Monster Hunter Portable 3rd Sold More In A Month Than Dragon Quest IX

By Ishaan . December 31, 2010 . 9:27am


The current Japanese games market has three series that people will bend over backwards to play — Pokémon, Dragon Quest and Monster Hunter. In recent times, the latest instalments in each of these three franchises have seen some sort of an upgrade or a significant change to keep things fresh or help attract more players.


Pokémon Black/White feature a new generation of Pokémon with a change in visual style to accompany them. Dragon Quest IX allows for multiplayer and includes its notoriously popular Tag Mode. And Monster Hunter Portable 3rd represents the long-awaited new generation of Monster Hunter games with Capcom’s marketing push focused squarely on attracting new fans to the franchise with spin-offs like Monster Hunter Diary and strong industry collaborations.


We decided to compare the first month sales for all three titles. The results? In four weeks, Pokémon Black/White sold 3.9 million copies. Dragon Quest IX moved 3.38 million. And Monster Hunter Portable 3rd, in a surprise twist, outsold Dragon Quest, coming in at 3.56 million. Here’s the breakdown of sales by week:


Week Pokémon Black/White Dragon Quest IX Monster Hunter Portable 3rd
01. 2,557,779 2,318,932 1,950,717
02. 828,580 612,671 629,541
03. 374,859 270,305 581,543
04. 231,638 179,612 404,175
Total 3,992,856 3,381,520 3,565,976


The reason? Perhaps it was that Portable 3rd’s sales were sustained better by releasing so close (December 1st) to the holiday season. Christmas and New Year tend to significantly boost the sales of games that are heavily in demand. Poor Dragon Quest IX, on account of releasing in the middle of summer, received no such almighty boost.


The key figures here are the third and fourth week numbers for both games. Monster Hunter Portable 3rd sales appear to be receding at a slower pace than those of Dragon Quest IX did. This is the trend to watch for, to see if it holds up. Maybe in another month or so, we’ll have a better idea of whether Portable 3rd really is on its way to outsell Dragon Quest IX in the long run.


Based on sales figures publicly shared by Japanese sales tracker, Media Create.

  • hush404

    It’s cuz MH is a better game than DQ :P

    • Hraesvelgr

      Better than DQIX, maybe. Otherwise, no, not particularly.

      • hush404

        I just meant it as a dig. That said, I enjoy the gameplay of a MH over than of a DQ.

        • Guest

          I can never really get into MH. I’ll probably end up playing God Eater Burst and Lord of Arcana more. Maybe even Fairy Tail Portable Guild 2 and Kaijuu Busters Powered or Earth Seeker.

          • hush404

            Gahh, I can’t wait for GEB.

          • Same here. The amount of effort needed to put into MonHun is just too much for me. Spent at least 6 hours forcing myself to like it, but failed miserably in the end. I’m dying to play God Eater Burst. Hardcore gigantic god slaying sword epic beauty

      • krokounleashed

        Huh? DQIX is awesome. You can spend soooooooooooooo much time with it. I would even say DQIX is the best polished DQ. Btw how can you even compare MH with DQ. They’re totally different.

        • Ha but DQ9 can’t be compared to their older entries (SPECIALLy storywise -.-) they went up for social stuff, but killed half of DQ’s charm.
          I liked the equipment change thing though xD but i hated when i had some cool clothes but my stats just sucked with them T-T

          • krokounleashed

            You played DQ for story? <: And how is the charm killed? It's the same as always.

          • Yes, i normally choose to play a game mainly for the story, when i get a game, even if its cool to play, knowing myself, if the story doesn’t make me want to beat it, i wont beat it. Or sometimes i love the characters but the story is too boring, i would still want to play it, just to know how all the chars would end :).

            All DQ so far had from a decent to a great and perfect stories… but DQ9…

            Have you played DQ5? it can answer all your questions, if you can’t see the differences then i dunno.

