Retailer Selects Underperforming Games Of 2009

By Spencer . December 2, 2009 . 2:07am

image One Japanese retailer is compiling a list of “crap games for retailers” by surveying other Japanese stores. Which game topped number one the store’s personal selection? I’ll give you a hint, it was something from Square Enix.


The list isn’t done yet, but Oosaka King made his (her?) choices and picked Blood of Bahamut as the bottom of the barrel. He notes the game was slaughtered by Dragon Quest IX which was released a month earlier and almost no marketing.


The game in second place is quite a surprise, Monster Hunter Tri. It’s one of the top selling games in Japan so why is it on the list? The retailer lamented you had to sell about 50 copies of the game to make a measly 4,000 yen ($45) and Capcom had shady shipping methods.


Here’s the list of games Oosaka King deemed unprofitable in 2009. We’ll be refreshing his blog for the full list with other retailer input.


1.) Blood of Bahamut (DS)
2.) Monster Hunter Tri (Wii)
3.) Taiko no Tatsujin Wii Do-Don to Ni-dai-me (Wii)
4.) Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games (DS)
5.) Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games (Wii)
6.) Gran Turismo (PSP)
7.) Dynasty Warriors 5 Special (PSP)
8.) Dragon Ball: Revenge of King Piccolo (Wii)
9.) Tamagotchi no Narikiri Channel (DS)
10.) Shin Megami Tensei: Persona (PSP)

Read more stories about & & & & on Siliconera.

  • malek86

    “Capcom had shady shipping methods.”Uh… what?

    • badmoogle

      Yeah…i was wondering the same.Either way it makes no sense for MH3 to be on this list even if what he says about having to sell 50 games to make a profit is true.He must be a bad retailer if he can’t make a profit out of something like MH in Japan.

      • They didn’t say that they didn’t make a profit. If true, making roughly $1.11 profit per game is pretty small.

      • The retailer only says, directly translated, “fraudulent shipping methods,” which seemed a little strong.

        And (s/?)he said he made profit from Monster Hunter Tri, but perhaps not as much as he would have liked. Part of what makes this list interesting (well, to me!) is it’s based on retailer expectation. Monster Hunter Tri was one of the hotly anticipated games in Japan, so the retailer may have been expecting a ton of sales — only to find they had to sell 50 games to make 4,000 yen.

        • lostinblue

          That kinda explains why they were trying to clear up stock in the following weeks despite the fact that the game was selling very good.

          They weren’t interested in keeping much stock of it, because it didn’t gave them nearly as much profit as other endeavours?

  • Odd to see Persona on the list. Did he give a reason for that, Spencer?

    • endaround

      Yeah I thought Persona outsold Atlus’ expectations in Japan.

      • speedstersonic

        It did from the list Atlus released about their games, it had outsold by double their expectations.

    • It’s really a matter of expectations when it came to Persona (and some of the other games). Persona 3 sold like hotcakes and compared Persona (PSP) to that.

  • “Underperforming games” may be referring to the turn around they received in profits. If they sold 10 of Game A and made $100 profit and sold 50 of Monster Hunter Tri making only $45 profit, maybe that’s what they mean?

    Don’t mind me though, I’m really just guesstimating. Shady shipping methods. Moo’hoo’haa-haa-haa~!

    • malek86

      Yeah, really, what’s up with that? I didn’t think Capcom was that sort of company!Also, for a retailer to make less than a dollar in profit for each MH3 copy sold… what the heck? Just how much did they pay for those?

      • endaround

        The bigger the game the more bargaining power the game company has. The store needs to carry the game to drive business and will give up revenue to carry it in the hopes that the added traffic will spill over into higher margin items.

        • ECM

          That and the discounting factor: As I seem to recall, some retailers used it as a (near) loss leader and that would, naturally, cut down on per unit profit.

  • Amazon will conquer the world with sony

  • Pichi

    Hoping for more explanations for some of these games. Monster Hunter and Persona doesn’t make sense to me.

  • Tokyo Guy

    Blood of Bahamut…that hit bargain bins within weeks of release. A total and utter flop.

    • nyoron

      Haha no kidding, I was in Japan in August and various stores had stacks of it marked down. I thought, hey didn’t this just come out?

      • Joanna

        funny, how that never happens here. You have to wait weeks for even a slight drop in price. :/

  • Kinda surprised to see Monster Hunter and MegaTen on the list given how popular both franchises are.

  • bugmeknot

    No Xbox 360 or PS3 games made it into the unprofitable list, I guess that says something?

    • lostinblue

      You’re trying to read too much into it. This list is about “underperforming titles on the profit side, for retailers”, you can’t have it underperforming if you ordered just enough stock/have the margin you want/the company doesn’t use shady shipping methods, for example, a game could be a utter flop for it’s developer and publisher and not be listed here, because retailers didn’t stock the item like mad.

      Truth is PS3 is picking up a little steam in there, but it’s selling mostly when it comes to killer apps (Vesperia/Yakuza/FFXIII), FPS’s and GTA for example come and go, they sell a little in their first week and then go nowhere… they’d be utter “flops” for retailers had them ordered more stock than they could sell (for example) bur predicting that… they didn’t. It’s all a matter of expectations.

      And well, X360 is non-existant, from a total marketshare standpoint, but you brought it up :p

      DS, PSP and Wii are still the three leading platforms in Japan when it comes to penetration ratio/install base, and so they get the top spots. Seeing the platforms you say in there wouldn’t be abnormal, but it just didn’t happen, don’t try to read doom and gloom into it.

Video game stories from other sites on the web. These links leave Siliconera.

Siliconera Tests
Siliconera Videos