Oreshika: Tainted Bloodlines Sold To Existing Fans Of The Series

By Ishaan . July 25, 2014 . 2:25pm

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that followed our coverage of Oreshika: Tainted Bloodlines this past week. The game, which was released in Japan on July 17th, sold primarily to existing fans of the series, rather than reaching out to new consumers.


The news comes via Japanese sales tracker Media Create, who have provided a little more insight into Oreshika: Tainted Bloodline’s sales.


Tainted Bloodlines sold 93,775 copies in its first week. Media Create says the game sold through 73.64% of its shipment. This is very similar to sales of the Oreshika 1 remake on PSP, which was released in 2011. That sold 94,085 copies in its first week, selling through 79.71% of its shipment.


Retailers told Media Create that, despite Tainted Bloodlines being the first Oreshika game in 15 years—the original having been released on PS One—it sold to existing fans, just like the PSP remake of the original did.


And so, as suspected, the poor rating that Tainted Bloodlines received on Amazon is a result of the game being purchased primarily by fans of the series that weren’t happy with some of the changes Sony made to the story and gameplay.

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  • KuroNathan

    Hmmm, still excited for this game to come over to the west. I can see why existing fans would be upset but as someone who never played the previous games maybe I’ll be more receptive to the changes.

  • tubers

    Wonder what the install base of the PSP was when the PSP game sold that much.

    • Cheesy04

      Good point!

  • Ethan_Twain

    A Japanese RPG failed to reach out to new audiences and sold only to existing fans?

    A Vita game failed to appeal to any new audiences and sold only to existing fans?

    No way.

    • It’s amazing what one could do if they sat down and think.

    • ( `Д´)ノ)`ν゜)

      Next week: Only people who like milk buy milk

      • landlock

        It would be better though if they could reach new fans of JRPGs that haven’t tried the series before. Otherwise the series will never grow.

        • ( `Д´)ノ)`ν゜)

          Sure but JRPGs selling primarily to fans of the series is par for the course, not an anomaly or a one-off.

          • The thing is, while smaller JRPGs (think Neptunia or Atelier) aren’t really growing, we have seen plenty of growth from other franchises. Tales has managed to expand over the past few years. Fire Emblem has grown significantly. SMTIV and Persona 4 did the same. Bravely Default managed to capture an audience that had probably abandoned JRPGs altogether.

          • ( `Д´)ノ)`ν゜)

            I’m not a fan of Tales games so I can’t speak about those but SMT and FE both went into an (from the perspective of a lot of existing fans) undesirable direction. Both games traded intricacies (dungeons and difficulty/balance for SMT IV, maps and strategy for FE:A) for accessibility. Good for your business, bad for fans of the series? I think a lot of fans would have preferred a SMT IV and FE:A that stayed true to its core.

            BD is a funny example because the second half is honestly trash and I can’t imagine any reviewer having honestly gotten past Chapter 4 before having slapped on a 90+ review. I see a lot of backlash from gamers because of its botched groundhog plot.

          • Good for your business, bad for fans of the series? I think a lot of fans would have preferred a SMT IV and FE:A that stayed true to its core.

            I would say that’s debatable. For example, I can’t imagine there are a lot SMT fans going, “Man, I sure hate the fact that SMTIV takes place in a sprawling city as opposed to segmented, claustrophobic dungeons in the middle of nowhere.”

            Now, something that fans could have been disappointed by were the demon designs, which were very inconsistent as a result of several artists being invited to work on them. But ultimately, what most people care about is the overall package, and SMTIV has been well received, both critically and in terms of sales.

            The same goes for Fire Emblem. And yes, that series definitely has made itself more accessible over the years, but it’s also done away with a lot of the things that holds SRPGs as a whole back in general.

            That’s how all games, comics, books and movies are. Nothing remains the same. It isn’t particularly healthy either, for it to be that way.

            Bravely Default is an interesting example, yes. Chapter 4 onwards is most definitely a failed experiment, but I think in the case of that game, people recognize it for what it did right and have faith in its future potential. Sort of similar to how Assassin’s Creed 1 is a terrible game, but people bought it because they believed in its vision and figured the inevitable Assassin’s Creed 2 would polish things up.

          • Ethan_Twain

            Okay, wait. Can I steal this conversation for a second? Let’s talk about the inconsistency of demon design in SMT IV.

