mouth within the niche it's in, so much so that it actually builds in popularity post-release and the resulting sequel does much better. I think P3 and EO are very good examples of this within the RPG genre. P3 -> P3Fes -> P4 just kept growing more and more, going way beyond what any recent SMT games have done. EO -> EO2 worked so well that even 7D became a success even though its a new IP from a different developer and publisher - simply because it was by the same director.

That's my opinion on the "problem" of Japanese sales anyway.
 
Not taking into account factors of genre, upcoming competition, etc. I just looked for some loose matches to KHDS's first two weeks of sales. Pretty wide range of results as to where they stop, buuut I think it's a safe guess that it won't be like the two exceptions at top (Mario Party 8, Animal Crossing City Folk).
 

dcdobson

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Jul 26, 2007
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schuelma said:
Yeah but not that much more.

It sold 18K first day, selling through half its shipment. Would you agree that everyone that wanted to buy it first day did?
That depends on whether or not sufficient inventory was sent to the high-volume stores I referred to earlier. I work as a planner for a relatively large apparel retailer, and you'd be amazed at how frequently we underestimate the potential sales performance of our top stores. Not that you're necessarily incorrect--I'm just throwing out a possible explanation.
 

Vinnk

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Mar 10, 2006
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www.famicomdojo.tv
donny2112 said:
Unfortunately for the Wii, unless the retailers order subsequent shipments, the average consumer would never even know these games existed. Can't buy what you don't know exists. :p

I agree with this. I saw a copies of Sky Crawlers only twice. Both near launch. Since there were no ads or store kiosks, If someone had not walked into their local game shop during that 2 week span, it is as if that game never existed.

Happens with a lit of games. My friend is looking for Let's Tap right now. But no stores in my town have it anymore. And it is unlikely that they will get it.

True a lot of copies of these "lost games" can be found on online sites but unless you already had an interest in them, you won't know what to look for.

This is not just the Wii of course, but it seems to happen more often with it.

WooHoo! I am making excuses for the Wii again. I'm back baby!
 

donny2112

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Apr 18, 2005
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schuelma said:
It sold 18K first day, selling through half its shipment. Would you agree that everyone that wanted to buy it first day did?

If so, then even if there were seventy thousand more copies available, there is no way it does much more than what it did in the following three days (10K) given the extremely front loaded nature of RPG's.

You're misrepresenting the facts. 18K first day following by 10K in the remaining three days is actually pretty dang average, RPG or not. It gets tricky when the absolute sales are so low, but its percentage (+55% over first day) is similar to Miles Edgeworth (+68%) and PS3 SSM5E (+52%). RPGs are usually frontloaded, but it's not showing that strongly in the first week, at least. What is guaranteed is that it can't be higher than 8K in the second week unless more shipments are sent in, though.

Vinnk said:
This is not just the Wii of course, but it seems to happen more often with it.

WooHoo! I am making excuses for the Wii again. I'm back baby!

I think it seems that way because the Wii gets so stinking few third-party games in Japan (way to kill the console market, third-parties!) that each one is stared at, analyzed, and rightfully/wrongfully defended all the more vehemently. The "invisible" game syndrome happens to lots of games on lots of systems, though, definitely. It just seems to happen to a higher percentage of the Wii third-party games. :/
 
Jun 16, 2004
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duckroll said:
I think Japanese gamers as a majority tend to stick very closely to established brands and what's popular and in. Anything new, different or more niche tend to fall between the cracks more often than not. I'm not entirely convinced that advertising and awareness alone can break this trend entirely.

See I'm wondering if ARF's problem is that although it's new, it's not very different. While it may be a result of the faffing about with mothership platforms, sales of the Tales of games have fallen off the pace that they were attaining last gen. If, as you say, the RPG gamers stick mostly to what is established, then why would they gravitate towards a new IP that's almost a fascimile of the one that they've been abandoning?
 

