Fantasy Life, Level 5’s New RPG, Is Sold Out In Japan

By Ishaan . January 7, 2013 . 10:55am

Fantasy Life, Level 5’s recently released role-playing game for the Nintendo 3DS, appears to be doing well. Sales tracker, Media Create, were on vacation last week, so we don’t have sales figures for its release yet, but the game is reportedly in short supply, following its December 27th launch .


Level 5 shared the news via the game’s website, thanking players for their support and apologizing for the shortages, adding that they’re working on bringing new stock to the market.


While we won’t see the usual Media Create figures for Fantasy Life until this Wednesday, Famitsu publisher, Enterbrain, provided their own weekly chart this week, and according to their estimates, Fantasy Life sold 134,000 copies in its first week.


Fantasy Life is also available as a download via the Nintendo eShop in Japan. The game allows you to live a “fantasy life,” taking on a number of jobs, including traditional ones like hunter and magician, but also professions like lumberjack, miner or chef.

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  • MrSirFeatherFang

    That’s good to hear… I don’t think Level-5 has been doing so well lately.. I hope this comes over, even though I don’t own a 3DS

    • Pyrofrost

      They’ve actually been doing pretty good. I’m not going to spend my time typing a wall of text to justify it, but they aren’t doing bad at all.
      So I wouldn’t worry. ^_^

      • Ni No kuni , the Guild 1 package and Inazuma eleven have served Level 5 well

      • ronin4life

        The only hiccup I can imagine, recalling as much info in mah brain as I can, is they may have expanded too large too quickly…

        I’m sure they will be fine though. ^͵^

  • ronin4life

    Was going to get this, but I procrastinated… dammit… >.<;

  • Good to see level 5 doing well. Feels like I have heard nothing but bad numbers about level 5 as of late.

  • malek86

    Well, finally a Level 5 game exceeding expectations. I feel like it hasn’t happened in forever. I wonder how well it will hold up later, though. It does have that “social element” which seems to be the base for so many successful 3DS games in Japan.

    • Well, provided M-C numbers don’t land too far from Enterbrain’s, 134k isn’t a gigantic figure by any means. But hey, new IP and all, so there’s probably a solid future for it if they choose to build it up.

      • malek86

        It’s not huge, but if it already sold out of stock, I imagine demand was higher than they expected (granted, it could also be that they noticed how they were starting to overestimate demand too much lately, and so this time were more conservative).

      • Skyer Ist

        i believe, It’s a very good number for the new ip. for example, original inazuma eleven, which gave a life to the new popular series, sold just 40K first week in 2008, layton did 70k in 2007, megahyped ni no kuni sold 175K on DS with userbase of 30 million (and just 66K or so on PS3 year later)

        • Good points all around. I was mostly looking at the sales of The Little Battlers, which is the last moderately successful new IP that L5 debuted. The first Little Battlers game did about 166k in its first week, and it had an anime and manga series, as well as merchandise to help push future titles.

          That said, Fantasy Life has plenty of avenues for growth, too, even if it isn’t through L5’s usual franchising. Games with social elements are very successful on 3DS and the simulation genre has a dedicated following on the system as well. Both those will be beneficial in the future.

        • Ni no Kuni for the DS could have done much better, but the fact that it’s practically unplayable without the magic book it came with worked strongly against it. Making players carry around something as big and heavy as that book to play a PORTABLE game was a terrible decision, especially when they already had Ghiblis fanbase on their side.

          • Suicunesol

            I don’t believe that’s the main reason it sold poorly. The PS3 version sold even worse, and that didn’t have a book coupled with it. There’s no reason to believe that the game would have done significantly better if there was no book.

            …oh hell I don’t know. I don’t know what the Japanese had in mind when they decided not to buy the game. I need to read some Japanese forums to get some idea of that.

          • Well most of the Japanese amazon 1-star-reviews are complaining about the book, but that’s not the only thing they find cumbersome. The maps are too vast and you can’t teleport around, quests are just unimaginative errands, and the shops and equipments in the game are sparse (and practically useless anyways). The battle system being very old-fashioned and simplistic also received a lot of criticism.
            Having played the game myself, I can actually attest to all those issues. Many reviewers concede that it is a game for children though, which also explains why the game did worse on the PS3 since that console has a much larger adult userbase. In conclusion, it’s neither a game for hardcore gamers thanks to the insipid gameplay, nor for casuals thanks to the heavy book. Personally I’d say the main selling points are really just Ghibli’s art direction and the Joe Hisaishi soundtrack. But I find those are two very strong points!

          • Suicunesol

            I see. Well, that helps to get the bigger picture.

