The Majority Of Persona 4: Golden’s Sales Came From Pre-Orders

By Ishaan . June 22, 2012 . 1:03pm

Last week, Persona 4: Golden released in Japan to a great debut of 137,000 copies sold. That’s a far higher opening week than Persona 3 Portable, which debuted at 94,000 copies in 2009 on the PSP.


Sales tracker, Media Create, provided some additional information about Persona 4: Golden’s sales today—the game sold through 84.11% of its initial shipment in its first week. Of those 137,000 first-week sales, pre-orders represented 66.6%.


By comparison, 56% of Persona 3 Portable’s 94,000 first-week sales were from pre-orders. The increase of both sales and pre-orders from P3P to Golden is likely due to the amount of exposure that both Persona 4 and the Persona brand overall have received in recent years, drawing more fans to the series through concerts, anime and manga.


Here’s some more food for thought—Persona 4 on the PlayStation 2 sold 192,000 copies in its opening week in 2008. With the increase in brand awareness, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Persona 5 debuting within the 250-300k range.


Media Create also provided a sell-through number for Lollipop Chainsaw. The PS3 version, with 53,347 copies sold, got through 76.76% of its shipment. Meanwhile, the Xbox 360 version, which sold 14,422 copies, sold through 76.91% of its shipment.

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  • Crevox

    A healthy amount of P4 news a day keeps pre-orders high

  • TheCynicalReaper

    I doubt Persona 5 will trump the opening Tales of Xillia got, but with Atlus’s international fanbase and how popular Persona 4 is in Japan, let alone elsewhere, I think the Persona series is taking Atlus & Index on the fast track upwards.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if Atlus becomes the next JRPG giant in a few years, at least in Japan.
    Still, all this speculation is riding on Persona 5 and if it will be the beloved cash cow it’s predecessors were.

    • XYZ_JolteonZ980

      Well theyre pretty much out of options for persona now for it to go upwards like that. I mean, unless Persona 5 is coming this fall, what do they have to carry them through the end of the year and next year? 

      I think one of the huge questions will be…which system will P5 be on, Xillia seems to show a company could get by with tons of sales by being on just one system…

      • Megaten 4 will carry them through the foreseeable future. I wouldn’t be surprised if we got a Persona spin-off or side-story before Persona 5 is ready. As for platforms, there’s no way P5 isn’t going to be multiplatform. Not a chance.

        •  Such as that Persona 3DS game that was mentioned before the 3DS released, yeah?

          • That wasn’t an actual game. None of the games on that list were. It was just a list of publishers pledging 3DS support with an indication of what franchises they would be willing to support it with. :)

        • XYZ_JolteonZ980

          That will pull persona numbers? that seems like a really niche type title with no opportunity for any multimedia presence beyond maybe a monthly manga.

          • I don’t think it would do nearly as well as a “Persona 5,” certainly, but I’m fairly certain Atlus won’t let MegaTen wither away like they have these past few years anymore.

            I’d be very surprised if they don’t attempt to revitalize the brand with SMTIV and try to turn it into their second pillar, alongside Persona.

            But aside from that, I’m sure they’ll also have plenty of other 3DS and mobile titles coming along at a reasonably steady pace to keep the revenue coming in. That’s how they rode through a lot of the last gen, too.

        • Solomon_Kano

          Considering that the Persona team is the only, well, team that touches new Persona titles, I can’t really see a spin-off happening. With that team already at work on P5, as far as we know, I can’t imagine that they’d take the time out to do a game in between and, going by present history, I can’t see them handing another developer the opportunity to make a Persona.

          Spin-offs certainly aren’t uncommon in SMT but, going by history, it would be rather surprising if we saw any Persona before 5. They’re out of re-releases, so they’ll probably just keep up the multimedia stuff til P5 is ready. I mean, they are preparing a P3 movie after all. Now doing P3 could just be another ploy to make money off of that title but, if that was their sole intent, why do so after making P4 into this giant multimedia thing? I think Atlus is planning on coasting to P5 with various multimedia projects for the other Persona titles.

