This Week In Sales: Puzzle & Dragons Z Gets Off To A Rocket Start

By Ishaan . December 18, 2013 . 2:05pm

Period: The week of December 9th – December 15th (2013)

Top-seller: Puzzle & Dragons Z – 543,630

Nintendo 3DS sales: 50,846 | Total sales: 9,105,676

Nintendo 3DS XL sales: 130,710 | Total sales: 5,121,941

PlayStation Vita sales: 30,440 | Total sales: 2,147,915

Vita TV sales: 5,506 | 64,709

Wii U sales: 74,903 | Total sales: 1,343,139

<< Last week’s software sales chart


Last week, the Nintendo 3DS received another high-profile game to adds to its repertoire, courtesy of Gung Ho Online Entertainment. Gung Ho released Puzzle & Dragons Z, an RPG version of their incredibly popular Puzzle & Dragons game, for the 3DS, and it got off to a booming start, with over 540,000 copies sold at launch.


Meanwhile, a number of other popular games saw a boost in sales, thanks to the approaching holidays. Pokémon X and Y, Super Mario 3D World, Monster Hunter 4 and Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon were all among the titles that saw increased sales, while Attack on Titan—released two weeks ago—has held up rather well.


It’s also worth noting that Luigi’s Mansion is now nearly at 1 million sales at retail, which is a very impressive number for a brand being revived after so many years. Aside from Donkey Kong Country Returns, this is the second western-developed Nintendo game to have done so well in Japan in the past five years.



What is concerning, however, are hardware sales of the Nintendo 3DS itself. While total 3DS sales in Japan are at over 14 million thus far, this year the 3DS has only sold around 4.5 million units in the region, whereas in 2012, it had sold well over 5 million by the end of the year. It’s especially concerning considering that two of the biggest games 3DS will ever see—Pokémon X/Y and Monster Hunter 4—were released this year.


3DS’ performance calls into question just what Nintendo can do to maintain a healthy 3DS market and a healthy profit margin on the portable games front. When hardware sales are low, one normally turns to software sales to make up for the deficit. However, 3DS is already home to some of the biggest brands in Japanese gaming, and it’s going to be tough to consistently one-up these games in the future.


Additionally, publishers are continually being pulled away from traditional portables by smartphones, and Nintendo will need to combat this trend and incentivize their publishing partners to keep making Nintendo 3DS games. It’s going to take effort, and it should be interesting to see how the 3DS looks in a year from now.


The top-20 chart for the week was as follows:


Lw Tw Title Weekly Sales Total Sales Sys. Publisher
New 01. Puzzle & Dragons Z 543,630 New 3DS Gung Ho
03. 02. Pokémon X and Y 159,244 3,360,163 3DS Pokémon Co.
07. 03. Super Mario 3D World 57,862 241,107 WiiU Nintendo
New 04. Nobunaga’s Ambition: Creation 54,590 New PS3 Tecmo Koei
04. 05. Attack on Titan 42,311 135,782 3DS Spike Chunsoft
New 06. Call of Duty: Ghost (Dubbed Version) 37,519 New PS3 Square Enix
01. 07. Gran Turismo 6 37,306 242,090 PS3 Sony
05. 08. Inazuma Eleven Go Galaxy: Big Bang and Supernova 30,517 122,160 3DS Level 5
11. 09. Monster Hunter 4 27,921 3,030,279 3DS Capcom
16. 10. Animal Crossing: New Leaf 26,409 3,522,987 3DS Nintendo
17. 11. Tomodachi Collection: New Life 22,189 1,545,717 3DS Nintendo
18. 12. Aikatsu! Futari no My Princess 18,415 117,675 3DS Namco Bandai
15. 13. One Piece Unlimited World: RED 17,906 141,280 3DS Namco Bandai
24. 14. Disney Magic Castle: My Happy Life 17,628 350,022 3DS Namco Bandai
27. 15. New Super Mario Bros. 2 15,128 2,158,254 3DS Nintendo
14. 16. Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 15,058 243,425 PS3 Konami
29. 17. Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon 15,051 958,510 3DS Nintendo
10. 18. Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII 14,837 373,592 PS3 Square Enix
12. 19. Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai 2
14,566 121,499 3DS Sega
25. 20. Taiko Drum Master: Wii U Version 13,980 51,436 WiiU Namco Bandai


Sales data acquired from 4Gamer, Media Create and

  • Dsvkb

    Great start for Puzzle & Dragons, but weren’t we expecting numbers closer to 1,000,000 in sales?

