This Week In Sales: The 3rd Birthday Overdives Into #6

By Ishaan . December 30, 2010 . 4:03pm

The week of December 20th – 26th demonstrated the holiday effect in full force, causing a bunch of long-tailed sellers to actually increase in sales over the previous week. Konami’s Magician’s Quest: The Merchant’s Store of Sorcery was one such title, which nearly doubled its sales over the week prior.


We’ve been pointing Magician’s Quest out in every recent sales chart because, in a month dominated by popular games, it’s managed to hold its own and seek out its target audience, which is no mean feat, considering its competition. Incidentally, the game was developed by the newly-established LovePlus Productions.


One game that didn’t do as well as one might have hoped, however, was The 3rd Birthday. Beaten soundly by Namco Bandai’s AKB 1/48 Fall In Love With An Idol and Nintendo’s dominant holiday sellers, Aya overdove right down into sixth place upon debut. Square clearly understood the risks associated with the title, but that doesn’t change how it did.


Speaking of tears…Capcom are probably shedding tears of joy right about now. Monster Hunter Portable 3rd, in less than a month, has nearly achieved its target sales of 3.6 million, and doesn’t look like it’s going to stop selling anytime soon.


The top-20 list for the week was as follows:


Lw Tw Title Weekly Sales Total Sales Sys. Publisher
01. 01. Monster Hunter Portable  3rd 404,175 3,565,976 PSP Capcom
New 02. AKB 1/48 Fall In Love With An Idol 236,282 New PSP Namco Bandai
04. 03. Donkey Kong Country Returns 214,518 530,818 Wii Nintendo
05. 04. Pokémon Black/White 164,950 4,909,161 DS Nintendo
07. 05. Wii Party 162,135 1,573,959 Wii Nintendo
New 06. The 3rd Birthday 140,476 New PSP Square Enix
08. 07. Mario Sports Mix 136,295 435,829 Wii Nintendo
03. 08. Inazuma Eleven 3: Challenge the World – The Ogre 117,504 293,108 DS Level 5
09. 09. Ni no Kuni: The Jet-Black Sorcerer 84,115 328,992 DS Level 5
08. 10. Magician’s Quest: The Merchant’s Store of Sorcery 74,255 249,540 DS Konami
10. 11. Mario Vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-land Mayhem 67,852 231,781 DS Nintendo
11. 12. Kirby’s Epic Yarn 65,587 370,187 Wii Nintendo
14. 13. Wii Sports Resort (w/ MotionPlus) 61,942 185,290 Wii Nintendo
02. 14. Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3 37,239 245,467 PS3 Namco Bandai
12. 15. Super Fossil Fighters 56,883 218,631 DS Nintendo
16. 16. New Super Mario Bros. Wii 45,344 4,151,363 Wii Nintendo
18. 17. Taiko no Tatsujin Wii Everyone’s Party Sandaime 44,661 122,170 Wii Namco Bandai
20. 18. Mario Kart Wii 39,785 3,084,210 Wii Nintendo
15. 19. Super Mario All-Stars Collector’s Edition 37,647 780,508 Wii Nintendo
21. 20. Tamagotchi no Narikiri Challenge 33,144 DS Namco Bandai


Sales data acquired from Japanese sales tracker Media-Create.

  • Tom_Phoenix

    Why is “Wii Sports Resort (/w Motion Plus)” stated to be a DS game? :P

    Anyway, none of the figures were really all that suprising. That said, I think The 3rd Birthday did rather well. I mean, it’s not an enormous success by any means, but 140k is decent.

  • malek86

    Looks like Capcom’s target was too conservative. Still, it’s pretty astounding that the game almost doubled its huge launch week sales in a single month. That’s something very few games can do, especially in Japan.

    How much was Squenix expecting to sell for T3B?

    Oh, and interesting numbers for Ni no Kuni. This makes me wonder… could it be that Level 5 overshipped because they knew the game would be bought a lot during the holiday month? I’d like to know if the game has been discounted already or something, and if not, that’s good news for Level 5, I guess.

    • Ladius

      There were significant price cuts since its first week and the marketing was strong, it’s not so strange to see it still in the top10.

