Ace Attorney Investigations 2 Seeing Lower Recognition Amongst Japanese Consumers

By Ishaan . February 11, 2011 . 8:23am

Ace Attorney Investigations 2 saw its release in Japan last week, and sold 132,000 units in its first week on the market. Compared to the first Ace Attorney Investigations game, which debuted at 172,000 units, this is a substantially lower figure.


Japanese sales tracker, Media-Create, have some theories as to why this could be.


Media-Create report that Ace Attorney Investigations 2 has had less TV commercials than its predecessor, and that, according to their weekly recognition surveys, the game also has a lower level of recognition amongst consumers as compared to the original Ace Attorney Investigations.


Interestingly, male interest in the game has dropped, while interest from women has increased. The latter point is in line with Capcom’s own statements regarding the rise of female interest in the Ace Attorney Investigations series due to promotional events such as live stage plays. Media-Create, too, observe that marketing was targeted more at women in the case of AAI2.


The problem of lower overall recognition remains, however. Media-Create believe that one way to address this problem could be to market the series with a focus on its characters, rather than its “deduction” aspect.


Capcom’s own statements in a recent media strategy report revealed that they consider Ace Attorney a mid-range franchise (with games like Resident Evil, Street Fighter and Monster Hunter being their top-tier franchises), and will continue to promote it in the future.

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  • malek86

    What happened to Phoenix Wright, anyway?

    • TNA_Lewis

      Didn’t his story end?

      • malek86

        I don’t know, I don’t play the games.

        I just find it weird that this is already the third game where he’s not the main character… while at the same time being used for the upcoming Layton crossover, so you’d guess he’s the most popular character in the series.

        • TNA_Lewis

          I think Investigations is actually a spin-off; most of the reason why he’s in the crossover is becuase Hino not only liked Phoenix, but becuase he actually based Layton off of him as well.

        • Aara_Malik_Davoodi

          Investigations is a spin-off. There’s technically only one game in the main series without Wright as the main character. But he’s definitely the most popular character

      • I don’t think his story ended, in 4 I think it gave the story a small time skip and introduced some new characters that may be important in the 5th game, where he makes his comeback…well at least I hope so.

    • *SPOILERS?*

      He got set up by someone and got disbarred 2 months after the end of the 3rd game. He (half-)jokes about retaking the exam again at the end of the 4th game though. The first Investigations game is 1 month before Phoenix gets disbarred, and this game takes place from 1 to 2 weeks after the first. Phoenix makes a background cameo appearance in both.

      • Aara_Malik_Davoodi

        Exactly, so they could make a game where he makes his triumphant return. But Apollo Justice sold over a million copies worldwide if I’m not mistaken, so there may be no need to.

  • Lower sales or not, Ace Attorney is still one of the best series of Nintendo, and I would be quite sad if they discontinued it, so I am glad they don’t.

    Funny that women are more interested in it, not surprising(though I thought that dudes would be more interested in courtroom/detective stories), but funny, I myself like the series because I always wanted to be a super cool detective and solve crimes and what not, with a decent portion of humor naturally. xd

    Altough I hope the next Ace Attorney goes back to Wright, maybe he makes a comeback or something after the end of 4.

    • Aoshi00

      The problem w/ Investigations spin-off is there is no “courtroom”, which is a major gripe from many who bought the game from what I gathered. I must admit even though I like Edgeworth and the endearing cast making a comeback (after they’re missing in Apollo Justice), it still lacks the oomph and just wasn’t exciting as the trilogy… pressing the witness at the crime scene just feels kinda silly and there’s not much tension since you’re not trying to convince a judge.. It’s still an ok game w/ the long established chars, but let’s face it, this is not Gyakuten Saiban 5… I hope Phoenix makes a comeback in 5 as many other hope as well, I didn’t like Apollo at all, he’s too smart-ass and not as likable as Phoenix… Also in Investigation, Edgeworth kinda lost the charm as a prosecutor since he’s playing the defender role now..

      I still ordered this though (I ditched the LE w/ the figure since P-A couldn’t get it), hope the story wouldn’t drag as much like the last chapter of the first game.

  • kyuketsukimiyu

    I didn’t really like the first Investigations game, and I would be hard pressed to pick up the second. For me, the game lacked a lot of the charm that had me enjoy the Attorney series so much. Everything felt so much more contrived.

  • I beleive it’s because of the characters that male fanbase dropped. Edgeworth is a cool character but he seems to have more of an appeal to the female fanbase unlike Wright, who makes up for it in overall popularity.

    Also, the first Edgeworth Investigations wasn’t great, as I said in a seperate post. The characters in that were mainly flat or just failed to get past 2nd gear.

    Not saying they need Phoenix Wright to appear they just need stronger characters (and cases that don’t get ridiclous or go on for too long)

    • I’m not Japanese, but what you described are excatly my problems with this spin-off series.

    • raymk

      The game was good to me but yeah it wasn’t great. I still find it better than ace attorney’s apollo justice I hate that game.(with the exception of the first case).

  • I love these games, but i would had liked that they release the next sequel of the main series games first and released this one after it.

  • Aara_Malik_Davoodi

    I never really liked Investigations. Ace Attorney is really fun but when I bought Investigations I was disappoint. So naturally I won’t even bother with the sequel. This could be the same thing with those 40,000 people who didn’t buy it (yet)

  • Testsubject909

    This news article still has a happy ending.

    They’ll continue to promote this game forward, and that makes me glad I’m not hearing any doomsday speak from them. News of anything such as “We’re not seeing enough sales of Ace Attorney, so we’re pulling the plug” would render me eternally sad… at the moment anyways.

    • Aoshi00

      Most old time fans are just waiting for Gyakuten Saiban 5, and more Phoenix. After all’s said and done, this is still a spin-off w/o the exciting turnabout courtroom battles, people just aren’t feeling the “gyakuten” part in this… I like Edgeworth and the old cast, but I just want GS5 and Phoenix too. Still getting this for the CD/DVD… and also the funny drama CD though.. The hilarious Onosaka Masaya is Hayari (Larry) and Sawashiro Miyuki is Karuma Mei (Franziska), can’t pass that up :)

  • It sucks that the sequel isn’t doing so well. I really liked Ace Attorney Investigations, but often only because it was giving me more of the characters and world that I love. Admittedly, a lot of the game was pretty tedious.

    Hopefully Capcom will give us an Apollo Justice sequel. I really think Apollo Justice was one of the strongest in the series (with the third Phoenix Wright probably being the best).

  • MisterFoxInc

    While the main-Ace-Attorney-franchise may not be top tier, it has a considerable fan-base and high amount of fans. It’s not something you want to rely on entirely as a developer and publisher, but it’s something worth doing.

    Long story short, as much as I love Gyakuten Kenji, I want my Gyakuten Saiban back. Less Edgeworth, more Wright (or Justice, or a new protagonist altogether.)

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