The Worst Japanese Sales Week In a Long Time

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Oh boy. The most recent video game sales numbers in Japan are not good. In fact, they’re bad. Very bad.


As blog Hokanko points out, the most recent Media Create sales figures—which date from May 11 to May 17—are the worst since 2001. This period was the week that followed Golden Week, a string of national holidays that sees people traveling, shopping, and spending money.

During the week from May 11 to May 17, a total of 235,000 video games were sold in Japan at retail. That’s a sixty percent drop in retail game sales from the previous week. Worse yet, it’s a 61.93 percent drop for the week when compared to the same time last year.

As Media Create explains, it’s typical for sales to be sluggish in the week that follows Golden Week. But these numbers are brutal. They’re so bad that Media Create says this is the most awful week of sales since 2001. (Note that Media Create, which has tracking sales since 1992, said the May 11 - May 17 week was the worst for the time period between 2001 and 2015).

Media Create explains that the reason for this huge sales stumble was a dearth of completely new games. Instead, there were loads of remastered and reworked titles. (Also, I think that the popularity of smartphone games and apps isn’t exactly helping traditional video game sales!)

Here’s a look at the top ten (the software figures for both Xenoblade Chronicles X and Mario Kart 8 include hardware bundles):

10. Dying Light (PS4) - 3,252 units

9. Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire (3DS) - 3,648 units

8. Xenoblade Chronicles X (Wii U) - 4,236 units

7. Bravely Second: End Layer (3DS) - 5,260 units

6. Mario Kart 8 (Wii U) - 5,405 units

5. Borderlands Double Deluxe Collection (PS4) - 6,922 units

4. Girls Mode 3 (3DS) - 7,422 units

3. Minecraft: PlayStation Vita Edition (PS Vita) - 11,303 units

2. Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Edition (3DS) - 13,844 units

1. Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster (PS4) - 15,913 units

In comparison (because people love comparisons!), here are the Media Create numbers for the same week in 2014 (via NeoGAF):

10. Monster Hunter 4 (3DS) - 3,386 units

9. Kirby Triple Deluxe (3DS) - 4,504 units

8. Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call (3DS) - 4,594 units

7. Pokemon X/Y (3DS) - 5,553 units

6. Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment (PS Vita) - 7,868 units

5. Mario Party: Island Tour (3DS) - 8,049 units

4. Mario Golf: World Tour (3DS) - 9,439 units

3. Yokai Watch (3DS) - 30,305 units

2. Genkai Totsuki Moero Chronicle (PS Vita) - 32,957 units

1. The Idolmaster: One for All (PS3) - 83.395 units

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3. Minecraft: PlayStation Vita Edition (PS Vita) - 11,303 units

Well, there’s my reminder that Japan actually knows what Minecraft is.

Also wow, those Xenoblade X sales are deeply alarming. Like this game should have already sold several million copies. I worry these figures will make Nintendo think twice about publishing it in the West... again.