          More than anything, I’m inclined to believe that’s why they started this whole P4 bit in the first place. No way in hell they did all of that just to promote the re-release of that title. Every prior re-release came about to minimal fanfare, so why start now? They’ll continue riding the other titles recognition until they’re ready to show P5 rather than present us with a spin-off or side-story. Now, I will grant that all of this multimedia stuff could just be the influence of Index on the company’s doings, but I think Atlus is intending to ride this up to P5’s reveal.

          In a less supported bit of speculation, I’m also inclined to believe that’s why they’ve picked this time to bring back SMT. A Soul Hackers remake and SMT IV both set to be released after the last Persona remake? Now, SMT’s been around forever and that could just be coincidental, but I’m doubtful of that. The timing of it just seems too good. It looks to me like, rather than try to come up with ancillary Persona titles, Atlus intends to fill the gap by bringing back SMT and letting Persona build up a presence in other media. They’ll build up the SMT brand in Persona’s absence and then by the time P5 rolls around they’ll have two RPG fanbases they can fall back on.

          /text wall

          • (Sorry I didn’t reply to this last night! I was a little tired, so I figured I’d do it in the morning when I could type up a coherent reply, haha. Also, tiny request: in the future, when you reply to me, could you use the [at] feature to tag my name in? Mods don’t receive reply notifications like everyone else, unless our names are tagged in. It makes it hard to keep track of replies!)

            On Persona: Agreed, I can’t see Atlus outsourcing Persona to anyone else, nor can I see them delegating it to another team within the company, unless Hashino and Meguro both play a very involved supervisory role.

            It’s just that, well, like you said, it’s their biggest property. I just figure that if there’s any part of Atlus’ consumer games division that’s going to see growth, it would likely be the Persona team, so that they’re capable of taking on multiple projects at once. Also, Persona 5 is no doubt going to be a vast and ambitious game, so I suppose I’m wondering whether they’ll have it out by 2013 or not. I guess time will tell what they plan to do.

            On SMTIV: Again, agreed. As you pointed out, the timing of Soul Hackers and SMTIV both being announced within a month or two of each other means that they’re bringing the Shin Megami Tensei brand back. What I wonder about in the case of SMTIV is whether or not it will be a first-person dungeon crawler like the previous SMT games, barring Nocturne.

            Surely by now, Atlus have seen how much less lucrative dungeon crawlers are for them (early Persona vs. new Persona games). I’m sure they also understand that Nocturne was as popular as it was, in part because they dropped the first-person dungeon crawler design and changed to a more traditional third-person RPG instead.

            They already have an audience that likes first-person DCs in the form of Etrian Odyssey fans. The question is whether or not they feel that Shin Megami Tensei series’ future lies in dungeon-crawling as well. 

            On SMT in general: Something else I wonder about is whether we’ll see another new SMT spin-off this generation. They seem to have one every generation. PS1 brought Persona, PS2 brought Digital Devil Saga and the Raidou Kuzonoha games, the last portable gen brought Devil Survivor. It only makes sense for them to debut a new series this gen. Personally, I’m kind of hoping for it to be a regular RPG that’s somewhere in between MegaTen and Persona.

          • Solomon_Kano

            @ishaan It’s cool. And I’ll definitely keep the tagging thing in mind. [I said this and yet I just realized, some 4 hours later, that I didn’t tag you in this post OTZ and now Disqus won’t let me. *facepalm*]

            Y’know, I’m suspecting SMT IV will be a dungeon crawler. I’ll be very disappointed if it is, but it’s feeling like that’s what it’ll be. On the one hand I thought they just attached SMT IV’s reveal to Soul Hackers since it’s the only SMT product coming out, then it occurred to me: why are they remaking a dungeon crawling SMT in the first place? I’d hope that Atlus would see that they’ve had more success in more traditional RPGs than dungeon crawlers, but I’m thinking they’re going back to that for SMT IV.