Vinci

Danish
Oct 12, 2007
22,075
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Die Squirrel Die said:
See I'm wondering if ARF's problem is that although it's new, it's not very different. While it may be a result of the faffing about with mothership platforms, sales of the Tales of games have fallen off the pace that they were attaining last gen. If, as you say, the RPG gamers stick mostly to what is established, then why would they gravitate towards a new IP that's almost a fascimile of the one that they've been abandoning?

I think this is a good argument. Within any traditional genre, it's important to distinguish your game from the pack. It can't simply do what others have done and continue to; it's not like there aren't RPGs that borrow heavily from the DQ or FF series. It's just that these are the core games of that genre. Following in their wake, while doing virtually nothing new, is a mistake. Particularly when you're following in the Tales series, for the reasons you mentioned.
 
Jun 11, 2006
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JRPGs are in Decline and on the way to hitting Niche status.

# Decline. Over time the core audience burns out on existing stagnant game mechanics. This decline can be exacerbated by platform transitions or the emergence of newer, more appealing genres. At this point the genre goes into decline with fewer titles being released into the market. Existing genre kings extend the public perception of the genre’s health, but are typically only updated every several years.
# Niche. Finally, the genre dies in the mainstream market. AAA teams actively avoid the genre and the existing audience for the genres must rely on re-releases or independent games made for love, not money.
Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy, Tales, and Megami Tensei will continue to sell well. Anything else is at niche level, and will only sell to the genre fans.
 

donny2112

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Vinci said:
Within any traditional genre, it's important to distinguish your game from the pack. It can't simply do what others have done and continue to; it's not like there aren't RPGs that borrow heavily from the DQ or FF series. It's just that these are the core games of that genre. Following in their wake, while doing virtually nothing new, is a mistake.

But if it's not a name brand, it is often overlooked on that basis alone, so you'd want to tie yourself to the bigger brand. You step out of line, and the next thing you know you're looking at It's a Wonderful World, World Destruction, or Wind of Nostalgio. Basically, there're excuses for whichever way you go. :p
 

Vinci

Danish
Oct 12, 2007
22,075
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donny2112 said:
But if it's not a name brand, it is often overlooked on that basis alone, so you'd want to tie yourself to the bigger brand. You step out of line, and the next thing you know you're looking at It's a Wonderful World, World Destruction, or Wind of Nostalgio. Basically, there're excuses for whichever way you go. :p

That depends: I think it's quite possible for a game to be successful based on an existing model but it has to either set itself apart or be advertised well, and ideally both. We've seen some new IPs pop up over the last couple of years and do well, so it's not an automatic failure to stand alone.
 

duckroll

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donny2112 said:
But if it's not a name brand, it is often overlooked on that basis alone, so you'd want to tie yourself to the bigger brand. You step out of line, and the next thing you know you're looking at It's a Wonderful World, World Destruction, or Wind of Nostalgio. Basically, there're excuses for whichever way you go. :/

I'm not sure that's a very good argument. IAWW did well over 100k, closer to 200k if I recall. WD did just under 100k because right after the first week, the impressions and word of mouth pretty much trashed it in terms of gameplay and balance. Did Nostalgio even break 50k? That's a pretty broad range there. Do you really think IAWW is considered a failure? Sigma Harmonics is a much better example of a S-E total failure in terms of a new IP, and that's because no one knew wtf the game was, period. Hell, I still don't!
 

donny2112

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Vinci said:
so it's not an automatic failure to stand alone.

Definitely not, and significant advertising goes a long way to avoiding a failure, too. I'm just saying that there're excuses no matter which direction you want to take the game itself. :lol Personally, I'm in the camp that the average buyer in the store makes their decision much more heavily based on a pretty advertisement and an intriguing/familiar name than on something as mundane as the "quality" of the game, though. :p
 

charlequin

Banned
Oct 19, 2005
26,635
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donny2112 said:
As charlequin would say, this game's initial shipment of ~36K requires it to result in such poor absolute numbers. Can't buy 100K copies when 36K are ordered by retail. :/

I pretty much came in here to post that. :lol

viciouskillersquirrel said:
I missed all the pre-release banter on this one. What's the story there? Low expectations due to it being a new, difficult to advertise IP, I suspect.

