This Week In Sales: Final Fantasy Explorers Explores Japan

By Ishaan . December 24, 2014 . 9:34am

Period: The week of December 15th – December 21st (2014)

Top-seller: Yo-kai Watch 2: Headliner (3DS) – 532,724

Nintendo 3DS sales: 13,832 | Tot. sales: 9,754,287

Nintendo 3DS XL sales: 27,469 | Tot. sales: 6,806,970

New Nintendo 3DS sales: 46,815 | Tot. sales: 319,803

New Nintendo 3DS XL sales: 108,235 | Tot. sales: 761,111

PlayStation Vita sales: 32,834 | Tot. sales: 3,331,309

Vita TV sales: 963 | Tot. sales: 149,123

Wii U sales: 38,314 | Tot. sales: 2,099,630

PlayStation 4 sales: 30,951 | Tot. sales: 937,517

Xbox One sales: 893 | Tot. sales: 42,105

<< Last week’s software sales chart

<< How to read and understand sales

 

ffex

Last week, Square Enix released Final Fantasy Explorers in Japan and the game sold 161,197 copies in its first week. That’s an impressive figure, considering that the game doesn’t appear to have had a very high budget. It is also holds up fairly well when compared to the debuts of other co-operative action games that aren’t Monster Hunter and God Eater (such as Toukiden, Freedom WarsSoul Sacrifice and Phantasy Star Nova).

 

On that note, while Final Fantasy Explorers may look like another Monster Hunter-inspired, 4-player co-op experience, Japanese websites and magazines have been emphasizing that the game actually feels more like a portable MMORPG. Given that a game of this kind hasn’t been attempted using the Final Fantasy brand before, the closest comparison one could draw is to the Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles games on Nintendo DS, both of which focused on co-op multiplayer as well, and shared a somewhat similar graphical style. Here’s a look at how both those games sold:

 

(2007) Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates – 177,845

(2009) Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time – 101,718

 

Not too shabby a debut for Explorers. That having been said, the game is currently sitting at a rating of 2.5 stars on Amazon.jp, and it appears that this is mainly because people find the amount of content lacking compared to games like Monster Hunter. We’ll have more details on the Amazon consumer reviews this week, and it should be interesting to see how they affects Final Fantasy Explorers’ sales in the weeks ahead.

 

[Note: Sales figures will not be posted next week as Media Create, the sales tracker we follow, will be on vacation. Expect the “This Week In Sales” to resume on January 7th, 2015.]

 

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

 

Lw Tw Title Weekly Sales Total Sales Sys. Publisher
01. 01. Yo-kai Watch 2: Headliner 532,724 1,776,895 3DS Level 5
02. 02. Pokémon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire 167,534 2,118,015 3DS Pokémon Co.
New 03. Final Fantasy Explorers 161,197 New 3DS Square Enix
04. 04. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U 78,927 385,460 WiiU Nintendo
06. 05. Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS 74,226 1,910,078 3DS Nintendo
New 06. Gundam Breaker 2 66,532 New PS3 Bandai Namco
New 07. Gundam Breaker 2 57,188 New PSV Bandai Namco
07. 08. Yo-kai Watch 2: Head/Founder 39,223 2,997,335 3DS Level 5
08. 09. Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate 38,681 2,293,954 3DS Capcom
09. 10. Mario Kart 8 34,331 813,139 WiiU Nintendo
New 11. Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 3 26,313 New PSV Compile Heart
New 12. 12 Sai: Honto no Kimochi 23,026 New 3DS Happinet
13. 13. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker 20,376 100,886 WiiU Nintendo
03. 14. Grand Theft Auto V 20,130 101,789 PS4 Take 2
16. 15. Sumikko Gurashi: Koko Ga Ochitsukundesu 19,848 55,901 3DS Nippon Columbia
New 16. Godzilla 19,777 New PS3 Bandai Namco
12. 17. Aikatsu! 365 Idol Days 19,064 68,238 3DS Bandai Namco
19. 18. Animal Crossing: New Leaf 17,190 3,847,566 3DS Nintendo
05. 19. Shining Resonance 16,384 83,667 PS3 Sega
15. 20. Attack on Titan: The Last Wings of Humanity CHAIN 12,377 44,100 3DS Nintendo

 

Sales data acquired from 4Gamer and Media Create.



