The Little Battlers W Sees Low Sell-Through On Both PSP And Vita

By Ishaan . October 26, 2012 . 3:30pm

The Little Battlers W, a sequel to 2011’s The Little Battlers, got off to a less-than-admirable start in Japan last week. The PSP version of game sold 77,457 copies, while the PlayStation Vita version sold another 16,842 copies.


Even the combined sales of both versions were far lower than first-week sales of the original The Little Battlers game on PSP, which sold 166,187 copies at launch.


Sales tracker, Media Create, say that the PSP version of The Little Battlers W sold through 44.87% of its shipment. Meanwhile, the PlayStation Vita version sold through 56.30% of its shipment. For comparison, The Little Battlers on PSP sold through 80.47% of its shipment when it released in 2011.


It should be noted that the PSP version of The Little Battlers W will likely continue to sell in the weeks to come. This is a franchise aimed at kids, and  has a successful ongoing anime series and other media that will drive sales.


For perspective, The Little Battlers: Explosive Boost—an updated version of the original game for the Nintendo 3DS—had a sell-through of 43.48% in its first week, but continued to sell over the next several weeks, and did rather well for itself. In fact, it’s still in the Media Create top-50 chart for last week at #36.


In light of Explosive Boost—and Boost, the update before it—it’s also quite likely that we’ll see an updated version of The Little Battlers W at some point in the future, giving Level 5 a way to draw more sales out of the game.

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  • ronin4life

    so… sales were actually in line with previous entries… the straight numer comparisons would seem to say otherwise, but they do seem to be selling “normally”

    Also, correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t the first Psp game have a special edition or whatever that came with a model kit at launch? That would explain the higher week 1 sales.

    • Splash (눈‸눈)

      Yes, the first PSP game came with a special edition AX-00 PlaModel. The special bonus for W this time are just small figures of either Icarus Force or Zero (it’s random).

      I’d say the sales are pretty “normal” too. From what I’m seeing on Japanese 2ch, a lot of people are assuming an enhanced 3DS version to come out later too and have chosen to wait for that instead.

      I’ve been playing the PSP version myself (and soon the Vita version), and both versions are riddled with bugs even with the 1.01 update they put out after release date. I can’t help but wonder how much Tri-Ace’s hand in the development could be blamed for the bugs, because the original Danball Senki games was nowhere near as bad with the bugs.

      • Hidayat246

        “…..I’d say the sales are pretty “normal” too. From what I’m seeing on
        Japanese 2ch, a lot of people are assuming an enhanced 3DS version to
        come out later too and have chosen to wait for that instead……”

        i agree about that but is really pain for PSP fans

        it seems LEVEL 5 want to move all LBX fans to 3DS

        • anthony apduhan

          “It seems Level 5 want to move all LBX fans to the 3DS?”

          So this is the reason why there is an Inazuma Eleven GO vs Danball Senki W crossover movie.

          • Hidayat246

            i want to believe that IMO since first LBX is not strong franchise doesnt like Layton or inuzuma

             just think why CAPCOM MOVE MONSTER HUNTER 4 to 3DS the same way maybe work for LBX

            if u have any idea why Level 5 LBX port to 3DS i love to hear that

    • Not at all. The first Little Battlers game had both higher sales and a higher sell-through. LBW, which is a full-blown sequel, is selling along the lines of an “updated” version. That’s not very good at all.

      • Splash (눈‸눈)

        Just wondering, do you know if the Media Create numbers include downloads from the online store? Since that was also available for both PSP and Vita versions this time.

        • malek86

          They don’t. However, from the graphs Nintendo has recently shown, it’s said that the average download ratio for games is between 3 and 10% (I’m not sure, however, if that referred to Japan alone or worldwide).

          Also I guess kids are more likely to buy games at retail, not digitally. So I don’t think it had much of an effect on the sales of this particular game.

        • Media Create don’t provide download sales data, but as malek said, download percentages are often very small and don’t make much of a significant difference. 

          On that note, I think the first title where we’ll see download sales play a much more important role is Animal Crossing: New Leaf for 3DS, where Nintendo are actually actively promoting the download version. They will likely release download sales figures for that game at some point, so I look forward to those.

      • ronin4life

        Well, what I mean is in the article you said the titles have long legs. The first game also had a special bonus that boosted week one sales, which the other entries didn’t have to boost their initial sales.

        looking only at the numbers/sell through rates makes it look really bad, but taken into context it at least seems slightly less grim.

        • It is true that the first game had a bonus to go along with it, but ideally, whatever the situation is, you want your sequel to do well. Having it sell half the amount of the first game is pretty terrible and not conducive to growing the brand at all. L5 really mismanaged the timing for this game.

  • malek86

    I’m imagining that the lower sellthrough is because they want to keep the game available on the shelves for kids. Nintendo games also tend to have a 50-55% sell ratio on the first week. It seems normal.

    Still doesn’t mean these numbers aren’t a little disappointing, considering this is a sequel instead of another upgrade.