      • Aoshi00

        Oh man… when I heard about the initial lackluster sales, I have a feeling price would sink like a rock, like most left-over limited edition (Castelvania LotS, Bioshock 2, Alan Wake, etc). I got my copy of Ni no Kuni from YesAsia for a whopping $78 and it’s still on the way.. now AmiAmi has it for 3,450 yen ($42) and the dual track Jpn ver. of Metroid Other M for 2400 yen (after I bought it for $50) *sob*.. w/ the huge magic book, it was either it would get so rare or w/ many copies unsold, should’ve known it’s the latter. That’s $40 squandered and I wasn’t even a big Ghibli fan to begin w/, damn my impulse purchase.. I mean if I had gotten to play the game alrdy and then price dropped several weeks later it can’t be helped, my copy isn’t even here yet :(..Lesson is do NOT buy any limited edition on day 1… 9 out of 10 times they’re not worth it.I guess at 3000+ yen w/ the book, then that would be a bargain.. which goes back to the point I brought up once, I have never bought such an expensive DS game (book or no book). I wasn’t really even interested in the title anyway *sigh*… hope the game is decent (no, it better be worth $80!)..Amimi has 18 copies available..

        • Ladius

          To be honest many limited editions are well worth a day one purchase simply because they will be horribly rare, especially when niche games with small print runs are involved.

          Atelier games’ limited editions are nice examples of this occurrance, and the same could be said about Tales games or Falcom japanese limited editions. Of course you are right about mainstream limiteds or overprinted niche l.e., they are a waste of money at day one.

          • Aoshi00

            Yea, I was mainly referring to mainstream LEs, I’m not interested in games like Atelier or most Atlus RPGs.. I thought the Alan Wake LE was worth $80, it’s just that they go on sale so quickly later for like $40, even cheaper than the regular game.. or Bioshock 2 LE, I got it for the vinyl, CD, and posters, those are good collectibles. I think it was like $100 but I got it for $80, later they were like $40-50, I think one time it was like $20 but quickly sold out.. they just weren’t as rare as I thought.. Otherwise most LEs have terrible bonuses and not worth the premium like Arkham Asylum’s cheaply made boomerang I heard, or Castlevania LotS LE’s packaging was really crummy. Also for SFIV, the OVA blu-ray was so badly drawn it was such a rip off.. To be honest, most LE w/ the big boxes are just space waster in retrospect.. I like those stuffs w/ the behind the scenes info the most..I got the Jack Frost plush with the Megaten Raidou game but just put it aside. Is that rare and worth a lot to fans? I could sell it if people want..And now Ni no Kuni, it just sucks I bought it for $80, I haven’t even rec’d my copy yet and the price dropped to ~$40 alrdy.. people were saying the book was worth it and how rare it would get.. and like I said I wasn’t even a Ghibli fan, hate their voice acting..

        • PrinceHeir

          Aya noo :(

          but it’s still good figure considering the shooter genre is not that big in japan unless it’s metal gear or resident evil.

          hopefully we do get a HD Sequel for PS3, iv’e been dieing to play Aya in HD =)

          i’ll support her until we have a sequel to T3B :)

          ohh i remember you Aoshi :D you really bought the JP version of metroid for dual voice huh? good for you ^^

          • Aoshi00

            lol, I did, I managed to trade in my US copy of Other M to Amazon for $29 and got the Jpn ver for ~$50.. but I guess the price dropped even further after I bought it, now it’s sold out though.. I just wanted to collect the most complete ver :)I did get 3rd B-day as well since I heard it’s a decent shooter (and the shower scene lol), I’ve never been a fan of the old PE games though.. wonder if I would receive it by tmw. Personally I really dislike playing shooters on the PSP like Peace Walker (or people say Monster Hunter too), just so hard to play…

          • PrinceHeir

            nice :D

            aww i kinda like shooter games like Peace Walker ^^ but yeah it would be better if games like T3B and Monster Hunter are in the Consoles, maybe their sequels? ^^

        • malek86

          Half off? Well, that would explain it. Too bad then.

          • Aoshi00

            My copy finally arrived today. The package is indeed huge, and the hardbound magic book is very fancy and quality made, sparing no expensive, cosmetically speaking it’s definitely worth every penny.. it’s sad that the price is dropped in half so fast because of the overstock copies, guess your normal Ghibli fans still aren’t that crazy about games (even the voice cast is filled w/ famous “actors”).. hopefully the game is fun.

          • Aoshi00

            My copy finally arrived today. The package is indeed huge, and the hardbound magic book is very fancy and quality made, sparing no expensive, cosmetically speaking it’s definitely worth every penny.. it’s sad that the price is dropped in half so fast because of the overstock copies, guess your normal Ghibli fans still aren’t that crazy about games (even the voice cast is filled w/ famous “actors”).. hopefully the game is fun.

