Ni no Kuni Purchase Intent High Amongst Women In Their 20s

By Ishaan . December 20, 2010 . 12:58pm

When Level 5 and Studio Ghibli first announced their jointly-developed Nintendo DS RPG, Ni no Kuni, it seemed like a game that was destined for success. It had a strong developer behind it, as well as the support of one of the most renowned animation studios in Japan.


Expectations of the game naturally soared, owing partly to Level 5’s development prowess and partly to Level 5 and Ghibli’s extremely wide range of appeal. Ni no Kuni was going to be the next big thing.


Only, it wasn’t, and even retailers may have been off-the-mark in their predictions.


Based on retailer demand, Level 5 shipped 600,000 copies of the game out to retailers in Japan — the highest initial shipment for any new Level 5 property. Following its release on December 9th, however, Ni no Kuni: The Jet-Black Sorcerer moved a relatively low 170,548 units out of the total 600,000 shipped.


To put things in perspective, this is a game that Level 5 president, Akihiro Hino, expected to follow in the footsteps of the immensely successful Professor Layton and Inazuma Eleven franchises. 170K units in week 1 is a far-cry from either. For reference, Inazuma Eleven 3 sold 505,161 units in its own opening week.


There’s still a chance for Ni no Kuni to catch up, however. Positive word of mouth goes a long way toward effectively promoting a game, and Japanese sales tracking firm, Media-Create, believe that Ni no Kuni could continue to sell, especially to women in their 20s who, according to their surveys, display a high level of product recognition, interest and purchase intent toward the game.


We should have second-week sales figures for Ni no Kuni available this week, so we’ll soon be able to tell if there was any change in the game’s fortunes.

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  • Well I can not wait for it to release here. It looks to be phenomenally epically awesome and I expect to buy it, even though Im not a women, but I am in the early 20’s (22)

    • Guest

      *Doesn’t trust your words*

    • alundra311

      The “even though Im not a women” phrase was very unnecessary. It makes me think that you are… Never mind.

      On topic, I, too, can’t wait for it to be released in english. Hopefully an english release won’t be far off.

      • Dude what were you going to say, you trailed off to a period of ellipses. Im dying to know!!!!!

        • alundra311

          Let’s just leave it at that. ;)

  • Well, with those ads where a little girl is with her mom what do you expect =0

    • badmoogle

      Ads like that make me embarrassed i still play games.:(

      • I seriously cant understand what they expected with those ads -.-, those kind of ads makes you think this is a game targeted for little girls. If i wasnt following the game all this time, i would surely think is is just some kiddie’s lame fairy tail story with easy battles

        • badmoogle

          I think that since Studio Ghibli has fans that belong to wide age target groups (imo from 5 to 85),it would have been a good opportunity for Level 5 to promote it accordingly.But as you say with ads like these most adults would turn away from the game even if they like Studio Ghibli. :/

  • malek86

    Inazuma Eleven 3 might not be the best example, as it still (somewhat) underperformed: they shipped about 900.000 units. Now, 5 months later, the first shipment still hasn’t completely sold out yet.

    … unless that was their plan all along.

    • Inazuma Eleven 1 would had been a good example (since it was new and still no fame at all) You know how did it do in the first weeks? o.o

  • zhemos

    Maybe everyone is waiting on the PS3 version?

    • I very much agree..

    • ECM

      Given the massive, monstrous, disparity, in userbases between DS and PS3, there’s little chance the game is going to do much of anything on the latter if it can only muster this sort of start on DS where the audience would, generally I think, be more amenable to this sort of title.

      That said, DS (and of course Wii) titles are notorious for slow starts and having freakishly long legs, so it’s probably very premature* to pronounce this one DOA, especially given the surfeit of games available at this time of year demanding attention (and consumer dollars), i.e. I’d wait until sometime in January before writing this one off.

      *Yes, Inazuma flew off shelves but it had the benefit of an established IP behind it and Layton did better than NNK but it had the benefit of not launching into the hellstorm that is the holiday season (it actually came out in the deadzone of the first quarter, giving it plenty of room to breathe).

    • No, the reason is the stupid book. It’s a lovely book, the problem is that it’s REQUIRED to play the game, and lugging that massive thing around isn’t exactly an appealing idea. That was Level 5’s big mistake with this game.

      The PS3 version will sell better because it doesn’t require that.

  • Guest

    Why? I’m not seeing the connection..

  • On a long run, I think it will sell to the figure eventually, but it will be kinda slow. I think they should localize half of it to english, maybe it could sell well here, i mean parents over here would love to buy it for their children since it comes with a book too.. Sounds pretty much educational to me. Well, in terms of seeing their child carrying books in their hands. Beside, they are able to play with their children which Japanese parents kind of lack the time and interest, maybe?

    Also, since its for portable device, it is unwise for them to have extra books for people to carry around because it is troublesome searching for clues when you are riding a bus while holding DS. Maybe they should just make it to a PS3 game only which is allot more wiser when people can spend more time looking at the book freely.

  • ikiryou

    Yet another great reason to get this game ^__^

  • Aoshi00

    My copy just shipped and the game not selling worries me a bit (bad word of mouth, or just people who watch Ghibli moves don’t care about games too much? I’m avoiding reviews now). I got the game for $80 because I thought the book might be very rare later, and if it doesn’t sell and there’s a lot of copies left, this might go on fire sale to get rid of inventory… I just hope this game is fun and worth the money I spent on day 1…

    I’m not sure about the big book being the deterring factor.. at some point people do play their DS indoor as well right? I can’t play games during commute anymore, I feel asleep easily especially when I need to concentrate on a small screen…

  • I think that maybe coming out in the wake of Japan’s Juggernaut Monster Hunter 3 portable and monster hunter having a Metal Gear tie in, all eyes are on Monster hunter right now. Honestly the people at Level 5 must watch market trends, it is amazing that they thought this could catch the peoples attention when thet already have their hands full (literally :D) with their PSP’s………….srry for grammatical errors

  • Yukito

    This is sad to hear. I hope it does well. The story alone sounds awesome.

  • JustaGenericUser

    That is pretty disappointing. If it didn’t sell well in its own country, it probably won’t do any good over here, either. The chances of localization is not looking good.

  • PrinceHeir

    hopefully it sells well in the long run.

    still waiting for the PS3 version :)

  • Joanna

    This worries me. I hope we still get the game. It’s one of my most anticipated titles. (Oddly enough, I am a women in her 20s).

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