This Week In Sales: Phantasy Star Nova Takes A Dive

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    Period: The week of November 24th – November 30th (2014)

    Top-seller: Pokémon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire (3DS) – 298,613

    Nintendo 3DS sales: 19,722 | Tot. sales: 9,686,698

    Nintendo 3DS XL sales: 15,182 | Tot. sales: 6,737,707

    New Nintendo 3DS sales: 22,875 | Tot. sales: 212,771

    New Nintendo 3DS XL sales: 48,738 | Tot. sales: 506,121

    PlayStation Vita sales: 27,935 | Tot. sales: 3,252,081

    Vita TV sales: 1,285 | Tot. sales: 146,200

    Wii U sales: 12,496 | Tot. sales: 2,009,513

    PlayStation 4 sales: 13,489 | Tot. sales: 822,554

    Xbox One sales: 1,237 | Tot. sales: 39,698

    << Last week’s software sales chart

    << How to read and understand sales

     

    Last week, Sega released Phantasy Star Nova for the PlayStation Vita in Japan. The game, which is yet another multiplayer-focused title for the Vita, sold 107,313 copies in its first week. Unfortunately, that’s the lowest debut of any multiplayer Phantasy Star game in recent years.

     

    Below is a look at how the precursor to Nova, the Phantasy Star Portable series, performed. All three games listed below were released for the PSP:

     

    (2008) Phantasy Star Portable – 341,700

    (2009) Phantasy Star Portable 2 – 286,896

    (2011) Phantasy Star Portable 2: Infinity – 206,654

     

    In comparison to the aforementioned games, Nova’s 100k debut doesn’t look very good. As to why the game saw such a low debut, there are two theories that come to mind. The first is that a multiplayer Phantasy Star game already exists on Vita in Phantasy Star Online 2. This game is available on PC, Vita and even on smartphones in some form, and is free-to-play. Given how similar Nova looks to PSO2, there’s a good chance the broader audience decided they didn’t need it when they can already play the other game for free.

     

    The other theory is publishers have simply released too many multiplayer-focused action games on Vita too quickly. Over the last few years, the popularity of Monster Hunter has encouraged other developers to create their own multiplayer-focused games where players team up to fight large monsters. On Vita, there are currently six prominent games in this genre: Soul Sacrifice, Soul Sacrifice Delta, Toukiden, Toukiden Kiwami, God Eater 2, and Freedom Wars. All of these games have been released over the span of a year-and-a-half, so the idea that the market for these titles is getting saturated isn’t far-fetched. Think of it as the equivalent of six multiplayer-focused first-person shooters being released in a year, all on the same platform. At some point, they’re going to begin eating into each other’s sales.

     

    Moving on, the other significant release last week was Etrian Odyssey Untold II: The Knight of Fafnir. This game is a Nintendo 3DS remake of Etrian Odyssey II (originally on Nintendo DS), and sold 59,531 copies in its first week. That’s a significantly lower debut than the previous Etrian Odyssey Untold game, which debuted at 88,278 sold.

     

    Why the lower sales? Again, there are a couple of plausible theories worth considering here. The first is that an “Etrian Odyssey” game has already been released his year. Earlier in the year, Atlus released Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth, which is for all intents and purposes an Etrian Odyssey game with a Persona skin. It’s also a very satisfying Etrian Odyssey experience, so it wouldn’t be surprising if Etrian fans have already had their fill for the year.

     

    The other reason for the lower sales could be that, three days before Etrian Odyssey Untold II was released, Atlus announced two more Etrian games—Etrian Mystery Dungeon and Etrian Odyssey V—both of which sound like a bigger deal. It’s possible that fans saw the announcement of the two new games and decided to wait for one of those instead… after all, Etrian Mystery Dungeon is just four months away.

     

    On the bright side, hardware sales saw a boost across the board, owing to the approaching holiday season. The next four weeks should be interesting to watch.

     

    The top-20 software sales chart for last week is as follows:

     

    LwTwTitleWeekly SalesTotal SalesSys.Publisher
    01.01.Pokémon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire298,6131,626,2843DSPokémon Co.
    New02.Phantasy Star Nova107,313NewPSVSega
    New03.Etrian Odyssey Untold II: The Knight of Fafnir.59,531New3DSAtlus
    New04.Fate/Hollow Ataraxia53,979NewPSVKadokawa
    New 05.Resident Evil HD Remaster50,258NewPS3Capcom
    New06.Dragon Age: Inquisition29,274NewPS4Electronic Arts
    05.07.Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate27,6242,200,6983DSCapcom
    08.08.Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS21,7551,758,7903DSNintendo
    07.09.Yo-kai Watch 2: Head/Founder20,5772,902,3883DSLevel 5
    New 10.Nisekoi Marriage!?15,508NewPSVKonami
    New11.Senran Kagura: Bon Appetit14,275NewPSVMarvelous
    06.12.Pro Evolution Soccer 201512,886104,801PS3Konami
    15.13.Mario Kart 812,742734,626WiiUNintendo
    10.14.Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker12,21154,053WiiUNintendo
    New 15.Great Edo Blacksmith11,562NewPSVNippon Ichi
    New 16.Dragon Age: Inquisition11,294NewPS3Electronic Arts
    09.17.Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (Subtitled)10,291105,302PS3Square Enix
    New 18.Gotouchi Tetsudou: Gotouchi Chara to Nihon Zenkoku no Tabi9,936New3DSBandai Namco
    New19.Hero Bank 28,014New3DSSega
    03.20.Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires7,78445,907PS3Koei Tecmo

     

    Sales data acquired from 4Gamer and Media Create.

    Ishaan Sahdev
    Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and a contributing writer at GamesIndustry.biz. 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.




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