            That said, I really do hope we see a spin-off for SMT this gen. I’d completely forgotten that they’ve done that every gen so, especially if SMT IV is a dungeon crawler, I hope they’ve got one lined up. Between DDS and Raidou Kuzonoha, I remember thinking earlier this gen that we were guaranteed to see SMT on consoles in some form, so I hope they’ve considered that as well.

            With the 3DS’ popularity we may not have to worry about it, but I’m wary of what a dungeon crawling 4th entry on a portable (popular or no) will do to the SMT series long term. We’ve seen a lot of series move to portables never to return within the last gen, so I’m definitely skeptical of how that’ll turn out. With dungeon crawlers being a niche within the already niche genre of RPGs, I don’t see that being favorable to the series health moving forward. Especially not after it’s been quiet already. Beyond that, well, I just don’t care for dungeon crawlers haha. So, yea, I’m crossing my fingers for SMT IV being something other than a dungeon crawler.

        • Persona 5 is going to be exclusive to Playstation, why the hell would it be multiplatform when the sales alone meet their expectations?

          • Because Persona is a brand that is also recognized in North America, and in US, more people own Xbox 360s than PlayStation 3s. It’s why Catherine was multiplatform. 

            I also wouldn’t say Persona 5 is going to be a huge system seller for PS3 either. The people that wanted to buy a PS3 for RPGs have already done so. Persona 5 isn’t going to make much of a difference at all. The game itself, however, will sell very well, yes.

          • Nemesis_Dawn

            I actually tend to think, with Atlus’ recent attempts to attract the 360 fanbase, I do think that it will be multiplatform. The PS3 version will meet all of their sales expectations, I figure, since the PS3 is the system where the majority of Atlus’ fans are, but I don’t think they’d mind having another 50,000 or so 360 sales, on top of their PS3 sales. It’ll probably be a 3:1 margin in the states in favor of the PS3, but they’ll still sell some copies for the 360.

    • I doubt even Xillia 2 will trump the opening Xillia got. Namco played the 15th anniversary card with Xillia, which got people to pay attention. Alas, they won’t be able to play it again for another five years. 

      • TheCynicalReaper

         Ah, that’s true! I forgot they did that.
        Actually, maybe Atlus could push P5 sales by doing something similar, maybe making it a “Persona Anniversary”.
        Still, it’s true, between the time it came out and that anniversary card from Namco, Xillia will hold the JRPG sales crown for quite some time to come, I think.

  • vivaluis59

    Well seeing how Catherine sold 200,000 in its first week in the states, I think P5 will sell like crazy. But we also have to see how P4 Arena and Golden sales go. 

  • XYZ_JolteonZ980

    Well at least coming so early the game should no doubt continue to sell well, hopefully they pack the remaining sets of the P4: The Animation with pamphlets for P4G, as well as the stage play.  Perahps they can also give Persona 4 a 26 episodes live action series too, and then a live action movie like Death Note received. 

    • “Well at least coming so early the game should no doubt continue to sell well.”

      This is where the Vita’s going to hold it back. Long-term sales only happen on healthy devices. P4G’s going to drop pretty quickly from here on out.

      • Youareallcryingmorons

         The vita sales rose 150% with the relese of the golden. So it might not hold it back too much.

        • Solomon_Kano

          That’s a lovely percentage, but will that number hold into next week? Looking from the pre-order numbers to the game’s sales to the total number of Vitas out there in Japan, I don’t see this continuing to sell and sell like it might’ve on PSP or 3DS. The Vita simply doesn’t have the numbers to sustain healthy sales like that.

          • @Youareallcryingmorons:disqus @Solomon_Kano:disqus P3P sales for reference:

            First week: 94,287
            Total sales by end of 2011: 232,344

            That’s about 2.5 times the opening sales, and is about as high as one can expect for a well-received game on a healthy platform. I’m not sure just how high P4G will manage to go, but it should be interesting to watch.