        • Tokyo Guy

          I think the lesson should be not to buy games on the first day of release period. It’s become a fact that standard games basically don’t sell anymore in Japan, and thus stores will cut them almost immediately, including the online ones.

          Ni no Kuni is quite a good game really…

          • Aoshi00

            I just started, the graphics and music are amazing so far. I guess I shouldn’t regret too much because even though AmiAmi dropped the price in half, their shipping for this heavy game was not cheap anyway, so they would’ve charged me around $57 in total, so I guess I just lost around $20.. I think another thing is there is just too many games these days. I wouldn’t buy new domestic releases either unless stores give major discount or gift cards. Hope they would get more copies out and the PS3 ver looks promising as well.

            There are so many anti-piracy messages though every time you start the game, so it’s a bit annoying.. I never get these disclaimers, the ones who pirate just laugh at it and it’s an eyesore to those who buy legit..


    • Apollokids

      hope monster hunter beats pokemon.. we can trashtalk nintendo community soooo much

      • Lol yeah, that would be good xD, let’s stop that monster once they bear pokemon… I actually feel it has been more time on the top than pokemon

        • malek86

          It still has more than a million to go before they beat Pokemon, which is on a far more widespread platform. And it’s not like Pokemon has stopped selling either, so I doubt it will happen. Numbers will drop off quite a lot when the Xmas season is over. Maybe Capcom should have thought about releasing two colors for the game, ahah. MHP3 White and MHP3 Black? I wonder how much of a difference it would have made?

          It might pass DQ9 though, which would make it the best selling third-party game in Japan ever… I think?

  • Pichi

    Nice to see DK holding strong. I think it might reach a million over time.

  • I can’t believe that many people are playing Monster Hunter on the PSP. Finally doing it for the first time. Trying to control the camera, and character with the same hand/fingers makes not sense. After playing Tri Monster Hunter should be a console controller only game.

    Also it seems Japan is also falling out of love with Gundam also. That DW Gundam 3 fall quickly.

    • ECM

      I tend to agree w/ your take on MH: the PSP is just a terrible way to experience this series and I can’t even bring myself to play it anymore due to ‘the claw’ (not for lack of trying, either).

    • Exkaiser

      Did you know the original Monster Hunter for the PS2 used the claw for camera control, too? True story.

      Right stick was used for attacking. It’s kind of a strange setup, but every now and again while playing monhun I feel like I should flick down with my right thumb to do a jump attack or the like. Muscle memory is weird like that.

    • Cloud_ST

      It’s controls aren’t for everybody,once you get used to it though is really an awesome game.

      I will say that the camera is probably the weakest part of the game though.

    • deimos

      You might want to use the L trigger a lil’ bit more – you can play w/o ‘clawing’.

      • ECM

        Yeah, but that is absolutely not optimal for a variety of reasons.

        It’d be great if Capcom could invest in a control scheme that doesn’t require contorting oneself to the get the most from the game, whether by better controls, lock-on* (yeah, I said it MH purists!), or a more intelligent camera.

        *Yes, I realize what this means, but it’s certainly not an uncrackable problem.

  • Xeahnort

    Didn´t expect MHP 3rd could outsell “Tri” but i think i was wrong

    As for DKCR, I think is having decent sales

    • malek86

      Why coldn’t it have outsold it? Technically, Tri didn’t do too well for a MH game, although that’s probably as much as the series can do on a home console.

      • Would love to see how a PS3 Only Monster Hunter would do
        Surely on par with the PSP Games in point of sales

        • Boris_Althema

          i would think so too.
          ahh having read this gave me goosebumps *.*

        • Oh, you’re gonna yelled at for that. ;)

  • Xeahnort

    @TheWon and Only

    japanese people are getting tired of the same boring and repetitive hack and slash

    • Hraesvelgr

      And yet, nearly every Monster Hunter game manages to sell several million copies.

  • joesz

    2nd:AKB 1/48 Fall In Love With An Idol

    6th:The 3rd Birthday


    • I would react like that if sales were like that for a second week in a row. Idol otakus buy their idol’s products day 1.

