In an article I wrote last week I expressed the opinion that disappointing sales of the Wii U version of Dragon Quest X during its first week on the shelves in Japan were a sign of a broader problem for the console in its home country. In response to that many told me that the game had been on sale just one day (it was actually two days, as most specialized stores in the island of the rising sun don’t close on Sundays) and that it was bound to pick up this week.
I warned them against getting their hopes up on such a notion, as Japanese gamers are very keen on the “first day bandwagon”. Those that aren’t do the majority of their shopping on Sundays, since they’re busy with school and work during the rest of the week. Of course most didn’t exactly accept that word of warning at face value.
Today the latest Media Create Software and Hardware charts have been published: How did Dragon Quest X and the Wii U fare in the second week on the shelves for the game? Not well.
Dragon Quest X for the Wii U sold only 9,900 copies, bringing it to a disappointing total of 43,202 copies in nine days, ranking 12th on the charts (dropping from 6th). The console itself also dropped sharply, moving 14,783 units in the past week and getting overtaken again by the PS3.
The console managed to retain a little bit of momentum, selling about 3,000 units more than two weeks ago, also thanks to the help of Game & Wario that sold another 11,000 copies and barely retained its tenth position.
In comparison when Dragon Quest X launched on the Wii not only it sold 367,148 copies during its first week only, but it helped moving 42,155 units of the console that was by all means already on its way out back then.
With no new and strong titles in sight for a while, sales of the Wii U are probably destined to drop further, and with the release of a Dragon Quest game this kind of numbers definitely confirms what said last week: the Wii U is struggling to be accepted as a valid option in its home country and that is a rather large problem for Nintendo.
Those that would like to see Dragon Quest X localized in the west (like me) can only hope that digital sales of the game fared better, because the numbers we just saw aren’t very conducive to persuading Square Enix to export the title outside the local market.
Luckily not everything is going badly for Nintendo, as 3DS sales remain extremely strong even thanks to Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon and Animal Crossing: New Leaf that continue to top the charts. While this definitely helps, the Kyoto-based company needs to make a move to push the Wii U forward, as calls to patience will go only so far. What that move can be, I can’t say for the moment, but it needs to come not to burn the headstart the Wii U is enjoying before the release of competing next generation consoles.