How Has Mistwalker’s First iOS Game Sold So Far?

By Spencer . October 6, 2012 . 4:45pm


Mistwalker released their first iOS game, Party Wave, in July. While we were talking about Blade Guardian, we asked Hironobu Sakaguchi how Party Wave was doing.


"We are still waiting to be discovered," Sakaguchi told Siliconera. I asked if he considered the long tail when it comes to iOS games and what his plans are for the Party wave characters.


"I’m not sure whether it will sell well eventually, but I would like to make it a series using the same characters.  Of course this is a given, but I always strive to make a video game which is fun to play, but also challenging.  Hoping people would appreciate and enjoy such a game, in the long run.  We would like to keep creating and improving them," Sakaguchi answered.


If you haven’t played Party Wave yet you can try the free version for iOS or the get Party Wave for Android.

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  • I’d say; stick to what you do best, RPGs.

    And if you are going to experiment with other genres, take more risks, and develop for consoles that your existing buyers would more likely follow you on.

    as much as I like ya Sakaguchi; I don’t think the sales of an iOS title are really going to help your company much at all.

  • malek86

    Smartphone games are all about visibility, since new apps are coming out everyday. But probably, for the iOS/Android crowd, Sakaguchi’s name doesn’t hold much meaning, because they don’t know who he is.

    In the end, I think getting success from a smartphone app still requires a quite sizeable luck factor.

  • I just downloaded the free version for Android and gave it a go. I’m pretty underwhelmed, but I’m not a big fan of mobile phone games to begin with so I’m not their target audience I guess. It feels very generic, which is unfortunate because I expect a lot from Mistwalker. 

  • d19xx

    Everyone’s moving to mobile when most of them are failing profit wise in that market. 

    I’m curious if the mobile market can sustain a large or mid size company. Right now I only see Indie developers with really small teams profiting from it.

    • Barrylocke89

      I imagine that it might be possible if the company has its mobile division properly set into the rest of the company as a whole, or maybe if the game has already been established on another system so that they don’t have to do much in terms of development, but if a company ever decides to throw its whole financial weight behind a game, I could see it being tough to pull off.

  • FitzpatrickPhillips

    I totally forgot about this so I decided to download it on my kindle. It says “100+” downloads.

    Oh man that almost hurts to see. It’s so low.

  • PreyMantis

    This is definitely a sad news for the developers. It’s no surprise considering iOS owners would rather get their free shovelwares, than buying better games.
    In fact, Nic Watt, founder of Nnooo, said that “in terms of sales, we have not seen anywhere near the volume of sales
    for Pop on iOS devices as we have on WiiWare and DSiWare.”

    • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

      I think, this is indeed the main problem releasing game on smart phones. While the market is gigantum, not all of the user there actually plays game and not to forget the huge amount of free game there can easily makes paid games being neglected no matter how good the game can be.

      While the release on PSN, XBLA or Nintendo E-Shop had smaller market, they are more focused as people actually buy the consoles for the sake of playing game which mean that as long as the game had great quality, it is going to sells.(Mostly though as there are cases where great games does not sell well.T_T)

  • Aoshi00

    Hm.. thought it would’ve sold better.. at first I didn’t really care about iOS games at all since I don’t have any Apple device, until getting an iPad recently (probably wouldn’t have gotten it if I knew it’s coming to Android so soon).. one of the reasons was to play Party Wave.. for $2, I thought it was a pretty fun game, w/ good design and control.. except some parts it’s hard to dodge the enemies w/ so much going on at the same time..  I’ve only finished like 10+ stages so far, not sure if it’s easier to play on an iPad or a smaller phone..  Blade Guardian is a good tower defense game, but quite difficult as well..  wonder what the 3rd one would be..

    But yeah, I think the Gooch is better making big RPGs on the consoles, really liked Blue Dragon, Lost Odyssey, Archaic Sealed Heat, & Last Story (too bad ASH wasn’t localized).. but if this is like a side thing I wouldn’t mind either.. it’s hard to become the next Angry Bird I guess..

    Would be nice if they bring Borderwalker as well even if it’s not by Mistwalker.. I want that Uematsu soundtrack..

