Yes, you heard that right. Not only is Monster Hunter Portable 3rd the fastest-selling PSP game in Japan, at 3 million copies shipped in 17 days, it’s also the fastest-selling game in Capcom’s history.
Well, sort of. At launch, Resident Evil 5’s initial shipment was 4 million units, but that was worldwide. While Monster Hunter isn’t nearly as global a franchise and relies mainly on Japan for its sales, it’s “technically” selling faster than Resident Evil 5, given that it’s operating within a smaller demographic.
In its first week at retail, Portable 3rd nearly sold through its entire 2 million unit shipment at 1.95 million units sold. In its second week, the game moved another 629,541 copies, making for a total of over 2.5 million sold. Capcom’s internal expectation for the game in Japan is 3.6 million units.
Portable 3rd’s PSP predecessor, Monster Hunter Freedom Unite, took half a year to ship 2.5 million copies. It took the combined sales of the game and its “PSP the Best” budget re-release for Freedom Unite to ship 3 million units.
Capcom attribute this growth to brand awareness, which they believe is the result of several industry collaborations. Indeed, Monster Hunter Portable 3rd features collaborations with Konami’s Metal Gear Solid, with a Japanese Internet sensation, and of course, with Sony, just to name a few.
Spin-off title, Monster Hunter Diary (PSP) and Monster Hunter Diary Mobile (for mobile phones) have also contributed to expanding the series’ audience, particularly by introducing more women to the franchise. Monster Hunter Diary itself features a collaboration with Sanrio’s popular Hello Kitty brand.
Capcom plan to continue their promotion of Monster Hunter Portable 3rd throughout the year, and are holding a Monster Hunter festival throughout six regions in Japan in March 2011 to raise brand awareness further.