  • AndyMAX

    Yo-kai Watch 2: Headliner as a stand alone game almost beat both Pokemon OR/AS. I need to play those games right now to see what´s the big fuzz about.

    • subsamuel01

      There was a teaser that they might localize the game soon, so we might actually get a chance to play it. I want to know what the fuss is about too, it reminds me of Pokemon when watching gameplay.

      • ogopogo

        it’s basically Shin Megami Tensei for kids with a hilarious story.

  • Namuro

    Damn! the N3DS LL sold 108,235 this week? That’s awesome!

    As for the FF: Explorers, it seems everyone agree that it’s more of a mini-MMO, than a party hunting game. Which is a good thing! It stands out more as its own game, rather than just a copy-and-paste. Glad to see it doing well, even if the Amazon score is pretty low… The game really does feel somewhat lacking… Especially when compared to MH, sadly.

    • subsamuel01

      That’s more than the Vita, Wii U and PS4 combined, impressive sales.

      • Namuro

        The 3DS sure is doing very well in the current Japanese market. Sometimes I feel like it’s the only thing that keeps the total mobile game domination from happening! XD

        • SetzerGabbiani

          Me too.

        • Nintendo should capitalize on that on the future. Similar to Sony & Xperia. A lot would have to be ironed out of course.

  • Deadmoonking

    I’ve never really got into the hunting game genre, but thought I might give it a shot with FF Explorers. I’ve been reading Amazon.jp reviews and they do not paint a pretty picture. Might have to wait for the “expanded complete” version or just sit this one out…

    • Namuro

      Like how I said sometime ago, and mentioned again in this article, FF: Explorers is more of an MMO, rather than a hunting game. If you TRULY want to get into the hunting game genre, just get Monster Hunter 4G (or 4U).

      • Deadmoonking

        Gotcha. I’m even less into MMOs so I think I can safely pass on this. Thanks for the info!

        • Namuro

          No prob! I hope you’ll give Monster Hunter a try, when you have a chance! :D

      • s07195

        Oh hey Namuro, don’t see you in OT so couldn’t find you but I have 4G now! Gotta get hunting together sometime! XD
        (Just got to G1 and grinded Legios Armor, haven’t touched the story other than the starting Daimyo Hermitaur quest yet. XD)

        • Namuro

          You’ve got the game? Wunderbar!

          By the way, can you check my Skype friend invitation? I think I’ve sent you one, but have yet to receive a reply. After that, we can plan when to go online!

          The Legios X set is REALLY GOOD! You can pretty much use it for the rest of the game! I have 2 main Legios X sets for Charge Axe and Insect Glaive. Plus, it looks cool as heck! XD

          Anyway, I’ll see you soon in my newly crafted Hammer set! :D

          • s07195

            Yeah, I don’t think I received it in the end. Replied to you on that, but it was a few days later so I don’t blame you for missing it. Could we add each other again?

          • Namuro

            Did ya get it this time?

          • s07195

            Are you the guy who sent me ‘Hello beautiful lady how are you doing?’ If not, then no and I’ll have to delete the guy. >.>

          • Namuro

            Ha ha ha! What the heck!?

            No, that’s not me. Delete him. LOL

            But that’s weird though… I’m pretty sure I’ve got your Skype ID right…

            Can you try inviting me instead? My ID is:

            neonamuro

        • British_Otaku

          You should look into adding me on Skype as well.
          Look out for: the.last.gogeta

          Perhaps the three of us can raise hell…
          Me? I’m still HR1… I’m new to MH okay… I’ll catch up.

          • s07195

            I can help. :D

      • British_Otaku

        I suppose it isn’t a hunting game outside of loose similarities (your character leaves hub after picking mission, can pick up resources while doing mission and is at risk when picking up resources) barely even the surface if that.

        I don’t see it as akin to an MMO instead though, I guess I associate them with large open worlds which don’t seem common for hunting games (Unlimited Adventure is only one I can say does it) and such.