            There are so many things i can say but i dont wanna make this too long xD.
            But yeah, DQ9’s story was really faulty, again, in my opinion xD, it was all okay at the beginning but later on…. I still haven’t beaten it, first DQ where i feel this, not even DQswords where the story was freaking short bored me so much.

            I still think is a good game though.

          • Is there something odd about playing an RPG for its story?

        • Draparde

          I enjoy’ed DQ9 better than some of the older ones myself, comparing MH to DQ is basicly purely opinion lol. i couldent think of any legit way someone could say one was better than the other considering there too diffrent from one another. (not even same type of game in fact :P )

      • Yeah, DQ9 wasnt that good in my opinion… i just played it because it was dragon quest, but the story was kinda weak (and no having other party members also made it feel empty D:)

  • godmars

    Its official: MH is the new DQ – prepare to close down schools and businesses upon its release!

  • malek86

    DQ9 wasn’t released during the holidays, so I guess that it would slow down faster.

    Also MH, being clearly geared toward multiplayer (not that DQ9 doesn’t have multiplayer, but the series has always been historically geared toward single-player), it’s something that can probably hold on longer.

    Overall, I have little doubt that MH3 can indeed outsell DQ9 in jpan, but the western territories will be a different story… both franchises have never been big here, but DQ9 was helped by Nintendo (especially in Europe). Worldwide, DQ9 should sell quite a bit more than MHP3.

  • Kris

    Well, I’m not a fan of either franchise, but it would be insane to see Monster Hunter pull ahead of a series as strong as Dragon Quest

  • PrinceHeir

    damn congrats to all franchises :D

    now if we had a Monster Hunter, Dragon Quest console game it would be awesome :D(not sure about pokemon though)

  • AaqibRawat

    Monster hunter sells !
    please god i want monster hunter frontier on home consoles!
    i am happy for capcom

    • I want it for PC, Aeria Games should distribute it, they did with MegaTen: Imagine and Dynasty Warriors Online.

  • Not surprised, my TL in Twitter is swamped with MonHun MonHun MonHun

  • So the fact that more people bought it in the first week has nothing to do with it?
    The more buying it at launch means the less who will be there to buy it later. The only thing you can really learn from this is. Monster Hunter seems to have a bigger audience compared to Dragon Quest. Now the real question should be who has the bigger fanbase Pokemon or Monster Hunter?

    • Joanna

      I think you misunderstood the data, these are only for the first month. We won’t know whether one has a bigger fan base until further down the road. For all we know, Monster Hunter 3 could simmer down in a month, leaving DQIX with the bigger overall fan base/numbers. The only thing you can conclude right now is that more monster hunter fans felt the need to pick up the game in the first month than DQ fans.

      Ishaan even stated it so himself: “Maybe in another month or so, we’ll have a better idea of whether Portable 3rd really is on its way to outsell Dragon Quest IX in the long run.”

  • 5parrowhawk

    I blame the ganguro fairy.

    Just kidding. Seriously, these numbers are a bit strange – looks almost like the DQ fanbase is more hardcore (leading to earlier adoption and a quicker tailoff).

    Could it be that MH has drawn fans away from the mainstream RPG market to the point that the DQ fans are becoming more defensive and “circling the wagons”, so to speak?

    I thought DQIX was okay – rather liked the more MMO-ish aspects, which could be compared to FFXII – but put it down after awhile and still haven’t got around to completing it. On the other hand, MHP3 is really good (just unlocked High Rank).

    Perhaps MH is benefiting from word-of-mouth, which would account for the slower decline in sales, whereas DQ is so well-known that the word-of-mouth effect is minimal.

    Alternatively, perhaps the hardcore fans didn’t like DQIX and so the word-of-mouth effect has been negative in that case?

    Which brings us full circle back to the ganguro fairy…

    • Joanna

      Funny you should mention Stella. I thought she was one of the best parts of DQIX. She was so outrageous that she was funny. I think that’s what the development team was aiming for, but perhaps some people found that frank vally girl-ishness of hers annoying?

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