This Week In Sales: Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment Begins Its Quest

By Ishaan . April 30, 2014 . 12:02pm

Period: The week of April 21st – April 27th (2014)

Top-seller: Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment (PSV) – 145,029

Nintendo 3DS sales: 6,073 | Total sales: 9,476,207

Nintendo 3DS XL sales: 27,914 | Total sales: 5,987,389

PlayStation Vita sales: 22,394 | Total sales: 2,741,989

Vita TV sales: 1,548 | 107,942

Wii U sales: 5,710 | Total sales: 1,714,122

PlayStation 4 sales: 12,712 | 546,881

<< Last week’s software sales chart

<< How to read and understand sales


Last week saw the release of Bandai Namco’s Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment for the PS Vita. The game, which was the best-selling new release for the week, sold 145,029 copies in its first week, slightly outdoing the launch sales of its predecessor, Sword Art Online: Infinity Moment.


Infinity Moment was released on PSP in 2013, and sold 138,180 copies in its first week.


At the #2 spot was Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call for the Nintendo 3DS. The game, which is an updated version of the original Theatrhythm, sold 80,523 copies in its first week. Owing to a Nintendo 3DS XL bundle, Curtain Call boosted sales of the 3DS XL model for the week.


At #3 was Yo-kai Watch, with another 43,136 copies sold. The game has sold 800,000 copies in Japan thus far, and it should be interesting to see how just many of these users opt to buy Yo-kai Watch 2 at launch, when the game releases in July.


From there on, however, the state of software sales was rather poor. Everything below the #5 spot sold less than 12,000 copies, and that includes other new releases for the week, such as Nippon Ichi’s I Thought it’d be Harem Paradise but it Turned Out Yandere Hell. That game sold 4,000 copies.


Meanwhile, it looks like NES Remix—both 1 and 2—got a retail release together in Japan. NES Remix 1+2 sold 11,079 copies during the week.


The top-20 software sales chart for last week is as follows:


Lw Tw Title Weekly Sales Total Sales Sys. Publisher
New 01. Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment 145,029 New PSV Bandai Namco
New 02. Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call 80,523 New 3DS Square Enix
01. 03. Yo-kai Watch 43,136 798,046 3DS Level 5
05. 04. Mario Party: Island Tour 15,654 320,489 3DS Nintendo
04. 05. The 3rd Super Robot Taisen Z 12,240 186,396 PS3 Bandai Namco
New 06. NES Remix 1+2 11,079 New WiiU Nintendo
New 07. BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma 10,709 New PSV Arc System Works
06. 08. The 3rd Super Robot Taisen Z 8,678 154,669 PSV Bandai Namco
04. 09. Ace Attorney 123: Wright Selection 6,473 33,398 3DS Capcom
10. 10. Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes 6,444 204,498 PS3 Konami
13. 11. Kirby Triple Deluxe 6,326 559,903 3DS Nintendo
14. 12. Pokémon X and Y 6,001 4,040,630 3DS Pokémon Co.
07. 13. Style Savvy: Trendsetters – Tokimeki UP! 5,926 18,241 3DS Nintendo
11. 14. Samurai Warriors 4 5,392 218,011 PS3 Tecmo Koei
03. 15. Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn 4,858 36,185 PS4 Square Enix
New 16. Monster Hunter Frontier GG Premium Package 4,689 New PS3 Capcom
New 17. Maple Story: Unmei no Shoujo 4,203 New 3DS Nexon
New 18. I Thought it’d be Harem Paradise but it Turned Out Yandere Hell 4,101 New PS3 Nippon Ichi
New 19. Muv-Luv Photon flowers 4,090 New PS3 5pb.
17. 20. Just Dance Wii U 4,000 33,934 WiiU Nintendo


Sales data acquired from 4Gamer and Media Create.


Note: Next week’s sales column will be posted a day later than usual (May 8th), due to Japan’s Golden Week holiday.

  • Guest

    Youkai Watch sold even more copies than last week! It’ll be easy to reach the one million units number at a 20.000 per week rate, just in time before the sequel hits stores. Marketing will be piece of cake for Level-5 on all fronts xP

    • awang0718

      it’s actually selling 35000-45000 units per week, which is insane. That Youkai Watch anime must be REALLY popular to boost the sales of the game to these levels.
      Imagine the launch and lifetime sales of Youkai Watch 2. 500000 copies launch week is my guess. 3 million lifetime is possible.