    • Suzaku

      Are Amazon.jp reviews really that reliable? They always strike me as being like the Metacritic User Score. People seem to flood it to unload grief and 1-star reviews.

      • Deadmoonking

        Oh they have their share of trolls (荒らし)to be sure, but in my experience, there are also a lot of really thoughtful, detailed reviews as well.
        In any event, they usually do better than Famitsu and Dengeki and the like. ;)

  • Anontastic

    Someone gimme the breakdown on FF Explorers. Apparently the Amazon score is poo and people are really disappointed by it, but I don’t see the big picture right now. Anyone here playing it or know someone who is?

    • Codi Schumacher

      I dont go by scores that can be misleading since different people have varying tastes and reasons why they like games. An in depth review explaining the features and highlights of a game is much more reliable. Videos with footage of gameplay are also more accurate.

      • MrTyrant

        I would say videos are as misleading as it can be too.

    • Namuro

      I’ve played the demo for about a week. Both offline and online.

      The game feels like a simplified “action” MMO, which really shines in multiplayer. There are lots of skills and magic to learn, which you can mix and match, making the gameplay feel more varied (and actually do something different and useful in the fight, and not just for show). There are also extra features like collecting materials to upgrade equipments, as well as raising monsters to expand on the gameplay.

      The game-pace, however, feels very repetitive and tedious. I feel that you have to travel “too much” in most quests. A lot of the areas are pretty big (and rather bland), which just make it really annoying to “explore” them. For an example: There’s this one quest that I have to slay a Red Dragon, and I have to run up a spiral mountain, which takes ages, every single time… I was so fed up.

      The boss fights, which should be a highlight of the game, while quite fun, also feels very, very repetitive after only a little while. Even if Explorers is ultimately an “action” game, it still feels more like you’re playing an MMO. The bosses just take WAY… too long to defeat, and their attack patterns are pretty predictable and, once again, repetitive (Man, I’m saying this word a lot). It became a battle of patience, rather than skills (in term of reactions and such), just like how most MMO plays out.

      Anyway, it’s a pretty fun game, overall, but it can gets tedious at times (quite often for me, actually), and gets repetitive very quickly (forgive me for using this word over and over…). But if you like the Final Fantasy series and its lore, and you like MMO game, then this is the game for you!

      • They might follow up with a sequel and make should corrections.

    • justln

      The game is terrible, it’s a Monster Hunter knockoff and a bad one at it.

      The graphics for FFE are average, bordering on ugly. Cool backgrounds yes, ugly jaggy characters no.

      Stupid A.I.? Monsters have aggro circles and will keep running back/forward if you’re out of the circle.
      My hunter just stood infront of a giant bird, use her special and started using arrow skills non-stop for 5 minutes. It didn’t even try and hit me even once.
      Ifrit just walked rrreeaaallll slow and you can see him telegraph his moves a mile away.
      Giant dog got perma frozen by my minion.

      ALRIGHT ALRIGHT I GET IT, I CAN USE MY SPECIAL NOW. STOP REMINDING ME.

      You can’t press B to skip conversation. What year is this, 1995?
      Circle Pad doesn’t work for menu to go up/down. Again, what year is this, 1995?
      No 3D, not that I care much.

      TL:DR
      Game looks like arse, A.I. is stupid, bad U.I. implementation.

      • Juan Manuel M. Suárez

        Your summary reminds me of Lord of Arcana vs Monster Hunter. But I admit the game grew on me and became a guilty pleasure back in the PSP days~.

      • omgwtfhax

        “while Final Fantasy Explorers may look like another Monster Hunter-inspired, 4-player co-op experience, Japanese websites and magazines have been emphasizing that the game actually feels more like a portable MMORPG.”

        The monster/summon A.I. is very similar to what you’d see in FFXIV. Explorers was never trying to be MH.

        You can’t use the circle pad to navigate menus in MH, or many other games, either.

