Couple of sad stories for you today, PS3 owners. One involving a cute little title that should never have been thrust into the limelight as a system seller. The other, a gorgeous tactical RPG.
Let's start with LittleBigPlanet, then. Media Molecule's quirky, original platformer was always going to be a struggle to sell to the holiday masses, what with it being an original IP that involved neither rock music nor guns. But even Sony's most pessimistic sales teams wouldn't have been prepared for this.
The game sold an OK-ish 205,000 units in October, but wasn't out for that long. It'd do a lot better in November, when it was on sale for all four weeks, right? No. It sold a disappointing 141,000 units for the month, which saw it slip out of NPD top 20 charts altogether.
Lord only knows how few copies it would have sold had it not been marketed to hell and high water. Then again, maybe that was the game's problem. The game itself is fine, as its "failure" is a relative one. Selling 346,000 of a niche, debut IP with novel concepts would otherwise have been a huge success!
But selling 346,000 copies of your most high-profile holiday release? That is not a success.
The second game we're looking at today is an even sadder tale. Valkyria Chronciles is one of the best-looking games of this hardware generation, and although tactical RPGs of the Japanese variety aren't big sellers, it still would have been nice to see it move more than 33,000 copies in North America for the month of November.
33,000 means the game wasn't even in the top 100-selling titles for the month. Meaning it probably got beaten by some Imagine: and Nancy Drew games. So sad.
Quality PS3-exclusive titles are few and far between these days, so why were two of the best for the holiday season such poor performers? PS3 owners? Suggestions?
NPD: Behind the Numbers, November 2008 [Gamasutra]