Now that we're into July and 2014 is half over, how's everyone's year been? Good? Mediocre? Crappy? Okay, let's talk games.
We've passed the turnaround point for 2014. E3 is over and I've got TGS to
dread look forward to. In Japan, game sales have been gradually declining over the years as console sales have been gradually rising. As focus of the video game market has turned overseas, the Japanese game market has been fighting to remain stable to varying results. Here's a list of the top 50 best-selling games in Japan for the first half of 2014* courtesy of Weekly Famitsu.
[*Sales numbers from December 30th, 2013 to June 29th, 2014.]
#1 Yokai Watch (3DS: 849,027)
Level-5's new hit franchise. Interestingly enough, the sequel which came out last week has already beaten every game on this list, clocking in at 1.3 million units sold.
#2 Dragon Quest Monsters 2 (3DS: 739,032)
A remake of the 2001 Gameboy game.
#3 Kirby Triple Deluxe (3DS: 633,695)
The first Kirby game for the 3DS.
#4 Mario Kart 8 (Wii U: 512,467)
#5 Pokemon X/Y (3DS: 416,864)
THE number 1 selling game for the 3DS in Japan. The game(s) has/have sold a total of nearly 4.4 million copies.
#6 Puzzle & Dragons Z (3DS: 411,922)
#7 Mario Party Island Tour (3DS: 404,666)
#8 Knack (PS4: 398,685)
Bit of a cheat, considering the only reason the game sold better than any other PS4 game was because it was bundled with the PS4 at the console's launch.
#9 Gundam Extreme VS Full Boost (PS3: 367, 354)
#10 Dark Souls II (PS3: 335,226)
#11 Wii Party U (Wii U: 252,539)
#12 Yakuza Ishin! (PS3: 250,937)
#13 Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes (PS3: 248,164)
#14 Samurai Warriors 4 (PS3: 246,662)
#15 Persona Q (3DS: 234,880)
#16 Sengoku Basara 4 (PS3: 231,351)
#17 New Super Mario Bros. U (Wii U: 227,263)
#18 Harvest Moon: Story of Seasons (3DS: 220,599)
#19 3rd Super Robot Wars Z: Jigoku-hen (PS3: 205,319)
#20 Sword Art Online – Hollow Fragment – (Vita: 198,294)
#21 Monster Hunter 4 (3DS: 191,152)
#22 Freedom Wars (Vita: 187,890)
#23 J Stars Victory VS (PS3 180,904)
#24 Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (3DS: 180,215)
#25 Fossil Fighters Frontier (3DS 171,974)
#26 Super Mario 3D World (Wii U: 163,501)
#27 3rd Super Robot Wars Z: Jigoku-hen (Vita: 158,974)
#28 Battle for Money Sentouchuu (3DS: 146,517)
#29 J Stars Victory VS (Vita: 143,178)
#30 Hatsune Miku – Project Diva – F 2nd (Vita: 139,515)
#31 Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes (PS4: 136,507)
#32 Animal Crossing: New Leaf (3DS: 135,773)
#33 World Soccer Winning Eleven 2014 (PS3: 133,381)
#34 Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call (3DS: 127,949)
#35 Pro Baseball Spirits 2014 (PS3: 127,019)
#36 Grand Theft Auto V (PS3: 123,182)
#37 Yakuza Ishin! (PS4: 122,474)
#38 Attack On Titan: The Last Wings of Mankind (3DS: 116,676)
#39 Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster (PS3: 112,969)
#40 Mario Golf World Tour (3DS: 110,756)
#41 Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (Wii U: 108,017)
#42 Wii Fit U (Wii U: 107,041)
#43 The iDOLM@STER One For All (PS3: 102,255)
#44 Mario Kart 7 (3DS: 100,507)
#45 Soul Sacrifice Delta (Vita: 96,737)
#46 Gundam Side Stories (PS3: 94,503)
#47 Inazuma Eleven Go Galaxy (3DS: 92,903)
#48 Puyo Puyo Tetris (3DS: 91,375)
#49 Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster TWIN PACK (Vita: 91,075)
#50 Hatsune Miku – Project Diva – F 2nd (PS3: 88,867)
As par the course, Nintendo is dominating with the all of the top 5, 7 out of the top 10, half of the top 20, and 24 out of the top 50 games.
If the sales numbers aren't as high as you'd expect, note that these are the sales numbers from the first half of this year and not the cumulative sales numbers (Pokemon X/Y has sold over 4 million copies, total).
Another interesting thing to note is that some of the top sellers are fairly recent releases (Mario Kart 8, Persona Q, Freedom Wars), hopefully indicating an upturn for the video game market in Japan. As mentioned above, Yokai Watch 2 was just released last week and has already sold more than every game on this list.
What games will remain and what games will get bumped off the list by the end of the year? I have no idea, but hopefully we'll have some real gems coming.
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To contact the author of this post, write to cogitoergonihilATgmail.com or find him on Twitter @tnakamura8.