Japan Recently Saw Its Slowest Week For Videogame Sales This Year

By Ishaan . June 30, 2014 . 2:01pm

Total sales of Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer 2014: Challenge of the Blue Samurai saw a slight increase in Japan during the week of June 16th – June 22nd, from 30,000 copies to 33,000 copies. Japanese sales tracker Media Create says this was due to the FIFA World Cup.


Challenge of the Blue Samurai is an updated version of Pro Evo Soccer 2014 with an emphasis on Japan’s national soccer team in particular, so that likely provided an incentive for football fans in Japan to pick the game up. Blue Samurai was available on PlayStation 3, Nintendo 3DS and PSP.


Meanwhile, other games weren’t as lucky. Sales of other titles were slow, partly because the week in question was the week before payday, according to Media Create, and payday often has a bearing on the sales of games.


As a result, sales of both new and old games were affected, and the week saw total software sales fall below 380,000 units, marking the slowest week in 2014 thus far. Prior to this, it was the third week of May.


Unfortunately, one can’t blame payday-related factors for this sad state of affairs, given that those are a monthly occurrence, and that payday week itself results in higher sales to offset the issue. The truth is that Japan’s games market desperately needs a shot in the arm, and these days, very few companies are providing it.


Note: This information pertains to two weeks ago, not last week, since sales data is released a week after the actual events. We’ve fixed the wording in the report to reflect this.

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  • KuroNathan

    I think console gaming in general is on the decline. I hate it cause I love my console games but I feel like there’s just less and less people playing console games these days

    • Brion Valkerion

      They definitely are in Japan, mostly because of competition from mobile who can churn out a game in months as opposed to the years the older companies are taking. Still using fairly old methods and ideologies for creation. Taking 3-4 years per game is nonsense all because they rarely reuse assets. The instant satisfaction and some of the well done uses of time playing vs. consumer reward keeps people interested in those games rather than holding on for 2 years after something is announced.

      Thankfully (?) the mobile companies are taking steps into console dev, personally won’t be surprised if companies like Mobage and Gungho are the new leaders of the Japanese console scene in a few years if they attach themselves to the right previous talent and utilize their own new blood.

      Either way in terms of this particular decline it should have been expected. Japan loves Soccer, everyone was watching the games/doing events for that. No money to spend on games for a week when your buying memorabilia. The Korean game market saw a similar decline.

      • KuroNathan

        The other way I see it is that our mobile devices start to advance so much that it’ll be treated like computer gaming, there’ll be “high end” gaming mobile devices and maybe some sort of recommended bluetooth controller. Something like the Ngage but not terrible.

        (or make my vita make phone calls. Its already got 3g connection anyways)

        • Shippoyasha

          Mobile is already freakishly powerful. Next gen mobile will approach or even surpass PS3/360 visuals. The bigger issue is that smaller games makes so much money while projects taking years to make can hardly get the money back.

          • KuroNathan

            I mean a way to make powerful mobile games that don’t eat my battery in 3 hours

          • Shippoyasha

            Yeah. Battery life tech is going to improve as well, from what I have read about so far. I still hope controller support is more widely adopted though.

        • Yan Zhao

          Mobiles ruining the future of gaming? So not surprised.

    • Alex Cattaneo

      well maybe in japan here in the west even the xbox one has a record breaking sale compared to the xbox360.. ps4 just destroying the ps3 and x360 sale streak.

  • Alex Cattaneo

    Freedom wars did bad in japan??? Wauw

    • This isn’t about last week, but the week before last. I accidentally said “last week” in the headline, which I’ve fixed now.

      • Alex Cattaneo

        ow okej. i expected that game to be at least around 100k.

        • I think Freedom Wars will do well over 100k at launch. Mainstream anime artstyle + android waifus. They had the Vita audience in mind when they developed this game.

  • Ethan_Twain

    So that’s the present. What about the future? Is there anything on the horizon that suggests reason for optimism? Or does this status quo look like it will continue for the foreseeable future.

  • rubin

    Thats sad. Japanese titles are all I play these days.

  • otakumike

    “The truth is that Japan’s games market desperately needs a shot in the arm, and these days, very few companies are providing it.”

    Couldn’t agree more. Only the usual franchises sell well over there nowadays.

    • I don’t think that’s necessarily the problem. The problem is more that most companies simply aren’t willing to invest money in good, mainstream games. Now, more than ever, there’s a focus on that extremely niche otaku market, and you have dozens of smaller publishers all competing within that same niche.

      Very few companies are able to branch out and reach a wider audience. Chidren, women, young adults that aren’t interested in fanservice, older folks that would still be willing to pick up a game if it appealed to them. Those audiences aren’t really being served, aside from a few of the companies that make the effort to reach them.

      • Manny Being Manny

        As long as I continue to get my otaku oriented games, I couldn’t care less how the rest of the industry does. Its like the anime industry… sure, its not very mainstream friendly anymore, but it appeals exactly to what I and other otaku want, so I wouldn’t want it to change.

        • Shippoyasha

          I think a ton of anime stuff can be pretty family friendly. Not all of it is all that niche.

          Not to mention almost all anime movies are pretty family friendly.

          I think it’s more the issue of big companies bleeding money and niche game devs being savvy enough to survive this maket shift. Which is why otaku games stand strong, because these companies have been making smaller games for 2 decades or even longer.

          It may be a while until the big companies comes back in a huge way on consoles. Unless they double down on portables. Portable development likely is a safer option than consoles for the next few years.

        • Warboss Aohd

          that kind of thinking is actually quite destructive.

          • TrevHead

            As someone who considers around 1990-2005 to be the hey day of Japanese media I’d agree.

  • Happy Gamer

    This makes sense. FIFA is a big deal in alot of countries where it gets entire families together to watch good games. US is the only country I know where there are tons of people who don’t give a crap about “soccer.” I’m really rooting for the US team tho and I hope they do well so people can actually get interested in it here as well. I mean it’s a pretty good sport.

    My favorite sport is basketball, but soccer/football has it’s charm and appeal

    • darke

      In Australia, despite TV being solidly blanketed during the day with reruns of games that happen to be aired live at night local time, it seems to be pretty much ignored by most people as well. Some variant of Rugby or Cricket is the usual watched sport down here.

      Personally I don’t see the point of watching a sport, or playing it on the computer, when you can go out and play it in real life. :?

      • Happy Gamer

        Yeah I heard Australian football team isn’t really celebrated as much either. Think it has to do with their performance. They did solid this year though :).

        Yeah I feel same about the playing it in real life too hahaha. I guess some people want to simulate playing like pros though in game. Kindda like how we love to explore the world in fantasy setting for example.

        But I still think imaginary setting >>>>>>> sports

        Unless it’s like NBA Jam lol

    • Shady Shariest

      There is no soccer. There is just football and handegg :< *JK JK*

  • awang0718

    The state of theconsole gaming industry in Japan is depressing. The 3DS got Pokemon Art Academy, the Vita got Firefly’s Diary, and the PS3 got Casting Voice, and…that’s it. Both the Wii U and PS4, the two new next gen consoles, got absolutely nothing. Nothing. Wow…

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