  • I didn’t know it was on Android, I was gonna get it the the free Google Play credit but I just saw some footage and it looked pretty awful…

  • Peeka Chu

    lol “We’re still waiting to be discovered.”  Welcome to the wide world of mobile gaming where pedigree means next to nothing and you’re likely to get buried amongst the Fruit Ninja clones.  

    Compared to consoles, I love the delivery of this content, but in each case (Google, Kindle or iOS delivery), the organizational tools and marketing are nothing short of horrid.  And not to sound like a snob, but the average “palette” of mobile gamers tends to veer toward the quick and casual. There are attempts to add “core” games into the mix, but those haven’t taken off much aside from Infinity Blade or some of SE’s crazily priced games.  The medium of mobile gaming is still in its infancy though, so we’ll see how refined it gets a few years from now. 

    Purely anecdotal – and personal – but I have an iPad 3.  I went through the initial honeymoon phase with the device, playing all sorts of games for about two weeks before relegating it to the media player/ document reader/ browser device that I usually use my tablets for.  Back to consoles, PC and handhelds for my fix now.  The games are getting better, but they’re not quite there yet.  

  • “We’re still waiting to be discoverd.” Everybody already knows who Sakaguchi is, as well as his team and games.

    Too from what I read, Wave Party is pretty bad.

  • Barrylocke89

    At the very least, the Mistwalker team can get some valuable experience from this venture.I imagine that you can’t really know what it’s like to develop something on a new platform until you actually dip your hands into it.

  • SupaPhly

    I guess that’s one of the bad things about developing for ios/android, it will be overshadowed by more popular games. unless you are lucky, or advertise

  • It’s a whole different beast. I feel sad for Gooch, he’s been trying his hardest to do new things and yet he hasn’t been that sucessful ever since he left SE. Rumour has it he’s not working with Sony ever because he had some misunderstandings with Kaz Hirai. I know pride and honour go a long way, but perhaps it’s about time Gooch sides with Sony to make a grand scale RPG for any of the Sony machines. He tried with MS and Ninty, so it only leaves Sony out uh?

    • Paradox me

      Honestly, I kinda doubt Sony would be very receptive even if Sakaguchi came to them. Their Japanese business hasn’t done much of anything this generation, especially in comparison to the growth and output of SCEA and SCEE.

      It’s unfortunate, really. The Japanese industry is struggling and yet Sony, a Japanese console manufacturer and key player worldwide, is doing so little to breathe life into it. SCEA and SCEE acquired Guerrilla, Evolution, Sucker Punch and Media Molecule. Sony Japan has really only partnered with Level-5, From and the now defunct Game Republic on projects that hardly compare to their Western efforts.

      Either way, I think we’ll see Mistwalker partner with Nintendo again on a Wii U title, although at this point I’d actually like to see Nintendo acquire them. If only to offer this rather small pool of talent some security. I’d also wager that pairing them an internal development team at Nintendo would yield better results than the likes of AQ/feelplus/Artoon (no offense guys, Lost Odyssey, Blue Dragon and The Last Story were all well-made games). 

      Heck, the Gooch and co. may even find their way to Monolith. Sakaguchi and Uematsu working on Xenoblade 2 alongside Takahashi, Shimomura, Mitsuda, ACE+ and so on? Heaven.

      (That song’s chorus was actually inspired by the prospect of Xenoblade 2, by the way. Yep, all the way back in 1987.)

      • I…I’d have to agree. You summed up my thoughts on Sony’s performance this gen pretty well. I’m under the impression that they’re kinda giving up on their domestic markets altogether. The Vita itself shows how little they’ve been doing to actually push it there….well, from TGS onwards it got a little push with the new colour variations and some possibly interesting games, but I don’t see Sony pushing the biggest names in the Vita just yet, while their western divisions made sure the likes of Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed, huge brand names in the west would get their chance to shine on the new handheld.

