This Week In Sales: Sega Kicks Ass With Yakuza 4



Many have questioned Sega’s decision to release Yakuza 3 in North America amidst other high-profile PlayStation 3 games like Final Fantasy XIII and God of War III. Fortunately, they tend to treat their releases a little better in Japan, as Yakuza 4 released during an otherwise empty week, and got off to a fantastic start at 383,972 units. Its closest competitor was a PSP Gundam game.


On sites like Siliconera, especially, a lot of people have been giving Sega heat for decisions like Yakuza 3’s launch window, the content cut from the game, one bad Sonic game after the other, and numerous other faults that no one’s going to deny Sega have to answer for, if only to ensure their own profitability and quality standards.


That said, I sincerely believe Sega are one of the best publishers this generation, having endorsed and funded games like Bayonetta, MadWorld, Resonance of Fate, Infinite Space, Sonic 4 and House of the Dead: Overkill. Sometimes, I wish people would be a little more reasonable and learn to appreciate all the good they’ve done for us these past two years.


In other news, welcome back to the top ten, God Eater! Close to 580,000 units and still selling every week. Not quite a Monster Hunter-level success, but a great start for a new franchise. The question is, will it be able to have an appeal of its own that Monster Hunter Portable 3rd won’t simply outdo based on brand and reputation alone?


The top-ten for the week of Mar 15th – 21st is as follows:


LW TW Title Tw sales Tot. sales Sys. Publisher
New 01. Yakuza 4 383,972 New PS3 Sega
New 02. Gundam Assault Survive 90,994 New PSP Namco Bandai
01. 03. Pokémon Ranger: Tracks of Light 49,548 275,435 DS The Pokémon Company
03. 04. New Super Mario Bros. Wii 36,613 3,523,758 Wii Nintendo
02. 05. Tomodachi Collection 34,798 2,987,930 DS Nintendo
05. 06. Dynasty Warriors Strikeforce 2 19,545 51,219 PSP Koei
10. 07. Wii Fit Plus 19,356 1,760,659 Wii Nintendo
04. 08. What Did I Do To Deserve This, My Lord? 3D 18,466 52,386 PSP SCE
09. 09. Dragon Quest IX (Ultimate Hits) 15,228 78,038 DS Square Enix
11. 10. God Eater 15,162 579,000 PSP Namco Bandai


It’s nice to see What Did I Do To Deserve This, My Lord? 3D sticking around in the top-ten for another week. Meanwhile, God of War Collection for PS3 debuted at #13 with approximately 12,000 units sold, while Konami published THQ’s Darksiders, which debuted all the way down at #32.


And on the Spike front, Kenka Bancho 4 is still holding up pretty well, with another 10-12k units sold in the week. Spike have reason to be pleased, with over 100,000 sold fairly early in its lifespan.


Something interesting to note that I’ve been debating bringing up for a while is that Wii Sports Resort doesn’t seem to be doing quite as well as one would have expected. It hasn’t hit 2 million units yet, and for a high-profile follow-up to one of the best-selling games in Japan, you’ve got to wonder how one convinces the expanded audience to invest in a "sequel." For example, even at a far cheaper price point, Wii Fit Plus has only sold about half as much as the original.


As much as a lot of people call them clueless, the expanded audience is far harder to impress than we are when it comes to incremental improvements. As time goes on, will a significant portion of them become as savvy as we are, or are we inculcating a long-term habit of more conscious spending and increased expectations?

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.