This Week In Sales: Mystery Dungeon Rises From The Grave

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    Period: The week of March 2nd  – March 8th (2015)

    Top-seller: Dragon Quest Heroes (PS3) – 67,514

    Nintendo 3DS sales: 2,566 | Tot. sales: : 9,818,072

    Nintendo 3DS XL sales: 2,321 | Tot. sales: 6,885,866

    New Nintendo 3DS sales: 7,661 | Tot. sales: 491,847

    New Nintendo 3DS XL sales: 21,402 | Tot. sales: 1,172,155

    PlayStation Vita sales: 19,757 | Tot. sales: 3,595,128

    Vita TV sales: 621 | Tot. sales: 157,439

    Wii U sales: 7,379 | Tot. sales: 2,240,782

    PlayStation 4 sales: 33,753 | Tot. sales: 1,223,434

    Xbox One sales: 445 | Tot. sales: 48,206

    << Last week’s software sales chart

    << How to read and understand sales

     

    Last week saw the release of Atlus’ Etrian Mystery Dungeon for Nintendo 3DS in Japan. Unlike other Etrian Odyssey games, though, this one isn’t a first-person dungeon-crawler. Instead, it’s more of a roguelike—a mix of recipes that combines the Etrian Odyssey world and character classes with the gameplay of Spike Chunsoft’s Mystery Dungeon series.

     

    If you aren’t sure what the Mystery Dungeon series is, think Shiren the Wanderer. If that doesn’t work for you, try Pokémon Mystery Dungeon. The Mystery Dungeon games have been around for a long time now, so you’ve likely at least heard of a couple of them, even if you haven’t played them.

     

    Here’s the thing, though—the Mystery Dungeon series has seen far better days in Japan. Not counting the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon titles (which sell well enough due to being associated with the Pokémon brand), Mystery Dungeon’s sales have been in steady decline since 2010. Below is a list of the Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer games that have been released in Japan since 2008 and how they’ve sold:

     

    (2008) Shiren the Wanderer 3 [Wii] – 59,283

    (2010) Shiren the Wanderer 3 [PSP] – 10,227 (Port)

    (2010) Shiren the Wanderer 4 [NDS] – 40,703

    (2010) Shiren the Wanderer 5 [NDS] – 25,192

    (2012) Shiren the Wanderer 4 [PSP] – 6,368 (Port)

     

    As you can see, by 2012, Shiren the Wanderer was practically a non-entity in Japan, compared to the relatively higher sales it enjoyed in 2008. Most unfortunate.

     

    Luckily, this didn’t stop Etrian Mystery Dungeon, which was released last week, from selling 65,226 copies in its first week—a better debut than any of the games listed above. In fact, Atlus announced yesterday that the game is sold out at a number of stores and ask for the patience of consumers while they deliver the next shipment to stores. Not only does that prove that there’s still room for Mystery Dungeon-style games in Japan, it also demonstrates the resilience of the Etrian Odyssey brand, since it has managed to resuscitate the Mystery Dungeon design without having to use Pokémon has a crutch.

     

    That’s good news for both Atlus and Spike Chunsoft. Atlus now have another way they can continue to experiment with Etrian Odyssey, while Spike Chunsoft have another brand they can apply their Mystery Dungeon template to. They now also have an audience on the 3DS that might be interested in trying out a new Shiren the Wanderer game, should they choose to create one, so it should be interesting to see if a Shiren 6 is announced within the year. If I were Spike Chunsoft, I’d strike now while the iron is hot. Shiren 5 Plus may not look like much, but a well-timed release of a Shiren 6 that looks as polished as Etrian Mystery Dungeon could help bring the Shiren brand back.

     

    And with that, the top-20 software sales chart for last week is as follows:

     

    LwTwTitleWeekly SalesTotal SalesSys.Publisher
    01.01.Dragon Quest Heroes67,514392,960PS3Square Enix
    New02.Etrian Mystery Dungeon65,226New3DSAtlus
    02.03.Dragon Quest Heroes35,425304,729PS4Square Enix
    03.
    04.The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D23,764365,7613DSNintendo
    New05.The Prince of Tennis: Go to the Top22,568New3DSFuRyu
    04.06.God Eater 2: Rage Burst17,710289,539PSVBandai Namco
    New07.Evolve16,851NewPS4Take Two
    05.
    08.Yo-kai Watch 2: Headliner14,2782,528,1843DSLevel 5
    New
    09.LEGO City Undercover: The Chase Begins13,284New3DSNintendo
    06.10.Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire11,2972,549,1553DSPokémon Co.
    09.11.Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS7,4312,173,2433DSNintendo
    11.12.Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate6,6732,492,3323DSCapcom
    08.13.Dragon Ball Xenoverse5,78786,874PS3Bandai Namco
    New14.Downtown Hot-Blooded March: Let’s Go to the Great Sports Meet5,473NewPS3Arc System Works
    19.15.Mario Kart 85,342931,332WiiUNintendo
    13.16.Diabolik Lovers: Dark Fate4,90212,164PSVIdea Factory
    17.17.Super Smash Bros. for Wii U4,829602,560WiiUNintendo
    18.18.Animal Crossing: New Leaf4,6713,933,0063DSNintendo
    New 19.Doraemon: Nobita no Uchuu Eiyuuki4,663New3DSBandai Namco
    12.20.God Eater 2: Rage Burst3,65448,883PS4Bandai Namco

     

    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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