Who said that Western Games can’t do well in Japan? Whoever it was, today he has been proven quite wrong, as the Media Create Software Charts for the week between September the 31st and October the 6th have been published.
Uncharted 3 ranked second, with 124,989 copies sold, followed closely by the PS3 version of Battlefield 3, that ranked 3rd with 123,379 copies that found their way to Japanese homes. If we look at total copies sold, though, EA’s FPS does beat Drake’s Deception because of the 27,723 copies that were sold for Xbox 360, bringing the total to a very respectable (in Japan) 151,102.
Both games, though, couldn’t compete with Mario. Super Mario 3D Land for the 3DS debuted with 343,492 copies sold.
Finally, Final Fantasy Type-0 (pardon the horrible pun) continued to sell strongly, ranking 4th this week, with 122,286 copies, bringing the total in two weeks just south of 600,000 (594,540).
There are a few interesting things that we can notice from the charts published todsay. The first one is obvious. Mario still sells a lot. Not as much as it used to, though. First week sales are comparable to Super Mario Galaxy 2, that wasn’t exactly a smash hit (only by Mario standards of course). To put things in perspective New Super Mario Bros. Wii sold just south of a million in Japan during its first week. Ultimately, the game didn’t even get near the 470,000 copies sold by Final Fantasy Type-0 last week.
The really interesting data, though, is about Uncharted 3 and Battlefield 3. Both are western games, but they launched in Japan with very respectable numbers.
The Total of Battlefield 3 gets very near to the numbers with which Ace Combat: Assault Horizon took first place a couple weeks ago. 150,000 copies are often good for a first place when there’s no “elephant in the room” like Mario around. The funny thing is that the Xbox 360 version of Battlefield 3 by itself sold more than Forza Motorsport 4 during its first week. So much for the Japanese hating shooters and being serious petrolheads.
Using Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) to promote the game obviously paid off, as Uncharted 3 sold more than double than the 54,000 first week sales of Uncharted 2 and is on another planet compared to the 16,000 copies sold by the first Uncharted.
The verdict is actually quite simple: Western games can sell well in Japan, as long as they are on the right platform and are advertised in the right way to pique the curiosity of Japanese gamers. Also, the Japanese gaming community is gradually opening to FPS games, as the successful launch of Battlefield 3 shows.
Sure, they won’t sell Mario-well or Final Fantasy-well, but they can definitely sell well.