        I understand how relevant the western market has become over recent years, but I still believe every company should achieve for world dominion, rather than focus solely on one or two big regions. This market is so unstable that at any given time it’s possible things shift drastically once more, and it’d be in every major hardware company to have every region/market looking forward to their next projects. I believe I read elsewhere, not long ago (I believe it was Kotaku) how Sony was actually loosing popularity in Japan. I think that doesn’t surprise me much, unfortunately…

        EDIT: Found it –

    •  “Gooch”

      That’s one funny nickname thar xD

      •  I certainly didn’t come up with it myself, it’s a name I got used to reading on the internet. But it sure is a funny nick indeed, I agree with you there, lol

    • Peeka Chu

      I’m pretty sure he’s still fostering a decade + grudge toward Sony from the FF: Spirts Within debacle.  If you look at interviews earlier this gen, he isn’t a fan of the Playstation hardware or brand.  And Paradox, I respectfully disagree with your assessment of the PS brand portfolio. They actively court and promote Japanese brands and IPs.  XSEED, Atlus, AKSYS and others bring over what they can, but there’s a tsunami of content that we never see in the West.  That doesn’t mean it hasn’t been made however, or negate Sony’s contribution to this sort of product. Just because it isn’t made specifically by SCEJ (Demon’s Souls, lets not forget), doesn’t mean that they aren’t involved in making/ pushing that sort of content. 
      And going back to the original topic, The Gooch: Sony equation is similar to the MS: LVL-5 one. 

      • xXDGFXx

        Can you explain the Sony v. Mistwalker issue to me? I’ve been wondering about it for a while but never found a clear answer.

        • malek86

          If you’ve never found a clear answer, it’s because that’s all speculation. People rely on a single line told by Sakaguchi in 2007, when he was still working with MS (and thus under payroll), to convince themselves that he hates Sony with the passion of a thousand suns and still refuses to do games for them out of spite.

          While the spite theory may be actually true (we can’t say with certainty), it’s much more likely that he just never got a chance to work with them.

  • Michael Kelehan

    The page for the game on Google Play says “10+ downloads.” So, it’s sold between 10 and 49 copies.

    That’s not good.

    • Godmars

      That suggests something about the iOS game market and its popularity with more than casual-only gamers. At least in Japan.

      Unless its only western gamers who talk about Sakaguchi. 

      Wait. Just checked the links and the game is available in the West too?

      Now I am confused. Would think his name alone would be worth 5K in sales. If far more than that many old Square fans have iOS devices that is.

      • malek86

        But why would Square fans, even if they know Sakaguchi, pick up a game that has nothing to do with JRPGs or Sakaguchi’s previous works in general? If it was free and ad-supported maybe they’d check it out. But for $2 I doubt it.

        • Ergo

          The fact that TWO DOLLARS is enough to deter fans of the man’s work says a lot about his ‘fans’ and it also says a lot about the hyper-destructive race-to-the-bottom mentality that will, ultimately, destroy 85% of mobile devs.

      • Ethan_Twain

        Is that what you think?  Have you purchased the guy’s game?  No, you didn’t even realize it was available in the West :)

        And do you plan to purchase the game now?

        • Godmars

           I don’t own an iOS device. Not yet anyway.

          Still, have to figure that between millions of Western RPG fans who know of Sakaguchi, are still into gaming and come to sites like this that at least 100k+ own an tablet or the like. And we’re only talking about possibly less than ten people?

          And no, I can’t honestly say I’d buy it, but since I don’t have the tablet I plan on getting yet, I really don’t know what’s out there in regards to games. More interested in using it for reading.

  • Lazulis

    IT’S ON ANDROID?!!! I’M BUYING ITTTT. My bus commute will now be livened with cute yet frustrating surfers.

    Sad that he’s not getting good sales. Hopefully sales will pick up soon. 

  • Mnstrzero00

    Nothing makes a better introduction than doing what you do best. Gooch needs a small remix of the rpg genre to put Miswalker on the map as ios developers.


    Waiting to be discovered, huh? You and tens of thousands of other mobile developers.

    It might be a big pie, but when you have a million mice trying to eat it all you can realistically hope for is a nibble.

  • Poor ‘Gooch, nothing’s went well for him since Spirits Within

    • gomas

      eeeem… The Last Story?… 

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