      • Chiupon

        if the 3rd Birthday was a date-sim with action elements, I’m sure it would’ve done better, considering Japan’s track record with LovePlus. Aya didn’t have ENOUGH shower scenes apparently. Hopefully they bother to advertise the game heavily in the US, because it seems like it’d sell more units here than in Japan. :V

        • Now, now. It’s only the first week. The 3rd Birthday is just a game compared to a game featuring ____-chan/tan. And then there’s MonHun. Nothing gets in the way of MonHun for those who can only afford to buy 1 game a month. If it sells less than… let’s say 60k(too high or too low? Your call), then we can have a bleak outlook on the game’s sales. Seriously though, idol otakus are typically worse than regular otaku when it comes obsessions.

          • Chiupon

            They really are. SE needs better marketing strategy. Slap one of those cute idols in the game (whether in image or voice; rendering Aya Brea like Leah Dizon and having Leah Dizon voice her? That would’ve sold hotcakes.) or assign them all voice roles with bonus content like… AKB48 or Morning Musume cosplay outfits for Aya? It would’ve sold triple. Japan is so creepy. xD I found Monster Hunter to be really boring… Which is why I really want God Eater. :V

      • joesz

        Yeah I know.Poor girls, they are being violated virtually right now.

  • It seems like the Japs are more to a non story driven kinda game these days… Hmmm.. Whats happening?

    • Are we still in World War II?

      • o.O?

        • Just his use of “the Japs” which is a bit of an offensive term, but was common place in the States during the Second World War.

  • zhemos

    140k opening sales doesn’t seem that bad for a PSP game. It’s not great, but far from a flop.

  • Cloud_ST

    Monstaaaaa Huntaaaa FTW!.

  • z_merquise

    C’mon people, sales for 3rd B-day ain’t that bad. It even reached 100k+ copies sold. One of my favorite games, Vanquish, didn’t even reached the half the sales number 3rd B-day have.

    It’s very frustrating that games with awesome quality didn’t get the sales and recognition it deserved while “games” like Have Sex With an Idol got phenomenal sales.

    • I know that feeling all too well.

      None of my friends wanted to buy Vanquish. They all LOVED the demo. They all bought other games instead. Games like Black ops, New Vegas, and all that.

  • Kirby’s Epic Yarn and Mario Sports Mix are struggling to hit one million unit sales. I am honestly shocked that a flagship Kirby title is selling so poorly and slowly, while pokemon is blasting off at the speed of light, I mean, Donkey Kong Country Returns is lifting swiftly to one million unit sales.

    Gran Turismo 5 sold less than 30K? Are the Japanese truly over the phenomenal Call of Duty Black Ops?

    • About CoD: Military otaku and shooter otaku
      About Gran Turismo: Race car fanatics.

      As for Kirby’s Epic Yarn… why do you keep talking about that game anyways? Almost every week you’re always like “Oh man. Look at how poorly Kirby is selling…”
      As if you want it to be struggling or something.

      • Kris

        Seriously. Moving 65,000 copies isn’t half bad, and it’s stayed on the charts for quite some time. I’d say it’s doing fine. Just because it’s not Mario or Tomodachi Collection doesn’t mean it’s a flop.

      • The sales of series with Nintendo characters in them versus Wii _____ sales are always interesting points to note on these charts. I think it shows that, on a first party basis compared to other companies, Nintendo struggles to get these main games for the true gamer to reach phenomenal sales as its competitors get for theirs (LittleBigPlanet and Gears of War sold more than Kirby’s Epic Yarn). And when one has bets hinged on the sales of a title, then one expresses feelings of joy when confirmation is seen in these charts.

        • That’s like saying Microsoft couldn’t get Lost Odyssey to sell as much as New Super Mario Bros. Wii did. Gears of War is an “event” game. It’s something “everyone” with a 360 looks forward to. So is Halo. In Nintendo’s case, that’s Mario.

  • Tokyo Guy

    I dare say that after completing The 3rd Birthday the game is hardly deserving of high sales. It’s short, simple, and strips away everything that the series had going for it really…Seems like WAY too much time was spent on crap like the costumes and little-to-nothing for the actual game.

  • Tokyo Guy

    For the life of me, can someone PLEASE explain the appeal of AKB48? I just don’t understand it, nor do many of the people I talk to. As I see it:

    The “group” consists of 48 different girls. These girls are all about “Akibakei” yet in real life they probably laugh at the otaku who worship them.

    Is it just me or are they basically little more than a sorry “live” version of Idolmaster and attracting the attention of the very same people who play those games?

    Seriously, can someone help me “get” it?

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