    • kthanxyousuck

      I don’t think anyone thought this would hit a million in the first week, It’s not pokemon.

    • They weren’t expecting that by launch, but their president did say he would like to see it reach a million by around the end of the holidays. I don’t think it’ll happen that quickly but 1 million is definitely doable in the next six months or so.

  • Farid Belkacemi

    So, Nintendo… Luigi’s Mansion 3 when ? :)

  • Holy…shit.

    So can we get Puzzle and Dragons Z stateside now with the impressive figure or no?

    • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

      We are.

  • Herok♞

    Well all I can say is the Wiiu sales are impressive since there weren’t any new games for it this week

  • Bacon_n_Lettuce

    I’m curious to see where the Wii U’s sales numbers will stabilize at after the holidays. It looks like it might actually be gaining momentum!

  • malek86

    The PSV is not really feeling the holiday effect, which shows just how much different an audience it seeks when compared to the 3DS.

    The Wii U is doing better now, as Nintendo platforms always do in holidays, but I fear it will plummet horribly once we enter January/February.

    • Juan Manuel M. Suárez

      Still, on the other hand, the PSV isn’t doing worse. It’s not much solace but at least, it seems to have hit some kind of stable average weekly number~.

      • malek86

        Some kind of stable average crappy number. Make no mistake, if it kept the current trend, it would end up selling so much below the PSP that nobody could ever hope to make an argument about it being successful.

        • Juan Manuel M. Suárez

          Obviously. But considering the system struggled to attain a decent average number per week, stabilizing that number goes a long way. From that point forward, hopefully, Sony will work on getting games for the system that will pump up that number~.

  • Guest

    Now the ball is on the foot of Nintendo. It’s a decisive time. They’d better have a sound strategy. The most closest defenders are far away, in February, and the opponent is coming at top speed. They have to keep going forward, and their only way is to keep the roster together to reach the goal and score. If only they could get one of their ‘ace strikers’ on the field by early Spring.

    Anyway, this week we have Pacman again! *waka waka waka waka waka waka waka waka waka waka waka waka waka waka*

    • Serge

      “Iwata Iwata Iwata Iwata Iwata Iwata Iwata Iwata Iwata Iwata Iwata Iwata”
      Ok, i’m done here! Down vote the hell out of me.

  • Solomon_Kano

    Holy shit, Puzzle & Dragons. I knew the original was big, but I didn’t think it’d translate to… well, this.

    • WyattEpp

      People like to dish on it because it’s F2P, but it’s got some really compelling mechanics (substantially more skill-based than Puzzle Quest), and if you play smart you can ignore the IAP easily.

      Sometimes things become popular because they’re…well, good.

      • Solomon_Kano

        Personally, I liked Puzzle Quest better, but yea. Puzzle & Dragons is pretty sweet.

  • komiko12

    I’ve been looking at every sales article in Siliconera and those Wii U numbers are definitely much, much higher than it used to be.

    I think it was not a priority for people to buy immediately if they waited for around the holidays to buy it.

  • ishyg

    And God Eater 2 falls into obscurity this week. :(

  • Serge

    I was hoping to see Project Mirai between the Top 10 ( TAT)
    Aikatsu and Puzzle & Dragons are my biggest surprises.

  • British_Otaku

    Puzzle & Dragons Z did really well, I was doubting it might break 100K first week with how everything which wasn’t Pokemon or MH was doing… Good to see that Inazuma Eleven has legs, I showed off the demo to a few kids who liked the show but for whatever reason had none of the games and some cases no DS/3DS and they had a blast. I need to give it another go myself on top of just recommending the series.

  • Neophoton

    I regret doing a last minute preorder on PazuDora Z, my copy only just got shipped a few days ago. I knew preorders were coming in pretty fast, but woah!

    Nice to see the game doing well!

  • GriffithOfTheHawk

    How can you analyse the 3DS success when the Wii U & Vita fronts look way more grim ?

    • Because unlike the Wii U and Vita, 3DS actually has a decent future ahead of it, provided they take the right steps in time to make a couple of course corrections.

      Wii U and Vita are non-stories. There’s no turning it around at this point. They’ll both find their niches, but there’s little to be said beyond that. I expect Wii U will end up doing a reasonable amount thanks to first-party support and some of these collaborations like Hyrule Warriors, while Vita will thrive off the otaku and anime markets.

      3DS, however, is the PlayStation 2 of Japan right now—or at least, it has the potential to be. It’s easy to develop for, relatively cheap, just powerful enough, and selling extremely well to a wide audience. We haven’t had a platform like this in over six years, which is why there’s so much to talk about.

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