  • Prungy

    “…slightly outdoing the launch sales of its predecessor, Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment.”

    Shouldn’t that be Sword Art Online: Infinity Moment here and in the next paragraph?

    • Doh, fixed!

      • Tom_Phoenix

        Speaking of nitpicking, both Z3 versions have PSV as their platform when it should be PS3 and PSV.

  • jchill

    as long as the localization has english voices i dont care

    • TheExile285

      Its probably going to be subbed though…

      • darke

        Yeah, wasn’t the release date of the western version rather close to the JP release date? If the release dates are too close they’re probably already be pushed for time to translate->integrate->test just for the text; recording and integrating the audio will take even more time. Might be lucky and get english dubs for those who want them though, but I wouldn’t be optimistic.

        • TheExile285

          Its coming out this summer. Not to mention Bandai’s other DD games have been sub only.

          • darke

            Honestly it makes sense. Fans will bitch at them if it takes a year or so to release; and they’re not going to be able to schedule all the VAs at short notice (especially if they want to get the same ones as doing VA in the English dub of the anime).

            So it either gets dragged out to January next year at the earliest (this is not the type of game that you want to release in the busy pre-Christmas months where it’ll get buried under the big-name releases). Or it gets a quick translation and released in August at the latest, since from memory September tends to be when the rush of releases begin. At which point fans complain because they don’t have their English dub.

            Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. At least you can only hope to make a profit. :P

  • DesmaX

    Ground Zeroes is still on the charts? Interessing

    • Only because other recent releases are doing so poorly. Heck, Style Savvy Tokimeki UP and Ace Attorney 123 are in the top 20 for a second week and both of those are re-releases of older games. Japan’s market for traditional videogames is shrinking, and with the exception of two or three publishers, no one has any idea how to combat that.

      • Kornelious

        I guess then we should be happy we are getting so many games that they already played and got bored with in Japan :P

        • Well, we’re in the clear for the moment, but what the future holds remains to be seen, I guess.

          Not only have the majority of publishers in Japan forgotten how to appeal to a mainstream audience (without relying on some sort of popular license), but a lot of publishers also seem to have forgotten how to make good, polished console/handheld games.

          There’s just so much bad, sloppy stuff out there at the moment, and it really doesn’t do much to help get more people into games.

          • Kornelious

            So what do you think the future holds?

          • Anewme…Again

            Mobiles -_-

          • I… honestly don’t know. One of the biggest questions is how mobiles and portables will co-exist in the future.

            I think 3DS shows that there is still a fairly significant market for traditional games on portable systems, but in order to preserve that market, publishers need to put their best foot forward, so that consumers will still be willing to pay premium prices for these games.

            That said, I don’t think there’s room for another “dedicated” handheld. The next round of portables absolutely have to do more than just play games. Nintendo DS did as well as it did because a lot of the software on it was what we would today categorize under the label of smartphone convenience software.

            And by “more than just play games,” I don’t mean just being able to stream YouTube or Hulu or whatever. They need to be communication devices or practically useful devices that one could find use for in their everyday lives.

            That’s just the portable space. As far as consoles go, it’s a little too early to say. We’re only at the very start of this new generation, so I don’t think there’s enough data or enough trends to predict what will happen to consoles just yet. (Worldwide, that is. Consoles are dead in Japan.)

          • awang0718

            There will almost certainly be another Nintedno handhled, as long as Nintendo supports the device with their own first party titles ( Super Mario, Pokemon, Zelda, Animal Crossing, Smash Bros. Mario Kart, Kirby etc.)
            However, I do agree that handhelds need to evolve and do more than just be “dedicated” handheld. One way for Nitnendo to eveolve their next handheld is to make it a handheld-console hybrid. The device can be played on the go (like any traditional handheld) and can be played on using the television. That device would certainly sell well, assuming there is plenty of software support and a reasonable price.

          • Tonton Ramos

            This only works on 2017 or 2020 etc. and call it Nintendo Fusion. But not right now we can’t let the WiiU owners feeling down in the dumps.

