Shin Megami Tensei IV Sold Through 80% Of Its Shipment

By Ishaan . May 31, 2013 . 11:30am

Shin Megami Tensei IV was released in Japan last week and sold 188,562 copies in its first week. According to Japanese sales tracker Media Create, the game sold through 80.14% of its shipment in its first week.


It’s been ten years since the last numbered Shin Megami Tensei game. The last game, Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne, which released in 2003, sold 185,000 copies in its first-week, and sold through 75.7% of its shipment.


Despite the decade-long gap between the two games, Shin Megami Tensei has managed to maintain the same level of sales. It should be interesting to see how Atlus grow the brand in the future, especially with the possibilities that being on a portable system with a number of social features affords.


Meanwhile, another game released last week was Kamen Rider: Battride War. This game sold 128,659 copies in its first week, and is practically sold out at retail. Media-Create say Battride War sold through 93.67% of its shipment.


  • malek86

    If I’m not wrong, this is the first time in ten years (essentially since the release of SMT3) that a non-Persona game manages to break 100k units at launch. All those spinoffs, and Strange Journey too, didn’t lit up the charts. Not only that, but it essentially doubled their results.

    I wonder what will happen now. Will Atlus try to give more of a push to the (inevitable) spinoffs? Will they keep going with the main series since they have found renewed success, as they hadn’t seen in a long time? Or, will they be content with low spinoff sales, as it’s happened until now, while they work on the next mainline game?

    • Testsubject909

      Who knows. Whatever they do, I’ll be patiently waiting here to discover what great new experience they’ll provide.

      Also. Day 1, already pre-ordered. Don’t own a 3DS. Don’t care. I just want to support SMT.

      • malek86

        If it were me, I’d try to push the spinoffs more. You never know when you might find the next Persona, ie. a spinoff so successful that it becomes its own series.

        • xAtKx

          I believe they already are trying to do this with Devil Survivor.

          • Devil Survivor is made on a bit too cheap of a budget to really break out. It’s going to take a brand new spin-off with decent presentation for it to break out the way Persona did.

          • Ben Ruiz

            Just wait for the inevitable DeSu 3 with all sorts of social linking and VN stuff to light up the charts :p I mean Persona 3 was the one that brought the Persona series more into the mainstream for better or worse.

          • LightZero

            Atlus is a niche developer and even then their games are low budget (I don’t mean anything bad by it). They are okay with lower numbers since they only cater to their fanbase that they know pretty well. I personally rather it stay that way. I know from a business perspective they probably all their titles to sell a lot of copies and be reasonably popular. It would actually be wise to try to get as many casual fans as possible.

            But I guess as a megaten fan I’m getting tired of the apparent war that P4 fanboys (not the regular fans) are starting with non P3/P4 megaten fans. I would hate for the fanbase to get even worst.

          • Zeik56

            I think both sides are getting equally bad in that “war”. I love MegaTen, but the fanbase has been kinda pissing me off lately.

          • malek86

            Possibly, but two (technically three) games in, and it’s still pretty low key. Something tells me that we won’t see a Devil Survivor 3, and they’ll try with something new instead.

          • Zeik56

            They’ve already done remakes of both games and there’s an anime of Devil Survivor 2 now. There’s no way we’re not going to see Devil Survivor 3, eventually.

            Although I agree that as the series stands it probably isn’t going to be the next Persona. They’d have to pull a P3 and make some radical changes and innovations to make that happen.

          • malek86

            It’s likely that the anime is also to increase sales of the DS2 remake on 3DS. If that one doesn’t light up the charts either, I think we can forget about DS3. That said, we’ll see, but I think they’d be better off trying something differet.

          • Zeik56

            I think the series does well enough that a sequel is very likely at some point. I really don’t think they would even bother with Break Code if the series did that poorly. Besides, it’s not like making DS3 means they can’t also do something new before or after. Atlus is not even a one team company anymore.

          • LightZero

            Oh I’m quite confident we will see a Devil Survivor 3. Both games did reasonably well.

      • gold163

        Also Day 1. No 3DS. I also have EOIV and Soul Hackers. Atlus deserves it.

      • Tom_Phoenix

        Once the European release is announced, I will also pre-order the game in spite of not owning a 3DS. Partially to support SMT (in Europe) and partially beacuse I don’t want to miss out on that sweet first print edition (assuming it gets released in Europe as well…..Please be released in Europe as well! =( ).

        I also intend to do the same with Project X Zone. I was going to do it for Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies as well, but…..well, you know how that turned out.

    • Perona

      If we’re talking Atlus games, Catherine sold over 100k its first week.

    • Ouch My Head Said Dionysus

      I’d like to see them do more with the spinoffs beyond remakes and ports. Getting Soul Hackers re-released and subsequently localized was a step in the right direction! I’d like to see a return to the world of Devil Summoner, etc.

      • Byas

        A PS360 Raidou Kuzunoha would make the world a better place.

        • LightZero

          I doubt the next Devil Summoner will be on the PS3/360 (or Wii U/PS4 for that matter). That sub series is sadly not as popular as the Persona (or rather P3/P4 not P1/P2 unfortunately). So I see it coming out on the 3DS. It’s cheaper and they don’t have to sell a certain amount to make a profit.