          • @maxiburger:disqus @Suicunesol:disqus

            There were actually a few reasons Hino cited for Ni no Kuni on DS not getting off to a very strong part, one of which was that it released very close to Monster Hunter Portable 3rd.

            You can read about that here:

            But yeah, I’m in agreement with Maxi. Ni no Kuni’s biggest problem was that it was a product without a strong goal on both the consoles it was released for. The DS version had the book and the PS3 version was on the wrong platform.

  • kylehyde

    Nice to hear that, I hope this helps for a chance of localization

  • puchinri

    Those are pretty good first week numbers. I am really glad to hear that and hope it continues to do well over time.

    Here’s to hoping we see the game here as well. ♥

  • Ethan_Twain

    All right! This is interesting on a couple of different levels.

    1. Level 5 is launching a successful new IP! This is great for them because they had a couple less popular releases lately and they’re very good at taking a success and expanding it into a franchise.

    2. Turns out this game didn’t get swallowed up by Animal Crossing as was feared. Maybe continued Animal Crossing supply shortages have something to do with this?

    3. Can Brownie Brown do no wrong? They’re kind of a behind the scenes studio but their most recent two projects have been a level design credit in Super Mario 3D Land (where the level design was just sublime) and Fantasy Life main development. In the past they also did Mother 3. They are quickly rising in my esteem.

    4. It’s nothing new that Nintendo published games can make a killing on Nintendo platforms. But when third party games are also selling out of stock, that’s a sign that the 3DS really is heir to all the DS was and is.

    5. Remember how Level 5 was releasing two games on Christmas week and nobody else was releasing anything at all? Looks like they knew what was up after all. I wonder how their other release, the Inazuma 11 combo pack, fared.

    • It is nice to see a new IP by L5 launch somewhat successfully. It isn’t doing Little Battlers numbers or Inazuma numbers, but 134k is fairly respectable and it gives them a shot at building it up in the future, especially with how popular the RPG/simulation genre has become on 3DS.

      There’s plenty of room for them to add social features into the next game, should they choose to make another, so it should be very interesting to see how it goes. Hopefully, the next one doesn’t take a million years to come out.

      It’s also interesting in that this is one of the few Level 5 IP that doesn’t look like its focused on multimedia expansion. I can’t really imagine that there’s much scope for a Fantasy Life anime or manga, so this could be the first pure-gaming franchise for L5 in a while. I wonder how that will affect future plans.

      And yeah, very cool to see not only Fantasy Life but also Magician’s Quest not get swallowed by Animal Crossing! I’m so very glad for both those games.

      • If there is a manga about monster hunter there can be one about fantasy life, IMBHO :C

      • Skyer Ist

        “It isn’t doing Little Battlers numbers or Inazuma numbers” Well, Inazuma Eleven began to show its true power with the release of anime on TV and a second game. The first one sold just 40K first week in 2008. Fantasy Life sold 134K – 3x better then IE opening in 2008.

        • Yeah, except the deal with Inazuma was that it was always going to have the anime to help spread word of mouth to have future games rake in the big numbers. Fantasy Life is a game-only series (at least from what we’ve seen so far). Still, a very respectable debut.

    • Yerld_CK

      Brownie Brown? They produced a lot of lacklustre (although not terrible) work on the GBA and DS, so their track record has been fairly uneven.

      That said, I have no idea who’s making their games these days. Shinichi Kameoka still runs the place, but many of their development leads (Noboyuki Inoue, Takeo Oin, and Tomoki Anazawa, among others) have since left the company, so this may be a rebirth of sorts.

  • Aoshi00

    Usually I’m not a huge Animal Crossing or Harvest Moon fan (I heard Fantasy Life is kind of like in the middle and has gotten great reviews in general), but glad I pre-ordered it when I had the chance, out of stock on both AmiAmi and PlayAsia now.. I hope the mini-soundtrack would be included w/ mine.. can’t wait to hear the vocal songs by Uematsu :)

  • Göran Isacson

    Huh. That’s interesting, some were debating if this game would find any success what with Animal Crossing being out and eating up potential market share. Seems like fears were unfounded, and Level 5 may have another franchise on their hands… maybe people were “finished” with the latest AC and wanted to try something new?

  • Hours

    I really hope this game and Time Travelers come to North America.

  • Elvick

    I really hope it does well and continues to do well.

    And I hope even more that they localize it. Because it looks like the perfect game for me.

  • All, vote in here >>

    So, Level 5 will bring USA version to these games

    Let’s VOTE for “Fantasy Life”

    Gameplay for Fantasy Life >>

    It’s really cute I think

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