Nintendo 3DS

Japanese Software Sales Plummeted After The Holidays


While Japanese software sales during the country’s holiday season managed to hold up compared to the same period in 2013, software dipped during January’s second week according to Japanese sales tracker Media Create.


The second week of January typically marks the end of the “holiday season” in Japan, taking place after the New Year celebration. During January’s first week, children spend the money gifted to them by adults for New Year’s, which helps keep videogame sales going for another week after Christmas. Once the festivities have ended, though, one usually sees a significant drop in hardware and software sales across the board.


This year was no different, and software sales dropped to 62.91% compared to the same period in January 2014. Part of the reason for this is that the Nintendo 3DS was almost single-handedly holding up holiday software sales (with two of its biggest games accounting for 45% of the share), and when 3DS software dropped, it affected the industry’s numbers at large.


(Or as a reader succinctly put it in our sales column last week, “You know it’s a slow week when Yokai Watch [2] sells less than 100k.”)


Another reason was that there were no big releases during the second week of January to help fight the post-holiday slowdown. January 2014 saw the release of Kirby Triple Deluxe, which sold 214,000 copies at launch, but unfortunately there was no such release this year.

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.