          Personally I don’t want a Raidou 3. I want a sequel to Soul Hacker except it is set in 2013+ instead of 1997. It can have the action battle system of Raidou 1/2 and the protagonist could even be a descendant of the Raidou we know and work for Reiho’s Kuzunoha.

          • Zeik56

            I’ve said this before, but I’d really love to see Devil Summoner transition to an episodic series on PSN. I think that series would make perfect sense with a format like that, but it would also allow for a nice middle ground between a full budget console game and a handheld game.

          • vileBrenman

            I think they should make A multiplayer action game where you make your own kuzunoha and fight demons and dark summoners

          • Ouch My Head Said Dionysus

            I would jump at any expansion of the Kuzunoha. Am I mistaken, or is there still one of the four lines we haven’t met yet? There’s Kyouji, Raidou, Geirin and….?

    • Actually, Catherine broke 100k at launch as well, but it’s hard to say how much of that was because of the “sex sells” angle. I’d like to believe it wasn’t, but common sense says that definitely played some part in its sales.

      • malek86

        I meant just SMT games. Although yeah, I guess Catherine is still an interesting example.

  • dragoon_slayer12

    It’samazing how 150+k sales is a success on handheld wwhile 1 mil is a failure on consoles. If I was the industry, I’d switch priorities….

    Can’t wait to get this in July. I’m currently finishing off breath of fire IV, then I’ll be biding my time till Project X Zone, then try to finish that in time for this

    • Solomon_Kano

      It’s not a matter of priorities, it’s a matter of expenditures and the returns necessary to cover said expenditures. It’s not so simple as changing their “priorities”. If you spend more, you certainly need to make more to cover that. That’s base-level economics.

      • dragoon_slayer12

        Fully aware, which is why I would switch my attention onto the handheld market. Square Enix for instance, can remake FFV-IX on the 3ds and/or vita, remake chrono 1 and 2, focuson bravely default, release FF Type-0, etc. Etc. Etc., then, release Kingdom Hearts 3,or something like that. Make quality handheld titles, which in turn would help fund the AAA console titles, and if those ddon’t break even or make profit, at least the handheld market is booming. That’s just how I would look at it.

    • It’s got more to do with awful budgeting and ridiculously expensive ad campaigns. EA paid for a Super Bowl commercial for Mass Effect. You could fund an entire game(s) for the cost of that.

      EDIT – Not the best example. NMH one.

      • Aluminium Hat

        EA is the worst when it comes to advertising the games of their developers because they always do too much and too much damage to their own products with that. The only one who is worse than EA at that is probably Capcom * and other loonies.

        *(“Remember Me” by DONTNOD, most recent example, almost no word from Capcom that this game exists, ironically)

  • Ethan_Twain

    I dunno – I imagine Atlus was trying to grow the SMT brand now. But it looks like they’ve managed only to maintain status quo. Surely with all the marketing and change to a more mainstream character design and a move to portable hardware they were hoping for better than just more of the same?

    • I would imagine that a lot of the people that played Nocturne ten years ago probably aren’t even playing games any more. SMTIV is probably a combination of old + new fans, so the brand is growing. You do need to start somewhere, though, and maintaining the sales you had 10 years ago is a really solid place to start.

    • Zeik56

      Given that in those 10 years Persona has completely overtaken SMT as their most popular series, the fact that they’ve managed to retain equivalent sales on a new entry is quite noteworthy I think. Especially considering how much the game industry has changed in the last 10 years and the current state of games in general. Things were very different when Nocturne came out.

    • Solomon_Kano

      For a 10 year absence and a return on a system whose install base isn’t even half of what the PS2’s was by then, it’s actually pretty commendable they even managed “more of the same”.

      • malek86

        Like I said above, they were similar, if not slightly lower for the PS2. You seem to forget that Nocturne was actually released quite earlier than people remember – it arrived in February 2003 in Japan. The PS2 had only been on the market for three years. I know it took a long time to arrive in the USA, so maybe that’s why people are confused?

        • Solomon_Kano

          Yea, the gap between the Japanese and US releases were throwing me off. Huh. So, actually, yea. They pretty much just managed to maintain.

  • Junko Enoshima

    Well, if one thing’s certain, it’s that the SMT series is becoming more and more prominent.

    • Leonardo Duarte

      Oh please be you Maya.

  • Ouch My Head Said Dionysus

    Congrats, Atlus!

  • I’ll certainly be doing my part when the games drops in July. Already have mine preordered. I almost never do that, but for smaller games like this, I think it’s important to give as much support as possible. I got Soul Hackers day one and enjoyed it a lot, so I expect this to be even better.

  • Solomon_Kano

    Nocturne did 185k? Damn. That’s a SIZABLE gap from the Enterbrain numbers. Huh.

    So rather than the series having grown since Nocturne, it’s more appropriately put that it hasn’t lost a step. The fans that have likely since moved on from the series (or gaming altogether, perhaps) were probably made up for by fans pulled in by the spin-offs on DS like Strange Journey, Devil Survivor, etc.