          • awang0718

            I am postive a eandheld-console hybrid will come in 2017, and it will be the 3DS’s successor. It won’t replace the Wii U; it will simply be Nintendo’s next step into next gen handhelds, with a twist.
            The handheld market has shrunk, and I highly doubt Nintendo will ever repeat the success of the DS ever again. However, saying that a next gen handheld is “suicide” is just plain unreasonable. As long as Nintendo is alive and making quality games, handhelds will always be around. Doing other smart things, such as making the handheld a handheld-console hybrid, having $30 games (as opposed to $40 games), dropping the gimmicky sterioscopic 3-D, and gaining some more western third party support (shooters and action games) will also be very helpful into driving more sales.
            Nintendo handhelds will always be around. They won’t sell 150 million+ units lifetime anymore, but they will always be around, until the day Nintendo makes their own gaming smartphone or tablet.

          • Kornelious

            The whole “Mobile Gaming” trend is really bugging me, I don’t think it is the future of gaming, but if it is then things are worse than we thought….

            The 3DS has certainly proved it’s metal as a good handheld but I worry about the lack of it’s innovative releases for it lately…

            I can’t say much about Next-Gen either, it’s doing that thing where all the big publishers make their big innovation for the console before abandoning it for a while. It’s probally wise to wait for things to die down and the more “Colorful” games to kick in…

            Then I guess in the end all that’s left to do is wait for the next big thing. We have little to no effect on the big industry of gaming so we’ll just have to sit back and show our support.

          • @tubers:disqus @kornelious7:disqus I think having another dedicated portable would be suicide for Nintendo. The 3DS has already suffered greatly in terms of software support at the hands of smartphones.

            Another dedicated portable would drive Nintendo’s handheld business into irrelevance. Even companies like Atlus, who are still dedicated to the 3DS, may not stick around in that scenario.

            As for innovation on 3DS… I guess it depends on the kind of innovation we’re talking. If we’re talking about things like Brain Age and the like, yeah, Nintendo have definitely failed to create a similarly “brand new phenomenon” on 3DS.

            At the same time, though, we are seeing 3DS bring a lot of their older concepts to a wider audience. Animal Crossing is bigger than it has ever been, and Tomodachi Collection is growing, too. Both of these games, as well as others like Style Savvy, will only benefit from their portables becoming more advanced and more adept at communication.

          • Kornelious

            Yeah, Nintendo seems to be losing that spark that once made them so unique, but if they just focus on what’s in front of them right now I think they could come uo with something that could be “The next big thing”

          • tubers

            Sometimes, I think it’s better for the next gen remain dedicated but more affordable.

            Maybe it’s not really worth indirectly competing with “communication” devices specially 3-4 years from now:

            e.g. a 99$ locked moto G probably sits on top of the the 3DS in raw power and other specs and most certainly popular multimedia features(except buttons w/c it’s capable of having an external add-on).. the feature set of a $ 99 dollar comm. device 3-4 years from now will be more robust.

            I sometimes think Nintendo (or Sony LOL) should put the r&d somewhere else.

          • darke

            I think the Vita had it half right with the 3g integration; it just didn’t push it enough to properly support phone calling and such. I’ve got a 3g vita, but I’ve never put a sim into it since I can’t justify the extra cost.

            Honestly between the vita and the ‘playstation’ phone with a slide-out control pad they had two halves of the ‘next gen’ platform, and screwed up both. The next handheld playstation will really have to be a medium-spec phone, with proper bluetooth mic/audio headset support and do all the expected things a phone can do in addition to playing games well.

            Something like in a couple of years time, grab the guts of a Xperia Z-class system, put it into a larger chassis like the vita (which means you can cheap out on a surprising number of things…), and sell it as a games machine that also does all the things your phone can do.

          • I can’t tell you how excited I was for Xperia Play back when they first announced that thing. A proper gaming phone is something I’ve always wanted, and hardware-wise, that device looked perfect. It’s extremely unfortunate how they screwed that up.

          • DesmaX

            True. I just picked up Child of Light yesterday, and I’d say it’s ironic that one of the best japanese-styled RPG’s this gen is made by westerns.