    • It’s true that games like these tend to sell for a long time to come, and that, taken by itself would mean that here’s no cause for alarm. The problem is the original game, which had a sell-through of 80% with far higher sales. 

      Since then, Level 5 have continually promoted this franchise with manga, anime and merchandise. If things had gone according to plan, LBW would have sold a lot, lot more. 

      • malek86

        I assume that the first game’s high sell ratio was an abnormality due to unexpected success. After all, it still wasn’t a franchise back then, right?

        But anyway, I guess they did overestimate the franchise appeal a bit. And well, it’s not like all kids series can be continuous hits with kids. Kids after all are known to be fickle. Maybe there are “cooler” things now.

        • Honestly, I think this game would have done better if they’d had more foresight and put it on a platform that’s already catering to its target audience. Right now, the only games that sell on PSP are extremely powerful brands like Gundam. And well, the Vita sales speak for themselves.

          • JonathanisPrimus

            You’re completely ignoring the fact that Level-5 launched 2 expanded re-releases of the first game within 1 year of release. It tells people that LBX W is going to get an expanded re-release, and if that’s the case who’s going to want to buy the first version? Media Create reported lower than expected sales for a Konami baseball game earlier this year and blamed it on the fact that in the previous year Konami released an expanded version down the line. Now imagine a franchise where not even 6 months after the original release there was an expanded re-release, and then a few months later an expanded re-release of the expanded re-release.

  • Will Jay

    I read 2ch while hyping up the game for myself; and by the way, the game is amazing, much better than the original, but there’s crippling framerate and lock-up issues until you patch it with the framerate issues still not getting MUCH better after unless you force the PSP to 333mhz with CFW; and a ton of people were saying not to bother and to just wait for the inevitable superior 3DS port, or that a normal Boost version would come. I’m guessing a Boost on both and the 3DS, or at least PSP and 3DS. The 3DS is definitely getting a version though, it’s the only way to bring W to the US sanely with the only version of the original LBX that would profit in the US being Baku Boost.

    Either way, that’s most likely why sales were low. I could see W Boost having higher sales than Boost or Baku Boost did.

    • sd28

      pretty much what i was going to say and in the end they did it too them selves so the low sell through should have been expected especially after boost and baku boost.

  • HassanJamal

    Wow, i would have thought the PSP version would out sell the vita version. Even more surprising is that the vita version, if im understanding those numbers right,  out sold 3DS and PSP. Not bad, not bad at all.

    • The PSP version sold more than Vita one, but had a lower sell-through than the Vita version. Considering that around 56% of the Vita version was sold at 16k shows that they were banking on the larger PSP userbase to sell more, considering the numbers the predecessor sold at launch. 

      The 3DS one was a port of the first game, and the third verson of the same game, most people wouldn’t want to buy the same game in that period of time. Also, it sold more than Vita version.

      The sell-through is just a way to see how much of the initial shipment was sold.

      For example. Game A ships 100,000 and sells 40,000 that means it had a 40% sell-through. Game B ships 50,000 and sells 35,000 it has a sell-through of 70%.

      Whilst A sold more it had a lower sell-through than B. Don’t let the percentages deceive you. :D Stats are powerful, they can be manipulated to make you think a certain way. 

      • HassanJamal

         Ah well….its just plain good to see the vita version is at least selling :I

        • At the moment, anything the Vita sells is a minor victory, at best, it still needs that system seller. What that system seller is? I don’t know. It would be interesting to see what a Monster Hunter game would do for the system. 

          • Angel wing

             FF VII remake obviously.

            .. sorry Im just joking

          • You dare speak of such things! It’s a taboo. :P 

            The demand for a FF7 remake is/was crazy. That game should be left where it is – the past.

    • What the hell are you reading? The Vita version sold worse than both the PSP and 3DS games.

  • Budgiecat

    Why would this happen it has everything that would typically ensure a decent to good sales response:

    1.Level 5
    3.Adhoc mutiplayer
    5.Cool RPG story with Anime tie in

    wut went wrong wut happen

    • It’s simple. PSP software sales are decreasing for all but the biggest, broadest brands (Gundam, Digimon, other similar licenses). Level 5 miscalculated where the PSP would be at this point in its life. 

      • Budgiecat

        How did the PSP version of Time Travelers do in comparison to the Vita/3DS versions?

      • JonathanisPrimus

        Err, LBX W receives better weekly TV ratings than what both Digimon Xros Wars, and Gundam AGE got.

      • Elvick

        So Digimon continues to do well in Japan? That’s good. I love Digimon, even if we probably won’t get anymore of the games here. ):

  • If they want to make some more money they should release it in the states and europe for the vita. 

  • Hiro Oozora

    The psp version had ALOT of game breaking glitches.
    bad warpped camera, loading crashes and even your LBX going invisible. That’s probably what killed sales too. Shame, cause I like the way the battle system was revamped.

    • Elvick

      Does the Vita version have the same glitches? Or is it better?

  • hehHxC

    @twitter-632952989:disqus vita is struggling why they have to release there . 

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