      • HarakiriKami

        Uh… its more like crystal chronicles

    • ogopogo

      Having finished all rank 10 missions, which are the highest ranking ones in the game right now, I can’t honestly recommend this game to anyone. Personally, I aren’t too bothered by the graphic because I know what to expect but man is the UI terrible. To make things worse, the last 1/3 of the game is atrocious with the amount of padding in it. Go kill Ifrit! Done? Ok go kill Ifrit and Phoenix now! Done with that too? Go kill Phoenix and Fenrir…and so on. There’re a total of 13 bosses and another 12 evolved version of those bosses, and pretty much the game just have you kill one or the other in different orders over and over while making you run marathon for an ungodly amount of time.

      So why did I even finish the game? Well, I have to admit, the original ability system is loads of fun so is customizing weapons and messing around with all the classes. So if you don’t mind the game being somewhat unpolished and likes experimenting and building characters, you “might” enjoy this game, otherwise, I’d say stay far away from it.

      P.S. Oh, did I mention they’re trying to sell freaking on-disc DLC unlocks for 400 yen a mere week after release? Not to mention all the advertisements prior to the release imply that it would be a free DLC too.

      • British_Otaku

        That sounds like what I feared Monster Hunter was like before I got into it with MH4G (not that I’m far). >_> That DLC policy, how can anyone do that when Pokemon, Yokai Watch and MH are like right there! Even Attack on Titan (I love it, but people who watch Youtube hate it) didn’t do it despite the license being bait to do it. I bet they have more DLC lined up as well too.

        Good to know it has some sort of spark in there for when I have a lot of patience.

        Thanks for the more experienced analysis. Do you have a word on how multiplayer effects the game, more so than “anything is a little better with it” as well?

        • ogopogo

          Well the concept is solid, except the fact that most people just run around with 10% HP/AP Leech and ignore the roles completely. But occasionally you do get people who are just there to have fun and it can that when it gets the chance to be.

          The biggest issue with the multiplayer though, is that there’s no free chat. You can only communicate through pre-set phrase that for some insane reason, you can only change when you’re in single player mode…

  • Codi Schumacher

    Is the game strictly online or is it possible to play offline also?

    • Namuro

      You can play both offline and online. You’re free to play online quests solo for an extra challenge as well.

      • Codi Schumacher

        Great thanks I like offline play to save battery life also it will give me a chance to hunt down spirit stones without risking someone poaching kills.

  • N3DS/LL sales are ridiculous, but I am happy to see the Vita, the Wii U, AND the PS4 get over 30k. Holidays, gotta love them.

    • subsamuel01

      3DS will always sell well in Japan, its nice to see other consoles doing well too.

  • awang0718

    Cumulative New 3DS and New 3DS LL sales have just flown past 1 million units. It’s ridiculous how much those two revisions are selling.

    • Juan Manuel M. Suárez

      What is ridiculous is that old models still sell. I’m not denying the 3DS has a superb library, it just baffles me why’d people continue to support a model that is less powerful than the new one and that may not play a few games in the future~.

      • ronin4life

        That is also the same price…

        This is strange.

      • Money?Muney??All my luveee!!!

        Maybe some just does not care the upgrade? and maybe there are some shops giving discount?

        • Juan Manuel M. Suárez

          I can’t fathom why some people wouldn’t care to upgrade when the upgrade will play games the older model can’t. As for shops giving discounts, hard to believe considering both models are priced the same~.

  • Buitronthecrazy .

    still no news if they will localized explorers?

  • Whoa! Is all of this info correct? If so, good for the Wii U for doing better than PS4! What a jump for it. Glad for the PS4 and Wii U in general though, lol.

    Those are some nice numbers. The holidays really are something~.

    • NeptuniasBeard

      Forget the PS4, it actually did better than Vita… in handheld country. THAT’S insane.

      Oh, and happy holidays puchinri!

      • Juan Manuel M. Suárez

        At this point, even in Japan, doing better than the PSV doesn’t really mean much~.

        • NeptuniasBeard

          Ouch. Don’t Yamcha the Vita like that, it still does pretty good over there -_-

          • ronin4life

            It is doing ok… But really, only then by recent standards. 3ds is the only console doing well.

            Vita was slowest to a million since Dreamcast, WiiU is doing slightly better and PS4 slightly worse. 3ds is astronomically better off, but is only holding up to past consoles despite this runaway difference.