          • darke

            I think to a certain extent it’s the financing->sales whirlpool of doom. They know they can sell X units which make them Y amount of cash, so they spend Y-(profit) amount to make the game; which isn’t quite enough to apply enough polish to turn an ‘average’ game into a ‘good’ game which makes more-than-Y.

            So Y remains the same or gets smaller for the next game, and the cycle repeats.

            It also doesn’t help that as you’ve pointed out, a lot of companies end up making otaku-focused games and have lost the knowledge of how to make a casual focused game; even if they bothered to put the extra time and effort into polishing it enough to sell well to casuals.

      • Ethan_Twain

        Hey, wanna clarify? Which publishers would you say have a plan to combat the shrinking video game market in Japan, and what are those plans? Are there any you feel particularly optimistic or pessimistic about?

        • Oh, I don’t mean in the sense that there are any super secret plans that I’m privy to. I just meant that, in terms of reaching out to broader audiences, there aren’t many publishers who are capable of doing that.

          I think in the current market, Level 5, Nintendo and Keiji Inafune (even though Comcept doesn’t yet count as a “publisher”) are among the scant few.

          • Ethan_Twain

            What do you see in Comcept? The two games they’ve released (Soul Sacrifice, Ninja Gaiden Zombie) have largely left the critical community cold and haven’t lit up sales charts either.

            The upcoming games I know about are Mighty No. 9 (a throwback for existing video game fans), Azure Striker Gunvolt (a throwback for existing video game fans), and Kaio King of Pirates (which looked kinda cool until it was delayed for a suspiciously long time without any updates).

            I certainly don’t have any particular faith in Comcept based on what they have released and will soon release. Why do you?

          • I think when discussing Comcept, we need to separate their pet projects from the projects that Inafune “indirectly” takes part in to pay the bills and get people talking. So, with that in mind, I would say Comcept’s pet projects are:

            Mighty No. 9
            KAIO: King of Pirates

            The obvious difference between the two is that Mighty No. 9 is self-published and self-funded, whereas KAIO is being published and funded by Marvelous. That said, Inafune is taking on an active role in the development both games and driving the creative vision.

            Both of these games have mainstream appeal, and I feel KAIO honestly has a shot at being a reasonably sized merchandising machine, should the stars align.

  • British_Otaku

    BlazBlue Vita sold around 10K first week? I don’t have a record of all sales of non-PS3 BlazBlue games but it is possibly the second worst performance on the first week of BlazBlue next to CS2 on the 3DS (which is my only BB game for whatever reason). I would buy NES Remix if it was a combined retail release here as well.

    I Thought it’d be Harem Paradise but it Turned Out Yandere Hell did pretty poorly but I hope someone considers localising it… It is a shame that it is stuck to consoles, if it was on the PC, we could hope JAST picks it up someday or for an adequate fan translation.

    • Lastlight

      CS2 is on the 3DS………

      • British_Otaku

        I know it is, I own the Japanese 3DS release and European 3DS release of CS2 (wish multiplayer worked). I didn’t deny it existed in the first paragraph either.


        • Lastlight

          No no no lol
          I ment to say
          CS2 is on the 3DS???
          (I actually never knew that)
          I forgot the question marks

          • British_Otaku

            I see, I have made that mistake as well. :P
            I may as well drop another surprise on you.


            I would have paid even for a Japanese copy if Continuum Shift Extend was on my portable of choice. Unlike CS2 3DS, CSE PSP was only released in Japan.

          • Aristides

            We did get it on Vita at launch though.

          • British_Otaku

            True that it was released on the Vita, but given that it wasn’t on the 3DS anywhere. I wouldn’t be surprised if most people didn’t know it was on the PSP as well.

            Given that more people are PSP owners than Vita owners (though attach rates are down for the PSP), I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of them wanted to continue to play BB but weren’t able to.

    • I’m playing through Harem Paradise/Yandere Hell right now. The game sold poorly because the typical audience for this kind of VN is actually PC based. The story itself is also very uninspired, very typical VN material. Don’t really regret buying it, but not recommending it for others either.

      Famitsu panned it pretty bad too. Just let it go, let it slip into the forgettable abyss it was meant for.

      • AkuLord3

        Well its a VN with Yanderes and such, i don’t think there was going be some inspiring great tale to tell but kinda sucks it didn’t do well though like you said VN audience are for PC.