            I LOVE that.

            The entire premise is that these are creatures of mythology and legend from all over the world. They’re incredibly diverse in form and attitude. I think that it would be a terrible waste of potential to take the imaginings of every culture under the sun and run them through a single artistic filter so that they can feel “cohesive”.

            I wish that for SMT V (or SMT IV Maniacs Edition or whatever they do) Atlus would invite more artists to design and redesign. Ideally they would invite artists from around the world, but Atlus is a smaller business and I don’t really expect that. But even just having two dozen local artists that contribute to demon design with the objective of making creatures that are strange and unique and utterly unlike whatever the guy in the next cubicle is making.

            Where so many people complained about artistic incoherence I saw artistic diversity that suited both the premise and the core themes of the game.

        • Duo Maxwell

          It does, and I am one of them.

          I’m pretty sure a lot of western people who said they want to buy this game didn’t play the first one.

      • ronin4life

        And Masochists with lactose based aversions.

    • DesmaX

      Oh my god, what has this world become!?

    • I don’t know if it really counts as a “failure”. I doubt Sony expected Oreshika to sell beyond its dedicated audience themselves. But who knows—it’s hard to say.

      • Ethan_Twain

        I think that could be seen as a bad thing in itself. I remember earlier in the Vita lifecycle it was Sony pushing for mass appeal products. Back before it became the indie and otaku game machine that it is there was a family friendly cart racer from Sony and that Wake Up Club app from Sony and Uncharted from Sony.

        Maybe that’s the real story here. Now even Sony is regressing to just releasing JRPGs that sell a guaranteed amount to an existing audience. The ambition is gone.

        Am I wrong? I can’t think of any first party software or apps that have been announced for the Vita recently that would suggest Sony is still swinging for the fences with this machine.

        • No, I don’t think you’re wrong. It’s just that that’s such an old, obvious story by now that it probably isn’t even worth reiterating again.

          They know there’s a countdown timer on the Vita and they intend to try and make as much software revenue as they can before it runs out. So you’ll get more hunting games, you’ll get more of the low-end software from smaller developers, you’ll get more of the free-to-play stuff.

          At this point, the Vita’s main asset is that its audience is incredibly predictable. Having an audience you’re intimately familiar with is helpful in times of turbulence. That will help them turn some profit on the software front before its time runs out.

          • Ethan_Twain

            I’m not sure that the Vita timer is all that near to expiring. Now that the platform is positioned, especially outside Japan, mostly as a cross play device and an indie game device I feel like it can keep doing those things forever. Downloadable games aren’t part of the technological arms race really so the Vita should be able to play 2016’s indie games as well as 2013’s. And with the PS4 lifecycle just beginning the Vita’s value as a cross play device is only just now beginning to blossom.

            And I think we both agree that Sony isn’t prepping a third handheld system. So with no pressure from future releases making it obsolete and a steady software drip of Otaku games and the previous years’ indie games I can see the Vita hanging around in this state for a loooong time.

          • Oh, I didn’t mean in terms of just lasting on. I mean, the Nintendo DS is still hanging around and a certain amount of software is still selling on it. The same goes for the PSP in Japan. They’re both still limping along to an extent, all these years later.

            I meant more in terms of relevance. You could argue it already isn’t a relevant device if you take the larger games market into consideration, but at least in Japan, it’s a platform for publishers like Namco to release certain kinds of anime games on, or for it to be worth their while to put things like God Eater on there.

            But there comes a time when you start looking at your brands and how you’re going to preserve them going into the future. And once you begin doing that, it becomes a matter of, “Well, okay… is there a future for my brand if I limit it to this device?”

            Because what happens once that device is gone and there’s no direct successor to it? Assuming, of course, that Sony will not make another portable. They could very well attempt some sort of phone/portable hybrid. They’re in a good position to do so because their Xperia phones are great and selling decently, but they’ve already failed once with Xperia Play, so they’ll need to think very hard about what they want this hybrid device to be.

    • Kaien

      Even the PSP one sold primarily to existing fans. Oreshika 2 sold as much as the predecessor despite PSV install base is 1/6 of the PSP in 2011.

      • Install base rarely matters for games such as these. It only really starts to play a role when discussing games that sell hundreds of thousands of copies. Vita’s install base will never matter because the kinds of games it gets assume from the get-go that they won’t have the luxury of a larger audience.

