Japan: Square Enix 2008 Unit Sales Down Nearly 63%* (UPDATED)

11/30/08

Japan - The seismic effects of market shifts and economic gloom in combination with a rather short release list have made a significant impact for Square Enix. In 2007, eighteen releases spread across five systems (DS, PSP, PS2, Wii, 360) added up to a shockingly huge 4.5 million units sold.

In contrast, Square Enix's 2008 effort of ten releases across four systems (DS, PSP, Wii, 360) resulted in a far lesser 1.7 million units sold.* This is a 2.8 million unit difference and is a eye-popping 62.48% decline from 2007.


2007___________________________________________________
[PSP] Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII - 729,459
[NDS] Dragon Quest IV - 601,737
[NDS] Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings - 500,543
[WII] Dragon Quest Swords: The Masked Queen and the Tower of Mirrors - 453,445
[NDS] Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fate - 363,030
[NDS] Itadaki Street DS - 361,558
[PS2] Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix+ - 301,830
[PSP] Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions - 282,770
[NDS] Final Fantasy Tactics A2: The Sealed Grimoire - 259,364
[NDS] Subarashiki Kono Sekai: It's a Wonderful World - 171,629
[PSP] Final Fantasy Anniversary Edition - 117,689
[PS2] Final Fantasy XII International Zodiac Job System - 104,287
[NDS] Heroes of Mana - 82,865
[PS2] Final Fantasy XI: Wings of the Goddess expansion data disk - 82,597
[PSP] Final Fantasy II Anniversary Edition - 45,627
[NDS] Front Mission - 17,715
[360] Final Fantasy XI: Wings of the Goddess expansion data disk - 12,927
[360] Final Fantasy XI: Vana'diel Collection - 3,212
_______________________________________________________
18 TITLES THROUGH 11-19-07, TOTAL: 4,492,284



2008___________________________________________________
[NDS] Dragon Quest V - 1,152,229
[PSP] Star Ocean: Second Evolution - 141,218
[NDS] Valkyrie Profile: The Accused One - 118,374
[360] Infinite Undiscovery - 96,197
[NDS] Cid and Chocobo's Mystery Dungeon: The Labyrinth of Lost Time DS+ - 46,362
[NDS] Sigma Harmonics - 42,552
[NDS] Nanashi no Game (The Game with no Name) - 41,481
[NDS] Front Mission 2089: Border of Madness - 32,917
[WII] Soul Eater: Monotone Princess - 8,198
[NDS] DS Bookkeeping, Level 3 - 6,044
_______________________________________________________
10 TITLES THROUGH 11-19-08, TOTAL: 1,685,572


Analysis
This isn't all doom and gloom though, unless you're a PS3 owner still waiting for a Square Enix product after two full years. Chart Get! correctly pointed out that 2008 would be a slow year for Square Enix but it wasn't yet apparent just how slow it would be.

Look at this chart from our recent past (right). One can observe a cyclical pattern emerging that this analyst believes is directly related to the age of the applicable generation. Another significant factor is the proximity of the first Final Fantasy main-line release for the generation.

This cycle should point to increased releases in 2009, and assuming FFXIII is one of them (hopefully not too large of an assumption at this point, right?), a significant increase in sales is due as well.

* It should be noted that Chrono Trigger DS and The Last Remnant have both just released and may change the scope of these results slightly, but not enough to significantly alter the analysis.

Source = Famitsu Historical Data

=================
Update:

Scrutiny is the best peer review, right? I had a ton of feedback on this article, both positive and negative based on my method. Some of it was relevant (the captured data compared in similar time periods), and some of it was not (calendar vs. fiscal).

I adjusted the dates of the 2007 data to exclude the second half of November and all of December, a difference of almost 2 million units. I also corrected a data-collection oversight that included 2008 data for games released in 2007, a 207k difference.

The result is data collected by a better method and only a slightly less shocking title.

I'd like to tip my hat to my friends and colleagues Joshua J Slone and Donny2112 of NeoGAF for their guidance and support on this one. Thank you very much. - PL

11/30/08

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Serves 'em right.

Anonymous said...

AMEN. Backstab your customes get used to it...

Anonymous said...

Karma

they need to make games for the PS3

Anonymous said...

well i have b a fan of them when they WERE w/NINTENDO but after what they did w/FF7. i just didn't care for them any more. The thing about square is that they use people to get where they are now. like nintendo saved there butts back in the nes days. but as the years w/on they didn't care for them. Square really needs so much bad days coming to them as they did wrong to nintendo then. Now square is a big company now cos of their fan base but no one can stay big forever. old fans don't always live forever. look at EA. they went down hard! it was fun being a suare fan then and i haven't looked bac. times are changing square. let other rpg renew the genre while you go out like a bang! SEGA!

JJS said...

Heh, I don't think PS3 would be _quite_ the silver bullet. If Square Enix had published every PS3 game to date, their total sales from that platform so far would be similar to what they did across all platforms in 2007.

Anonymous said...

Duckroll can suck a dick.

He thinks he's right so he is going to do whatever he wants in spite of everything else. He's a mod so he's got the power and the will to abuse it. This is why I hate Neogaf and only tolerate that shit hole for the occassional news and sales numbers.

I've never seen a worse forum with the biggest fanboy mods who consistently abuse their power to stroke their egos and promte their agenda.

Anonymous said...

see what happens when you screw your biggest supporters in Sony and Nintendo by taking MS money. Many of us stated that you would pay a price by delaying final fanasty x111 in order to add the 360 and even with 360 limited exsclusive titles you still loose. 360 is for FPS and Sports fans.. RPGS and more to the point JPRPGS dont sell well on the 360. even in japan. I dont feel sorry for them at all they made thier bed let them sleep in it as cold as it is.

PL said...

It appears that there is a discrepancy with the data I used. I will make corrections as they are found sometime tonight.

The result will be a slightly less sensational headline, but the conclusions will be the same.

Thanks you for your patience with this. We're growing together!

PL

David Macphail said...

If you make games for a crap console like the Xbox 360 your reputation goes down the pan............

Seriously though, Square have nothing to worry about - next year sees the release of "Dissidia: Final Fantasy", "Final Fantasy XIII" and (Hopefully) "Final Fantasy Versus XIII". ALL those games will sell in the millions and Versus XIII is the sure - fire candidate for 2009 Game Of The Year (Or 2010, depending on when it comes out).

Also, there's the PS3 version of "The Last Remnant" which is guaranteed to sell better than the 360 version (Just like every other multiplatform game).

Square - Enix have some great times ahead of them.........i'm sure that has nothing to do with the fact that they're going to start releasing more games for the PS3 :P

Anonymous said...

I've always been a Square follower, but since they announced releasing their flagship series to the 360, I've turned my back on them (just like they did to their followers).

They made a wager, back stab their followers and get more new potential fan base, or not. By the statistics above, we know which they got.

JJS said...

Much improved. I think there's still one thing to take note of for future such comparisons, though. By having both sets get data through the week of "November 19" of their respective years, it picks the latest week which starts earlier than that. In the case of 2007 that was the week starting 2007-11-19. In the case of 2008 it's the week starting 2008-11-17. HOWEVER, since the Famitsu data for that week isn't in yet, it makes the comparison one week off.

Most of the time one week wouldn't be so huge, but in this case it means that 2007 gets the benefit of Dragon Quest IV DS's first week, but 2008 doesn't get Chrono Trigger DS and The Last Remnant's first weeks. Though if we follow those same links in a week's time, the 2008 results should include them.

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