        • The idea is actually pretty interesting, but the reason why the story kind of fails is that the “Harem” is built from the beginning, and the Yandere stuff doesn’t even start until you’ve entered the final 1/3 of the game and branched towards a girl.

          It was just a really long story with a boring premise — specifically, you got 3 chicks hanging off of you since forever, and you’re all part of this “local history” club that really just exists as an excuse for the 4 of you to hang out at school, but the student council (due to prompting of teachers/parents) tells you that they’re going to dissolve your club unless you’re the number 1 seller at the culture festival.

          Queue a very long story consisting of girls being excessively into you while you plan and prepare for the culture festival. /yawn

          They could have done a lot with the story to make it more interesting, but it’s honestly hard to make it long enough to get to anything approaching interesting. Visual Novel wise it just felt uninspired, and the branching is *super* linear.

          • AkuLord3

            mmm i see, though seems like you were expecting too much from it but it is true they could have done more to things. Compare to better VNs, they stuck with the basic format which isn’t bad but if the story hasn’t hooked you in, that’s not good and for you…it didn’t. Oh well

          • Now that I’ve finished the story I had to come back and correct my comments.

            I still consider the writing to be flawed in that the story spends far too much time setting up before introducing the conflict. Seriously, it took me 40 hours to reach the point where the conflict is introduced, and I’d expect even a natural Japanese speaker/reader to still require at least 25 hours.

            That said, the story gets very good after that point, and I have to say I’m very proud of myself for figuring out who the killer was early on because it’s not really obvious.

            In the end, it’s a good story that could have done with better pacing, making the first 2/3 more like the first 1/2. Also, a gag route would have been a very nice addition considering how dark the story gets.

            But that aside, I will concede it is one of the better VNs I’ve played.

      • Anewme…Again

        Even on PC VN don’t sell a lot.
        Most VN on pc sell in around the same amount.

        • British_Otaku

          Even if that is the case, the cost of distribution for the PC is considerably cheaper.

          And you don’t have to reach far to find visual novels which sold over 4K on the first week:

          • Anewme…Again

            VN sold often more on consoles then PC, that’s why so many developers release on consoles nowaday.
            You had quite a few VN that sold much higher then 24K on consoles since 2011 and yet you can almost count on one hand the number on VN that sold more then that on PC.
            Still though it doesn’t change that the huge majority of VN only sell a few thousands copies in their lifetime.

      • British_Otaku

        Even if it isn’t impressive, it still had my interest from the name alone. I’ll be forever slightly disappointed if there is no fan translation/localisation or I just don’t pick it up when I can read more Japanese. >_>

    • DesmaX

      Seems reasonable for a VN (Especially one for a segregated market). Those kind of games are pretty cheap to make.

      Blazblue, on the other hand, did pretty shitty

      • British_Otaku

        I’m aware that VNs have considerably lower development costs especially if they stick to minimal voice work, simple CG/avatars and use of music to get the story across. Any game running into the market with around 20K is usually considered a flop even for a low budget project or port.

        Ace Attorney is a series of visual novels which manages to sell 20K with ports of ports and with major installments 100K is in reach.

        • darke

          Yeah, but Ace is targeting a broader market demographic, whereas a yandere focused harem game does kinda feel a little more like it’s more otaku focused to me. :)

          Though at 4k sales, assuming a generous 50% ‘profit’ going back to the developers, you’re looking at paying for probably about one person year of developer/artist/story-writer time, which is probably pushing it to break even. (Though I guess the long tail over the next couple of weeks might push the numbers up a little more…)

      • Guest

        I don’t know if famitsu weekly ranking is reliable enough … but it sais that the game sold 60% to 80% of its total shipment … so I think that NIS had realistical expectation for the game … and there’s a gap of a thousand + copies sold between the media create and famitsu rankings; same for Blazblue and Muv Luv copies sold …

        • Honestly, I wish people wouldn’t bring the whole “Famitsu says 60-80%” thing up.

          Famitsu seems to cite that 60-80% sell-through often, and from a sales perspective, throwing a range like that out there is completely worthless. There’s a big, big difference between 60% and 80% sell-through.