This is the sort of case where I like to talk about priming the pump.

I think it's pretty clear that there's a market of around 200k really hardcore anime-RPG type fans in Japan, plus another 1 million (or whatever) casual, fairweather fans who to some degree have helped hold up the sales of series like Tales. So the question you have to ask is: why would any of these people bought a Wii?

I mean, look at it. Some of your stronger overlapping-market games are either already out (Disgaea 3, Vesperia) or announced (Atelier whatever) for the PS3 and/or 360. If you're a broader RPG fan in general, you've already had time to play three or four extremely major RPG titles on either HD system while very little (one Tales spinoff, as far as I can tell) has really been out there to appeal to you on the Wii. In other words: right now, long after any early excitement is muted but before any major game has drawn in a specific audience, is a terrible time to wind up launching a game like this. (Imagine, instead, putting this out like three months after Graces releases -- assuming Graces is a success, anyway.)

The other issue is that ARF isn't just a new IP; it's a new IP from a startup developer. Often, new IPs from big companies benefit from a certain penumbra effect -- they have a big name, sometimes big individual creators, that draw in potential purchases -- but ARF doesn't benefit from anything like that. None of Image Epoch's other games have gotten past, what, 150k? Nobody really defines themselves as a "fan" of Luminous Arc, and World Destruction, while apparently pretty well-liked, was also a new IP that didn't seem to achieve much traction in the end.

So, basically, you're left with the audience of Wii owners who will buy any RPG that releases sight-unseen (Opoona suggests that this audience consists of about 500 people), plus some people who are probably by and large multi-system owners (or at least people who have bought and resold HD systems in the past.)

Stumpokapow said:
The industry is in general.

True, but right now the Japanese console industry is like a sprinting team made up of Usain Bolt with a twisted ankle, a reanimated Jesse Owens, and a hobo someone found behind the Olympic Stadium. None of these guys are in great shape here, but if someone's due for a gold I'm not gonna say it's the hobo.

duckroll said:
Why put all the blame on the retailers?

As is my constant refrain in these discussions, there's more than enough blame to go around for everybody!
 

jj984jj

He's a pretty swell guy in my books anyway.
Aug 30, 2005
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Toronto, ON
duckroll said:
I'm not sure that's a very good argument. IAWW did well over 100k, closer to 200k if I recall. WD did just under 100k because right after the first week, the impressions and word of mouth pretty much trashed it in terms of gameplay and balance. Did Nostalgio even break 50k? That's a pretty broad range there. Do you really think IAWW is considered a failure? Sigma Harmonics is a much better example of a S-E total failure in terms of a new IP, and that's because no one knew wtf the game was, period. Hell, I still don't!
I remember a lot of people saying so, that S-E way overshipped. It was the success of the game in the US that surprised people.
 

Pureauthor

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IAWW was a failure relative to retail expectations, IIRC. Heck, it started the 'price collapse' meme on GAF!
 

duckroll

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Pureauthor said:
IAWW was a failure relative to retail expectations, IIRC. Heck, it started the 'price collapse' meme on GAF!

I'm pretty sure Gundam One Year War was the first MAJOR price collapse meme release, and it's definitely older than IAWW! :lol
 
charlequin said:
True, but right now the Japanese console industry is like a sprinting team made up of Usain Bolt with a twisted ankle, a reanimated Jesse Owens, and a hobo someone found behind the Olympic Stadium. None of these guys are in great shape here, but if someone's due for a gold I'm not gonna say it's the hobo.

:lol

That was great
 

donny2112

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duckroll said:
I'm not sure that's a very good argument. IAWW did well over 100k, closer to 200k if I recall.