          • Solomon_Kano

            Hm. I could see P4G possibly hitting those numbers by year’s end considering what other games the Vita has coming to give a few sales spikes. At the same time though, that high pre-order rate pretty much says that anyone interested in this game already got it. Interesting indeed.

          • @Solomon_Kano:disqus Yeah, I think P4G could realistically get to that 232k number eventually, but not 2.5x its own sales any time soon. That would mean somewhere near the 345k mark. 

            I guess we have to wait for next week’s chart to see how much it dropped by. It could still overcome the platform’s weaknesses through its own increased popularity. I’m very interested to see how this goes. It’s like the polar opposite of the Kingdom Hearts scenario, where it was a strong franchise on a strong platform, and still didn’t sell that well.

          • Solomon_Kano

            Hm. It would be interesting to see P4G keep selling after KH had a practically instant drop. That would speak volumes to me on how each company’s strategy with their particular series is working out.

    •  But they just finished making a 26-episode anime, why would they waste money on a live action series or live action movie?

      • XYZ_JolteonZ980

        Mirai Nikki had an anime and then had a live action adaptation start and continue right after the anime finished, and isnt it having a stage play too?

        • So the new project is stage play??? Man no love 4 Akise…..

        •  No idea but pretty sure Mirai Nikki isn’t anywhere as popular as Persona.

  • FitzpatrickPhillips

    Hmm, I wonder if Suda51 is happy with those Lollipop Chainsaw numbers. He did quite a bit of advertising for it.

  • IshimaruKaito

    is it wrong that i dont even have a ps vita (i will in the future lol) and i pre-ordered this?

    • Nope, not at all. I pre-ordered Gravity Rush, even though I didn’t (Still don’t) have a Vita.

    • Brandon001

      my man we’re in the same boat, i mean C’mannnnn why not, right?

    • Detrimont

      same here, since its going to be the best game on vita for a while, might as well buy it

    • CrimsonalCore

      No, no it’s not wrong. Last time, I bought Nintendogs + Cats and didn’t buy a 3DS until 2 months later. owo

    • No, it’s not wrong.  I have seen people buy a game without a system.

  • Makes sense. Most of the people buying this game are probably already SMT Persona fans anyway.

  • Z3

    P4G actually boosted PSVita’s sales in Japan A LOT!! It was second to 3ds though

  • Persona 5 is going to be a major console seller for the Playstation 3. 

    • Solomon_Kano

      Probably not. At this point, with all the PS3s out there and all the niche games already on it, I can’t picture a significant portion of the Persona fanbase not already owning a PS3. It’ll see a boost, definitely, probably not a “major” boost.

    • Smashlampjaw

      Why not PS4? For all we know they could already be developing it for that.

  • My Two cents on Persona 5 being exclusive to PS3. :3!

    The Persona franchise has ALWAYS been on Playstation including ALL the remakes, further more if ATLUS even wanted to reach out the a wider audience then they would have release an HD COLLECTION for both the PS3 and 360 instead of making it portable.

    Catherine is a NEW IP, therefore is obvious that they wanted everyone to play this NEW game and to profit from it as well. Insomniac Games have done it. ATLUS’s decision to make it a multi-plat game work out well for them, in fact the PS3 version of the game in both Japan and America outsold the 360 version. Why? Because Japanese developers don’t make much of a profit UNLESS they are a big name established franchise (Final Fantasy, etc), not only that but Microsoft hardly advertises little to NO ANIME GAMES. EVERYTHING is either Call Of Duty or Halo, MAINSTREAM. I don’t know why Gamers bring up Catherine like it’s some sort of sign that the Persona team have decided to go multi-plat with their games when that’s not really the case here. What console is PERSONA 4 The Golden on? Oh right, the VITA. Should I expect the Devil survivor series to be on VITA too?

