This Week In Sales: Square Enix’s Lord of Arcana



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.


Lw Tw Title Tw. Sales Tot. Sales Sys. Publisher
01. 01. Pokémon Black / White 168,541 4,161,397 DS Nintendo
New 02. Kirby’s Epic Yarn 92,280 New Wii Nintendo
New 03. Lord of Arcana 69,932 New PSP Square Enix
03. 04. Kingdom Hearts re:Coded 31,247 126,753 DS Square Enix
04. 05. Red Dead Redemption 26,293 96,892 PS3 Take Two
06. 06. Wii Party 23,304 1,122,732 Wii Nintendo
02. 07. Macross Frontier: The False Diva (Hybrid Pack) 18,071 170,769 PS3 Namco Bandai
11. 08. Black Panther: New Yakuza Chapter 11,263 247,748 PSP SEGA
12. 09. Class of Heroes 3 9,848 40,420 PSP Acquire
05. 10. Dead Rising 2 21,454 9,761 PS3 Capcom
10. 11. K-On! After School Live 9,745 202,048 PSP SEGA
08. 12. F1 2010 8,680 33,953 PS3 Codemasters
14. 13. The Legend of Heroes: Zero no Kiseki 8,293 103,799 PSP Falcom
22. 14. One Piece: Gigant Battle 8,150 194,869 DS Namco Bandai
20. 15. Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G (PSP The Best) 6,529 449,895 PSP Capcom
17. 16. Super Mario Galaxy 2 6,270 855,836 Wii Nintendo
07. 17. Red Dead Redemption 6,203 31,877 360 Take Two
21. 18. Wii Fit Plus 5,990 2,092,697 Wii Nintendo
New 19. NBA 2K11 5,167 New PS3 Take Two
26. 20. Mario Kart Wii 5,023 2,952,634 Wii Nintendo


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 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.