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The week of October 11th – 17th saw the release of one Lord of Arcana, sales news of which some have been keenly anticipating. In its first three days on the Japanese market, Lord of Arcana sold close to 70,000 units.

 

Developed by Square Enix, Lord of Arcana is a cooperative multiplayer-focused PSP game, leading people to draw comparisons between it and Capcom’s popular Monster Hunter games. Ever since Monster Hunter’s success on the PSP, other Japanese publishers have been attempting to recreate it. Back in February, Namco Bandai released their own take on the PSP co-op genre with God Eater.

 

Monster Hunter is clearly the leader of the pack here, though, and has time and time again demonstrated its success not just as a game, but as a social phenomenon in Japan. The popular theory has been that with three other similar games (including SEGA’s Phantasy Star Portable series) attempting to crack the same audience, one of them was bound to not do as well, commercially.

 

It’s safe to assume at this point that Lord of Arcana is our unlucky candidate. When it released in February, God Eater sold sold an impressive 295,405 units. Phantasy Star Portable 2 debuted with an equally impressive 286,896 units. Both these make Lord of Arcana’s 70k figure look low in comparison.

 

One of the reasons for this could be that Square Enix have simply failed to effectively promote the title the way SEGA and Namco promoted their own. Phantasy Star Portable 2 was aggressively promoted with tie-ins involving popular food chains, anime series and Japanese magazines. PSP2 also had the benefit of being from a known franchise. Meanwhile, Namco pushed God Eater as a multiplayer game with a story, and their demo version offered a generous slice of the game’s strong points for players to sample.

 

Lord of Arcana differs from its competition in terms of the ingame experience, too. Instead of having you fight opponents in realtime like a regular action game, coming across an enemy in Lord of Arcana initiates a switch to a separate battle screen, similar to a turn-based RPG.

 

LwTwTitleTw. SalesTot. SalesSys.Publisher
01.01.Pokémon Black / White168,5414,161,397DSNintendo
New02.Kirby’s Epic Yarn92,280NewWiiNintendo
New03.Lord of Arcana69,932NewPSPSquare Enix
03.04.Kingdom Hearts re:Coded31,247126,753DSSquare Enix
04.05.Red Dead Redemption26,29396,892PS3Take Two
06.06.Wii Party23,3041,122,732WiiNintendo
02.07.Macross Frontier: The False Diva (Hybrid Pack)18,071170,769PS3Namco Bandai
11.08.Black Panther: New Yakuza Chapter11,263247,748PSPSEGA
12.09.Class of Heroes 39,84840,420PSPAcquire
05.10.Dead Rising 221,4549,761PS3Capcom
10.11.K-On! After School Live9,745202,048PSPSEGA
08.12.F1 20108,68033,953PS3Codemasters
14.13.The Legend of Heroes: Zero no Kiseki8,293103,799PSPFalcom
22.14.One Piece: Gigant Battle8,150194,869DSNamco Bandai
20.15.Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G (PSP The Best)6,529449,895PSPCapcom
17.16.Super Mario Galaxy 26,270855,836WiiNintendo
07.17.Red Dead Redemption6,20331,877360Take Two
21.18.Wii Fit Plus5,9902,092,697WiiNintendo
New19.NBA 2K115,167NewPS3Take Two
26.20.Mario Kart Wii5,0232,952,634WiiNintendo

 

Sales data sourced 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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