In before ethelred. :p The game had a huge price collapse and barely sold out its first shipment of 200K. That it was pretty much considered a failure for Square-Enix was my impression.

duckroll said:
WD did just under 100k because right after the first week, the impressions and word of mouth pretty much trashed it in terms of gameplay and balance.

I don't recall. Is there any doubt that if it were Final Fantasy: World Destruction (not that this was an option for SEGA) that it would've sold more, though?

duckroll said:
Do you really think IAWW is considered a failure?

People much more versed in the matter than I do, so I'm going to have to defer to that opinion of "Yes." Requiring a price collapse to clear out a very large first shipment tends to point that direction regardless, though.

duckroll said:
Sigma Harmonics is a much better example of a S-E total failure in terms of a new IP, and that's because no one knew wtf the game was, period.

Is that the one where you go into a battle and get shifted to playing a space shmup?
 

Vinci

Danish
Oct 12, 2007
22,075
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donny2112 said:
Is that the one where you go into a battle and get shifted to playing a space shmup?

I thought it was about music or something? Like, you fight with music. Or fight using music. Or music fights people on your behalf.
 

Spiegel

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Feb 20, 2007
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donny2112 said:
My point is that looking at 26K, it's easy (and has been done multiple times with various games) to call it "yet another Wii bomb." However when that first week number is also a relatively high percentage of the entire first shipment indicating that it couldn't have gotten significantly higher regardless, is it still okay to say it's mainly the Wii's fault that the game "didn't sell"?

Yes? Or better put, it's not the retailers fault.

50% first day and 75% of the first shipment sold in the first week is nothing unusual, it only means that retailers were pretty much dead on with their initial expectations.
Why are you impliying that if the first shipment was about 50k or more, the game would have sold better?

If this were the case the game would be out of stock since the first day on sale and this is obviously not true. The game is still on stock.

You are saying "Hey, with more copies on sale the game definitely would have sold better"
And no, like I've said, if the demand for the game was higher the game would have sold the first shipment in the first day like multiple games have done before.
 

duckroll

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donny2112 said:
In before ethelred. :p The game had a huge price bomba and barely sold out its first shipment of 200K. That it was pretty much considered a failure for Square-Enix was my impression.

Fair enough, but what I'm saying is - in absolute terms it still did way better than what most successful DS RPGs sell (EO for example).

I don't recall. Is there any doubt that if it were Final Fantasy: World Destruction that it would've sold more, though?

It would also have been of a much higher level of polish though. What I'm suggesting that while branding is important, it's important to look at why branding is so important to people buying it. It's because to a certain extent, they feel safe knowing that there's a certain level of quality associated with that brand. With Image Epoch, there's no such thing.

Is that the one where you go into a battle and get shifted to playing a space shmup?

No, it's the weird adventure/rpg one where you explode a setting detective style after a murder or something, except you can read the past to see how shit happened or something. And sometimes there are random encounters or something and you switch over to a girl who uses cards or something to change into different costumes to attack enemies. I dunno, rk played it substantially and he couldn't explain it either! lol.
 

donny2112

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Spiegel said:
You are saying "Hey, with more copies on sale the game definitely would have sold better"

I'm saying "Hey, more copies being ordered by retailers indicates greater publisher confidence probably coinciding with greater advertising that raised awareness and thus preorders resulting in that higher order by retailers."

I'm not saying "Higher shipment automatically equals significantly higher sell-through with everything else being constant."
 

Jokeropia

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May 15, 2006
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Calling ARF a failure based on not meeting some arbitrary sales bar is dumber than calling it a success based on shipment sell-through.

The only way to actually determine whether it's a success or not is by knowing publisher expectations for the game.
 

duckroll

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Jokeropia said:
Calling ARF a failure based on not meeting some arbitrary sales bar is dumber than calling it a success based on shipment sell-through.