        • MaximDualBlade

          Yes, it is as you say. the absolute truth

        • Kaien

          You’re right. A niche game with a devoted fanbase doesn’t need a big install base to sell well. However, I think Oreshika 2 did good.

          • I think it did okay, all things considered. But I think the reception will make things harder for Oreshika 3, should they ever decide to make such a game. If you’re going to make radical changes to your franchise, you need to find an audience that appreciates those changes, whether it’s your existing audience or a new one.

          • Kaien

            I don’t know if Oreshika 3 is convenient at this point. A new Patapon, a Wild Arms reboot or a co-developed musou could persuade more people to buy a Vita / sell better.

  • MaximDualBlade

    Sounds about right. I hope the game sells about half of that when localized

  • Kornelious

    It takes a really good game to pull in new fans of a series after so much time has passed, personally I never played the first Oreshika (Because well, i couldn’t, wasn’t released outside of japan :P) But I will still pick this up when it releases :)

    Though I guess it’s a different case seeing how we never got the first on so we can’t relate……I dunno that focus on a separate character is still bugging me…. -_-

  • Slickyslacker

    I think that just passing over the first Oreshika is the casual observer’s greatest mistake, when considering how poorly Tainted Bloodlines was met.

    Though virtually no readers of this particular news site have touched it; it was apparently a cult hit that won over a substantial crowd. Much like Valkyrie Profile romanced a certain subset of role-playing lovers, the concept of creating and fostering one’s own family throughout an RPG must have appealed greatly to some.

    This is just one more example of a franchise brought down by poor choices and change of focus. Hey, it happened to Valkyrie Profile with Covenant of the Plume…

    • Zens

      We don’t know if the game has poor choices, fans being vocal doesn’t mean the game has problems.

      • ronin4life

        Fans who payed money and played the game being vocal about its’ content does mean something- and to other players, it should mean quite a bit whether in the end you happen to disagree or not.

        • Zens

          The first Oreshika was pretty similar (or better say the opposite, the second is similar to the first), the story at the end is never “just” the family, that is just a small thing in the big picture. The first was more subtle with the protagonists, the second is more open and made clear that Nueko is the main figure.

          Being vocal not always means the game has a problem, this was more about preference than a gamebreaker, japanese players were upset about a Nueko being the central focus when the first game was pretty much the same with Kitsuto.

          Gameplay-wise is not a mess either, people on gamefaqs made clear the relevant points weren’t as bad as the reviews in amazon claims.

          Just to be clear, if you have problems and want to be vocal, do it right. Being vocal rating low a game (with the high chances of killing the franchise, when the game in question is not bad by itself), insulting the director on twitter and writing in the wikipedia page of the game that it was a failure, is not the way to do things.

  • MK

    Of course this is always the case. When developers change the format of a sequel a little bit, the fans of the original one go nuts. But it’s not always a bad thing, the fans just won’t tolerate significant changes. For the most of us, we haven’t played the original one, so we don’t have certain expectations other than it being an RPG.

    • But the changes they made is to the story which is not really something “significant” that make the gameplay better or anything.They reduce the amount of involvement for the family characters to the story

      • kratoscar2008

        And thats bad for a game wich primary feature is the family creation. It makes basically what separate this game from the rest rather uselless.

  • TehVanguard

    I know a lot of people, who are just like me – they’ve never played Oreshika I, but they bought Oreshika II and they are simply amazed with it. So it’s not that only fans of the series bought this game. In my opinion – that game is awesome, and surely one of the best rpgs released on PSV system. People always complain (especially gamers) – they were complaining a lot about Toukiden, yet it doesn’t change the fact that the game itself is really, really good.
    Ofc, as not a fan of the series, my opinion differs from the opinion of people, who played the first game. I bought it simply because I liked the idea behind the gameplay and story – and I’m not disappointed (currently I have over 40 hours on the highest difficulty, which needs around 100 hours to complete).

    • ishyg

      “they were complaining a lot about Toukiden”

      What were they complaining about?

  • d19xx

    Those are some loyal fans though.

  • d19xx

    Those are some loyal fans though.

  • KevinReaves

    I could care less. I think the game will be pretty interesting for someone starting out fresh like me.

  • Ric Vazquez

    Still looking forward to it

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