    Then we go to Persona 4 The Arena, which is perhaps one of the biggest fails almost anyone can use to point out the Persona series is going multi-plat. THE GAME IS MOSTLY BEING DEVELOP BY AKSYS, A MULTI-PLAT DEVELOPER! There is no such thing as an exclusive fighting game at this point in the gaming industry, with most being release in ARCADES before consoles. The last “exclusive” fighting game was the Dead Or Alive series and the reason it went Multi-Plat was because the original creator, Tomonobu Itagaki, favored the 360 over Playstation. Now that T sack him there is no longer retarded bias in Team Ninja, hence now Dead or Alive 5 went Multi-Plat. This being said, is Persona 4 The Arena a TRUE Persona game? no it is not, it’s a spin off of a game that has already succeeded on another console. The the reason ATLUS advertising Persona 4 is because they want everyone to be aware of the franchise again (It’s been what, 4-5 years a mother-ship Persona game was release) . 

    Indeed ATLUS have succeeded, which will benefit Persona 5 when it’s announced as it’s being hailed the successor of Persona 4 and the holy grail of JRPGs mixed with slice of life and dating sim and whole bunch of other formulas that would take advantage of the PS3 hardware to it’s fullest + Blu-Ray.  

    Will Persona 5 be on 360, POSSIBLY and that a very very LOW slime and I mean 1 in a billion chance they would make that decision considering how bad 360 doing in Japan and how sales have met Atlus’s expectations.

    I’m up for friendly debates. ^_^!

    • malek86

      I’d say you aren’t really considering the entire situation though. You are looking at the series’ history (having been always on Playstation, which is true – although I should point out that Devil Summoner had also never been on a Nintendo console and yet it’s coming to the 3DS) and then rebutting all those other games as not pertinent to the series. That’s only looking at half the picture though.

      First, Atlus is looking more and more toward the western market (this is also seen in how their current SMT games don’t really have God as the bad guy anymore, since they thought it might have been considered offensive). The Persona series itself is a herald of that approach, since P3 is the game that effectively opened the doors to SMT’s popularity in the west. And if you are considering the west, you can’t not consider the 360. That thing has roughly half the HD market, actually a bit more. Even if its audience is certainly less into RPGs compared to the PS3, those are still numbers a company wouldn’t just throw away. For a smaller game like Atelier it makes sense that they wouldn’t want to face the porting costs, but Persona has the potential to sell a lot more, and therefore they’ll at least have to consider it.

      Second, while Catherine was probably an experiment, it certainly was an experiment that paid off. But it might have ramifications: there is a chance that Atlus will just reuse their engine for an eventual Persona 5. After all, you don’t just throw away a multiplatform engine. So, if that were the case, a 360 version would come much cheaper than porting the game all the way from the PS3. Depending on that, even low sales might be enough to recover the porting cost.

      Third, as you might have noticed, they are trying to increase the popularity of the series. Persona 4 Ultimate might be a spinoff, but it’s also an attempt to make the brand stronger. And when you are trying to grow something’s popularity, you have to embrace a wide userbase. That’s why P4U is on both consoles. And if the purpose of that game is to indtroduce the series’ characters to 360 players as well, you can see where this could be heading to.

      Now mind, I’m not saying an eventual P5, or P4HD or whatever, will be necessarily on the 360 too. And there is a chance that, when the game finally comes out (they sure are taking their sweet time with it), the next Xbox will be already out and Atlus won’t bother with the 360 anymore. But I’m saying it’s not something that can be ruled out as “one chance in a million”.

      PS. on a side note, I can’t see Atlus being the kind of company that pushes the PS3 hardware to its fullest. They didn’t do that with Persona 4, which came ery late into the PS2’s life cycle (say this with Goldman’s voice!), and I doubt they’ll do it now. They probably don’t have the resources to put that kind of budget into making the next Uncharted-like graphical and technological powerhouse. And besides, like I said, there’s always a chance they’ll just reuse the Catherine engine…

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