            Vita HAS started to expand recently, both in Software releases and sales. But many of those games are just retreads of common genres or ports/sequels, which will onpy keep up that hardware growth for so long before more is needed.

      • JonathanisPrimus

        Vita outsells Wii U 48 weeks of the year. Those 4 weeks where Wii U could outsell Vita won’t do enough to counteract the rest. It’s called a holiday bounce and it happens more to Nintendo hardware than it does to PlayStation.

        • ronin4life

          WiiU is still selling better respective week on week than Vita though, and if it keeps picking up like the Vita did up till now it will end up higher in the end. So saying Vita NOW is outselling WiiU NOW doesn’t tell the whole story.

          As for PS4, it did see a massive rise but really only due to A DQ themed Console, and has been performing worse than WiiU Vita did their first years. The console market just isn’t very strong, and between PS3’s install base and WiiU’s growing library of games, PS4 has little reason to pick up anytime soon.

          • WiiU is still selling better respective week on week than Vita though

            Where on earth did you get that idea?

          • ronin4life

            I mean Respective LTD’s, not real time week on week. For a long time WiiU had done better in this regard, and honestly I am unsure if this pattern has persisted and am going on the assumption it has since the sale gap has not changed.

            I thought My sentence conveyed that, but reading back I feel I mispoke my intention.

          • JonathanisPrimus

            Ronin, just stop. Wii U sales aren’t good. It always sells better than it does in the summer during the holiday periods. Here’s what it sold the same week last year: 109,113 http://www.siliconera.com/2013/12/25/week-sales-last-drakengard-3/

            It also outsold Vita that week. Wii U sales dropped 70k YOY just this week. It’s down 300k YTD. Here’s what it sold last year in the following weeks:
            73,178
            51,271
            14,020
            11,443

            While Wii U has a more consistent lineup of content lined up for 2015, a lot of it is content that is already preaching to the choir. Baring a miracle, Wii U will be back in the dumps after the holidays. It’s exiting the holidays with even less momentum.

          • ronin4life

            I responded to Ishaan about this below, so you can see what I clarified there. Just want to also say that I am aware WiiU is not selling well at all, and didn’t mean to imply it was doing otherwise. My attempted point was on how it is doing overall compared to other platforms LTD And possibly going forward based on this info.

            My hope is it sees growth like Vita did during the same respective point in its lifetime, but being a Home console and not a Handheld I do know it is less likely to.

          • HarakiriKami

            Um..

            You ARE aware the Wii U’s sold basically what the Vita has in comparison with similar time frames no?

        • NeptuniasBeard

          You’re reading a little too much into my comment lol. What to see is what I meant, I wasn’t really trying to turn it into a console war type thing

      • Whoa! I missed that bit too, good eye~!

        Thank you! Happy holidays to you as well~! ^u^

  • Stranger On The Road

    …. Chaos;Child isn’t in the list; wasn’t is suppose to come out last week? Any news on how it sold?

  • Wicked Rob

    COME TO AMERICA!! WHEN WILL IT?

  • I know they hate to give us DQ, but this is coming over (and the 3D version of FF1) right? I don’t want the only stuff coming over to be a rhythm spinoff (which I bought, just saying).

    • It has Final Fantasy in the title and it’s on the 3ds, all signs point to yes.

  • Crystal Power

    Oh great! Final Fantasy Explores sales will drop and Square Enix will see those reviews and become a mobile company even more because their console games (in their minds) perform poorly……

  • Pedro Furtado

    Well, good bye Final Fantasy Explorers… Monster Hunter 4U it is

  • NeptuniasBeard

    Nice to see all the consoles got a substantial boost to 5 digit sales. Even the XBox has reached 5… syllables. Everyone wins!

  • Serge

    The 3DS sold 196k in a week and the New 3DS officially sold over 1 million in 2 months. This is a madness.

    • Slayven19

      This is greatness!!

    • Harry Potter

      nooo this is Nintenparta!

    • Money?Muney??All my luveee!!!

      Guess, New 3DS greatness arrived faster.^_^

  • ishyg

    I just saw a guy on the train playing Gundam Breaker 2. It looks great.

