On August 29th, Capcom released Lost Planet 3 in Japan. The game sold 27,503 copies in its first week, marking the lowest debut for a Lost Planet game in Japan to date.
Here’s a look at how previous Lost Planet games have sold during launch week in Japan, on each platform:
(2006) Lost Planet (360 exclusive) – 37,489
(2008) Lost Planet (ported to PS3) – 22,696
(2010) Lost Planet 2 (PS3) – 84,607
(2010) Lost Planet 2 (360) – 33,563
(2013) Lost Planet 3 (PS3) – 27,503
See the sudden spike in sales when Lost Planet 2 was released? While global sales for Lost Planet 2 weren’t as high as Capcom hoped, the game does enjoy the highest debut sales of the entire series in Japan. That might be because Capcom treated Lost Planet 2 almost like they do Monster Hunter—as a festive multiplayer game.
“[The devteam] had kind of struggled with Lost Planet 2 a bit, because they were going in this direction of creating this multiplayer, almost festival atmosphere, including crazy amounts of content and ridiculous scenarios,” Lost Planet executive producer, Kenji Ohguro, shared with Siliconera last year.
Ohguro added that Capcom felt focusing on the multiplayer content took away from the game’s narrative design, which was supposed to focus on themes of colonization and survival. Lost Planet 2’s realistic visuals didn’t quite match its “party game” atmosphere, and the devteam felt there was a disconnect in its design.
The original Lost Planet sold 1.5 million copies worldwide on the Xbox 360 alone. Lost Planet 2, despite being a multiplatform release on both Xbox 360 and PS3, managed to sell 1.6 million copies worldwide—not much of an improvement, considering it had a much wider audience to tap into.
Despite its perceived failure, ultimately, Capcom did revisit their vision for Lost Planet 2 again. They created a spin-off titled E.X. Troopers, which they released for the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation 3 in 2012. With Lost Planet 3, the publisher has returned to the narrative-focused design of the original Lost Planet, but at least in Japan, this doesn’t seem to have worked out as hoped. Perhaps sales in the west will tell a different story.