Why Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai 2 Could Be Sega’s Biggest Holiday Game In Japan

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Last year, Sega released Hatsune Miku and Future Stars: Project Mirai, a rhythm game for the Nintendo 3DS featuring a familiar cast of popular Vocaloid characters. In order to set Project Mirai apart from their Project Diva series of games, Sega gave Mirai’s characters a super-deformed look based on the Nendoroid brand of toy figurines.


Project Mirai launched in March 2012 and sold 87,000 copies in its first week, eventually going on to sell over 181,000 copies by the end of the year. While those aren’t bad figures, they’re nowhere close to the kind of numbers that the Project Diva series of games pulls in.


Following Project Mirai’s release, we theorized that one possible reason for the game’s relatively lower sales was the lack of sharing features that make the Project Diva games so popular. Mirai lacked any sort of substantial mode that allowed the user to create and share their own dance scenes, and this may have limited word of mouth for the game, especially on a social platform like the Nintendo 3DS, which thrives on communication and sharing between 3DS owners.



Luckily, Sega aren’t making the same mistake again with Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai 2. The latest trailer for the game (above) reveals two brand new modes, both of which address some of the concerns we had with the original Project Mirai.


The first is a “My Choreo” mode, which allows the player to choreograph their own dances. You can do this either through a simple interface that lets you map up to eight moves to the 3DS face buttons and press them in whatever sequence you like, or through a more sophisticated mode where you can select various dance moves using the 3DS touch screen and line them up, almost like frames of animation, to create your dance routine. These routines can then be shared with others via StreetPass or over the Internet.


The second mode, which hasn’t been explained in detail yet, allows you to create your own song lyrics. These, too, can be shared with other Project Mirai 2 players, over both StreetPass as well as over the Internet. Additionally, it is also possible to swap the heads and bodies of the various in-game Vocaloid costumes—just like the actual Nendoroid figurines—adding a further layer of customization to the look of your Vocaloid.


Finally, just like the first Project Mirai game, Project Mirai 2 allows Vocaloids to sing certain songs that are normally sung by other Vocaloids, making it possible for one to hear several of the songs in the game in a variety of voices. All songs from the first Project Mirai will return in the second game, and a number of new tracks will be available as well.


All in all, Project Mirai 2 is shaping up to be even more customization-heavy than Project Diva, which is an interesting turn of events. These are the kinds of features that can elevate a game beyond “okay” sales to potentially “good” sales. It should be interesting to see if and how these new features affect sales figures when Project Mirai 2 is released in Japan on November 28th, and if Sega can expand the series to a broader market.

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Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.