    That’s certainly a good starting point. Even if it’s 10 years before the next SMT, SMT X FE guarantees a further boost to the series’ profile. Pretty funny, since I don’t think anybody predicted FE:A being as huge a hit as it was. I look forward to seeing how that title does and what, if any, impact it has on future SMT games.

    • Ben Ruiz

      I’d say it had grown because Nocturne sold well on a platform that had a huge install base. The 3DS has a big install base but it is still growing as well, and it isn’t at PS2 numbers yet.

      • malek86

        Nocturne came out in 2003. At the time, the PS2 actually had a lower install base than the 3DS does now, I think. The machine had quite a bit of trouble in the beginning, sales really picked up after a price cut in Fall 2003.

        Not that install base matters that much though. Strange Journey sold a lot less despite being on the DS.

        • LightZero

          I agree although having a good user base helps but it doesn’t guarantee it will sell very well if the fanbase isn’t behind it. The fanbase probably saw Nocturne and SMT4 as more appealing than SJ.

    • Barrylocke89

      Having said all of that though, I’m still a little concerned about SMT X FE being a Wii U game. The Wii U’s userbase is still on the low end after all. I suppose it’s not far off base to claim that most Wii U owners, especially in Japan, also have 3DS’s in the house.

      But it still seems like the crossover game could get more sales if they stayed on the 3DS, especially since both IPs have a good presence there now.

      • At the same time a software drought is the best time a game like SMT x FE to get exposure and more sales. People aren’t buying Wii Us because a lack of games, publishers aren’t funding games for Wii U because of a lack of sales. A cycle that’s gotta be broken at some point.

        I’m excited as hell SMT x FE is on a home console and not on 3DS even though I dont own a Wii U and I do own a 3DS. X, Bayonetta 2, SMT x FE. Those three titles sold me on a Wii U. Just gonna wait till the holidays.

      • Solomon_Kano

        That would seem likely based on how each series has sold on 3DS now, but perhaps not. It’s not the best comparison but, as the only analogous scenario around, I’ll have to cite Layton vs. Ace Attorney’s performance in relation to the two series it spawned from.

        While SMT and FE both saw success on 3DS, it’s entirely possible that the crossover wouldn’t actually have much, uh, crossover with each series’ primary audience on the platform. Of course, that’s likely still the case with it being a Wii U game and that’s compounded by the fact that neither series has a presence on the system yet, but I’m banking on your assertion about the crossover between Wii U and 3DS owners being correct.

        The other thing to keep in mind is that, while I’m sure they hope the game sells, the primary aim with the SMT X FE collaboration was to draw more attention to the Wii U. They’d definitely have seen far greater return on 3DS, but the very intent of this (and their other collaborations) is to make up for the lack of 3rd-party software coming to Wii U. 3DS has no such issue, so I can’t see this having happened at all if not for the Wii U’s straits.

      • Warboss Aohd

        fer a crossover like dat, many fanz will likely buy a Wii-U just ta play it. I know i will.

      • Skyer Ist

        It’s oblivious that sales of the wii u will rise with upcoming fall 2013 releases by Nintendo.

  • Tom_Phoenix

    While this is great news (although this does teach me not to rely on Garaph so much, considering Famitsu had the first week Nocturne sales at around 150k), the game’s real test is how well it’s going to hold up in the following weeks. A good start isn’t going to mean much if the LTD sales end up falling short.

    Still, to remain optimistic, it certainly can achieve a decent LTD result.

    • malek86

      I’m pretty certain its LTD sales are going to go well above Nocturne. The 3DS has showed that it’s capable of selling games for a long time.

      • Tom_Phoenix

        It’s certainly capable of doing so and I certainly hope that it will.

        But ultimately, that is up to the Japanese customers, not us. Ultimately, they will decide whether or not the game is worthy of such sales.

        • malek86

          It also helps that SMT3’s post-launch sales were pretty bad. It only arrived up to 250k or so. Just a 40% increase from launch, that’s lower than even most RPGs. I guess only hardcore fans were interested.

          I’m pretty sure SMT4 will attract new audience instead, and thus will sell for a longer time.

        • LightZero

          I’m sure the 188K sales doesn’t even take account of digital sales so it might be even higher than that. So I wouldn’t worry.

  • SMTIV selling through that much is awesome, but I gotta applaud for Battride. A sales percentage like that is impressive!

  • Shane Guidaboni

    I hope this means we’ll see an SMT V in a shorter amount of time.

    • zeik56

      I wonder.

      I kinda don’t mind that there’s a long stretch in-between each main title, since it makes those releases extra special. 10 years is a long time though. Maybe cut that down to like 5.

  • Skyer Ist

    Great sales! But don’t forget it also released in eshop, so total sales bigger than 188K first week.

    • Shane Guidaboni

      Nice Utada avatar.

  • Kakem Rider is so big there, why was their initial shipment so low?

  • well no wonder, smt is a legendary series in japan

  • Surf

    How do you sell .14% of a game

  • Hidayat246

    “…As long as I am wanted, destiny will always be at my side….”
    tendou souji

    Battride is in hot sales now
    lets Walking the path of Heaven, right souji??? :-)

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