PlayStation 3Xbox 360

Square Enix Shipped Far Fewer Copies Of Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII


Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII made its debut in Japan last week, and sold 277,082 copies in its first week on the PlayStation 3. Sales tracker Media Create reports that the PS3 version of the game sold through 71.98% of its initial shipment.


This means that Square Enix shipped just 385,000 copies of Lightning Returns on PS3. In comparison, back in 2011, the publisher shipped 845,000 copies of Final Fantasy XIII-2 on PS3, and that game sold 524,217 copies in week one (62.06% sell-through).


Given Lightning Returns’ higher sell-through percentage, Media Create feel that it sold about as much as retailers expected it to. The lower, more conservative shipment for the game is for the best, since it’s seeing less interest than its predecessors and having too many unsold copies of a game floating around stores quickly results in steep price cuts.


When Final Fantasy XIII-2 was released back in 2011, that game sold one-third of the original Final Fantasy XIII’s launch numbers. At the time, Media Create suggested that XIII’s lower sales were partly a result of lower interest from women; however, they do not provide any such data on why they feel Lightning Returns has failed to perform.


Food for thought:

While the Xbox 360 version of Lightning Returns didn’t chart in the top-20 software sales ranking, Media Create reports that the 360 version sold 4,000 copies at launch. In comparison, XIII-2 sold 10,000 copies on Xbox 360 at launch.

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.