The only way to actually determine whether it's a success or not is by knowing publisher expectations for the game.

Well, we can however make an educated guess based on several factors. Like I've mentioned before:

- the publisher is MMV and the developer is Image Epoch.

- the same publisher/developer pair teamed up for Luminous Arc and Luminous Arc 2.

- ARF has a much more experienced and notable staff working on the game compared to the LA games.

- it has a longer development time than both LA games.

Considering how it almost certainly cost more to develop ARF than LA, I don't think it's a stretch that MMV would have hoped that as a larger scale console RPG, it would push bigger numbers than the LA series. So there's a reasonable comparison to be made there, since I think it's pretty realistic that MMV would use LA's prior level of success as a sort of benchmark to try to do even better, by putting more effort into a bigger game. Otherwise why publish it at all? It would be bad business to spend MORE money to make less, intentionally.
 

Busaiku

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Apr 5, 2006
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What were Marvelous's expectations?
I can't remember the exact number, but I 'm pretty sure they did not expect it to sell more in the west (they did for Little King's Story though, a lot more).
 

Pureauthor

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Jun 11, 2006
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Jokeropia said:
Calling ARF a failure based on not meeting some arbitrary sales bar is dumber than calling it a success based on shipment sell-through.

The only way to actually determine whether it's a success or not is by knowing publisher expectations for the game.

Well it's doing worse than Luminous Arc and I'm pretty sure it didn't cost less to make.
 

charlequin

Banned
Oct 19, 2005
26,635
1
1,405
donny2112 said:
:lol

Third-party console development choices this generation.

Third parties found themselves pulling up to a buffet of rotten food mixed with, like, scorpions this generation. Which is not to say that there are better (Square-Enix trying to subsist as much as possible on the pocket snacks they brought from home, Capcom calling for takeout from the American place across the street) and worse (Namco making sure to stuff their plate with a little bit of every single poisonous dish just to make sure they've tried everything) strategies once you've arrived there.
 

HK-47

Oh, bitch bitch bitch.
Oct 24, 2007
49,169
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charlequin said:
Third parties found themselves pulling up to a buffet of rotten food mixed with, like, scorpions this generation. Which is not to say that there are better (Square-Enix trying to subsist as much as possible on the pocket snacks they brought from home, Capcom calling for takeout from the American place across the street) and worse (Namco making sure to stuff their plate with a little bit of every single poisonous dish just to make sure they've tried everything) strategies once you've arrived there.

I dunno, calling for take seems to have been the right move.
 

jj984jj

He's a pretty swell guy in my books anyway.
Aug 30, 2005
22,609
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34
Toronto, ON
duckroll said:
Well, we can however make an educated guess based on several factors. Like I've mentioned before:

- the publisher is MMV and the developer is Image Epoch.

- the same publisher/developer pair teamed up for Luminous Arc and Luminous Arc 2.

- ARF has a much more experienced and notable staff working on the game compared to the LA games.

- it has a longer development time than both LA games.

Considering how it almost certainly cost more to develop ARF than LA, I don't think it's a stretch that MMV would have hoped that as a larger scale console RPG, it would push bigger numbers than the LA series. So there's a reasonable comparison to be made there, since I think it's pretty realistic that MMV would use LA's prior level of success as a sort of benchmark to try to do even better, by putting more effort into a bigger game. Otherwise why publish it at all? It would be bad business to spend MORE money to make less, intentionally.
Maybe they have bigger plans for the game in the west? They never really planned the first Luminous Arc with that in mind but all their Wii projects seem to have been.
 

farnham

Banned
Nov 18, 2006
18,017
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36
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duckroll said:
I'm pretty sure Gundam One Year War was the first MAJOR price collapse meme release, and it's definitely older than IAWW! :lol
was it Gundam or was it ACE

im not sure

jj984jj said:
Maybe they have bigger plans for the game in the west? They never really planned the first Luminous Arc with that in mind but all their Wii projects seem to have been.


good point.. Little King Story for example was released in Europe first..
 

donny2112

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charlequin said:
Third parties found themselves pulling up to a buffet of rotten food mixed with, like, scorpions this generation.