    Also, Vita TV selling more than X1 is quite amusing.

  • KanjiLikesBoys

    “the game doesn’t appear to have had a very high budget”

    the fucking SHAAAADE

  • Ni ~Algidus~

    so were Chaos Child sales really low or it was a digital only release?

  • Juan Manuel M. Suárez

    Given the 3DS install base, the fact that Hunting games are popular in Japan and that it’s based around the FF universe; I’d say the numbers for FFE were pretty bad. FW and Toukiden sold 50k units less on an install base that it’s like 1/5 of the 3DS’. Maybe it’s just me, but I wouldn’t say those numbers aren’t shabby; then again, maybe it’ll have strong legs so a few more weeks will tell if it’s bad or not~.

    • There a couple of things to take into account here. There was actually a lot more I wanted to say in the report, but I felt it was too off-topic and long, so I didn’t write any of it. Since you brought it up, though, FFEX actually holds up very well for a variety of reasons.

      1. Budget: FFEX is nowhere near as high in terms of production values as Freedom Wars or Toukiden. That much is obvious just by looking at the game. It probably cost Square a lot less to develop and I think anyone can tell that from a glance.

      2. Marketing:Toukiden and Freedom Wars (along with Soul Sacrifice and God Eater) had heavy-duty first-party marketing support from Sony. These games were featured at every one of those hunting game events that Sony conducted in Japan. In comparison, FFEX has seen far less marketing from Square.

      3. Brand (or the lack thereof): There’s always this assumption that, because something has the Final Fantasy name on it, it gains the benefits associated with that brand. If you look through sales figures for the past several years, though, that hasn’t been the case at all. A “Final Fantasy” in the eyes of most people is a game with Tetsuya Nomura’s art. Without his character designs, you may as well not call the game Final Fantasy at all.

      All things considered, I feel FFEX saw the best launch it possibly could have, without any of the benefits of the games you mentioned. Now, how it does over the next few weeks remains to be seen. The game clearly isn’t as polished as it should have been, and that might cut into sales. Additionally, I feel like the 3DS audience is rather picky, since they’re spoiled for choice, and generally do tend to prefer that their games be of a certain quality. That could certainly affect sales in the weeks to come.

      • s07195

        Huh, I wouldn’t have thought it off topic, though it is long. I mean, Siliconera has seen several ‘reason speculation’ articles before as well. (Reader reactions varying, of course.)

        The reasons speculated above are still interesting though. I can see how 3DS owners may be spoiled for choice, considering I’ve definitely had trouble deciding what to get, and I’m glad you put that point into greater detail since you mentioned that previously in the comments as well and that caught my eye.

        Hopefully sales keep up.

        • Well, perhaps not off-topic but not really necessary. I didn’t see anyone posturing that FFEX hadn’t done well aside from Juan.

          Yeah, I definitely feel the 3DS audience has less tolerance for bad games overall. The audience is split up into several different demographics, so obviously there’s room for everyone, but on the whole it’s harder for unpolished games to succeed on 3DS, judging by some of the numbers we’ve seen associated with certain kinds of games.

      • SetzerGabbiani

        This plus your original article and the mixed reviews make me think Square will create an updated version before they decide to localize it. I’m more than willing to wait for a more polished/expanded edition of the game.

        • Yeah, an expanded version probably is in the cards, especially in light of some of the things those Amazon reviews say (basically that it’s a fun game while it lasts, but is too short). I’m not sure how well a “G” version would do, but it would be a practical way for them to experiment with refining the game further if they intend to develop FFEX into a long-term franchise.

          (Of course, this could just be a one-off thing, too.)

  • Yan Zhao

    Those are some pretty good numbers for FF Explorer. Hope it lives up to the hype.

    Glad to see Wii U doing great as well. Still laughing at the Nintendo haters.

  • Ash_Riot

    Look at the sales difference in lifetime sales between the two versions of Smash. Wonder if it can reach half of the 3DS version lifetime sales at this point? Also look at how badly Godzilla is doing. :(

    Also lifetime sales on Yokai Watch 2: Head/Founder…Wow. lol.

  • wahyudil

    I will wait on import review from Siliconera before PO-ed it

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