          I don’t remember what game it was, but the last time Famitsu said something like this, Media Create’s own report mentioned that the game in question had sold through 59.9% of its shipment. That’s a far cry from 80% or even 70%.

          • Guest

            sorry … if I’ve done something wrong … it wasn’t my intention

          • No no, I’m just trying to explain that 60 – 80 is a very wide range. It doesn’t really tell us anything useful.

    • brian

      Guided Fate Paradox did similar numbers, iirc.

    • Slayven19

      How much do you really expect a fighting game to sell on handhelds? I surprised its not like 7k or something.

      • British_Otaku

        Super Street Fighter 4 3D sold 1.1 million copies.
        In fact, Capcom shipped 1 million copies by April 2011, a month after the 3DS released.

        Was it just because it was the best choice if you didn’t want to play Ubisoft shovelware? Yes. Still one example of a fighting game doing well on a handheld. I could name anime licensed ones which also did much better than 7-10K.

  • David García Abril

    “Sword Art Online” sold more than a “Final Fantasy” game, even if it’s a spin-off?


    • Well, an updated re-release of a Final Fantasy non-RPG spinoff. :V

      • Juan Manuel M. Suárez

        So was Duodecim and it still got treated the same way~.

        • Duodecim also had the distinct advantage of having characters designed by Tetsuya Nomura. To most people, Nomura’s art is what makes FF.

  • Kornelious

    Wow. The sales are higher than I expected! Boy I can’t wait for a release date! :D

  • Firion Hope

    Not bad!

  • otakumike

    They would have preferred it if it had stayed a harem paradise apparently. I for one hope to meet these ladies someday. Make it so NISA~

    • DesmaX

      They said that they were going to wait to see the reception there before thinking about it.

      Seems like they won’t

    • Naw… The game isn’t worth it. Not that great. I’ll share the best part of it with you. Imagine something great, something fun, and never ever play the real deal, it will shatter your imagination.

      (Image is from right before the Culture Festival when shit gets real.)

  • Hiro

    Wow, the sequel on PSV outsold the PSP one? I don’t know how popular SAO was back then, but I think this is quite the feat.

    • 하세요

      Man you couldn’t go to a single convention without seeing 50+ Kirito’s and Asuna’s being cosplayed. 2012~2013 SAO was the mainstream anime of the year(s).

  • Ethan_Twain

    Next week is Golden Week, right? So let’s start taking bets: How many Nintendo games will be in the top 20? I’m gonna go conservative and say 10, but at least 16 will be on Nintendo hardware. I reckon some third party stuff like Run for Money and Youkai Watch will get the Golden Week bump too.

  • Yan Zhao

    Pretty good sales.

  • OlimacFTW

    The sequels did better than their originals. That’s a good signal.

  • Renaldi Saputra

    I heard that they also localize the PSP one as a HD one packed with this HF

    • tubers

      Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment North American Release Will Include Free HD Port of Infinity Moment

      • Renaldi Saputra

        so it’s true

        • tubers

          Guess so.

          • Renaldi Saputra

            but packed, that means IM will be played in PSV, not PSP

          • tubers

            Well that’s what the article implies:

            “The package will include a HD Port of the PSP prequel Sword Art Online: Infinity Moment, effectively providing twice as much Sword Art Online fun for the fans of the popular anime and light novel series.”

            (q)HD won’t be on the PSP ofc.

          • TheExile285

            Its actually just one game. HF is an update of Infinity Moment with new content. The Infinity Moment section has been upscaled for Vita and uses the Hollow Fragment battle system. The Hollow Fragment story and areas can be played separately from the Infinity Moment.

            Its basically like Dissidia 012 Duodecim

          • tubers

            Thanks for the nfo.

          • Demeanor

            That’s awesome for all us westerners nonetheless! ^ ^ and thnx for the clarification.

          • Renaldi Saputra

            is it?
            so it’s like Re:Digitize Decode in other word?

          • Anewme…Again

            Yeah, it’s similar to that.

          • Renaldi Saputra

            I see, that’s why Strea is still in the game

  • Really looking forward to this month

  • darke

    Just Dance feels like it’s doing surprisingly terrible. AKB songs on it for the localised version, and it’s still just only over 30k, on the only platform it’s released on? That seems bad for a non-otaku-centric game. :?

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