Compared to the PS2 generation, pretty much. :lol

I think some of the scorpions are actually filled with, like, steak, but good luck finding them!
 

Eteric Rice

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Jan 13, 2007
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God, I feel bad for new franchises in Japan this generation. Unless they do something completely different, they usually shit the bed. :(

Whats wrong, Japan? :/
 

charlequin

Banned
Oct 19, 2005
26,635
1
1,405
donny2112 said:
I think some of the scorpions are actually filled with, like, steak, but good luck finding them!

I can't even explain why, but that image is going to give me nightmares, I'm sure of it.
 

duckroll

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farnham said:
was it Gundam or was it ACE

im not sure

Erm, ACE is a pretty decent selling series. That's why it has 3 games, while "Project Pegasus" was canned right after Gundam OYW bombed. :p

MILLION MILLION MILLION! :lol
 

Opiate

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Spiegel said:
Yes? Or better put, it's not the retailers fault.

50% first day and 75% of the first shipment sold in the first week is nothing unusual, it only means that retailers were pretty much dead on with their initial expectations.
Why are you impliying that if the first shipment was about 50k or more, the game would have sold better?

If this were the case the game would be out of stock since the first day on sale and this is obviously not true. The game is still on stock.

You are saying "Hey, with more copies on sale the game definitely would have sold better"
And no, like I've said, if the demand for the game was higher the game would have sold the first shipment in the first day like multiple games have done before.

I agree. I think a game with, say, 90% sell through in a week would have a legitimate claim of undershipping. 75% seems very close to "on target."

The game has underwhelmed and joins a long and largely unbroken chain of Wii games underperforming in Japan this year.
 

duckroll

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charlequin said:
I can't even explain why, but that image is going to give me nightmares, I'm sure of it.

Okay, we better stop this line of thought right now, before we ALL get nightmares. Lulz.
 

Vinci

Danish
Oct 12, 2007
22,075
0
0
United States
HK-47 said:
Better than starving. Oh and you also get European food.

True. Might not matter though depending upon how badly you've starved yourself in the first place. Irreparable damage may take place even after you've had a bit to eat, American, European, or both.

...

This is starting to wear thin. :lol
 

donny2112

Member
Apr 18, 2005
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Opiate said:
joins a long and largely unbroken chain of Wii games underperforming in Japan this year.

Please define underperforming, in this context.

Edit:
Here. Read that for a considerably more accurate take on the Wii software situation this year.
 

Jokeropia

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May 15, 2006
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duckroll said:
Considering how it almost certainly cost more to develop ARF than LA, I don't think it's a stretch that MMV would have hoped that as a larger scale console RPG, it would push bigger numbers than the LA series. So there's a reasonable comparison to be made there, since I think it's pretty realistic that MMV would use LA's prior level of success as a sort of benchmark to try to do even better, by putting more effort into a bigger game. Otherwise why publish it at all? It would be bad business to spend MORE money to make less, intentionally.
Luminous Arc is also a DS game. DS offers low production costs compared to console games combined with the by far biggest software purchasing base of the generation. If cost in relation to potential sales were all to be considered, everyone should just make DS games.
 
Jun 11, 2006
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HK-47 said:
You forgot Mario, Pokemon, and Kingdom Hearts. And if you are gonna count Tales, why not Fire Emblem or Star Ocean
I was just pulling a few notable series out of my hat. It wasn't meant to be comprehensive. I should have included Pokemon, and possibly not included Tales and Megami Tensei. I was under the impression that those two still sold rather well, but then again, I've never played a Tales or Megami Tensei game.

There are more factors than just genre with the Mario and Kingdom Hearts games. They're based around very large properties that aren't normally associated with RPGs.