Forza Motorsport 4 Crashes in Japan, While the Rest of the World and the Critics Disagree

Last week I reported on how Forza Motorsport 4 had a surprisingly lackluster first week of sales in Japan, despite the fact that Japanese gamers normally love racing games.

I honestly thought that Forza 4 would have been one of those few western games able to make a breakthrough on the Japanese market. Who doesn’t love racing and supercar porn? Add to that the fantastic costomization options, that are normally a beloved feature on the Japanese market, and you get a safe recipe for success in the Land of the Rising Sun.

In the end, I was wrong, as the game sold only 24,854 copies in a week. Less than its predecessor.

I thought that sales might pick up during its second week, as word on the game’s quality and critical acclaim made its way around the community. Turns out I was wrong again. 

How many copies did Forza Motorsport 4 sell in its second week of sales in Japan? The problem is that we don’t know, as Media Create initially publishes only the top 20 chart. Today they released the statistics relative to the period between October the 17th and October the 23rd, and Forza 4 ended up being knocked out of  the twenty best selling games in Japan after just one week, selling less than the “PSP  The Best” budget edition of Monster Hunter Portable 3rd that ranked 20th with 6,685 units sold.

On the other hand the game is doing extremely well in the rest of the world, both sales-wise on the field of critical acclaim, holding a steady metacritic score of 91/100.

What makes the Japanese performance even more odd, is that the game received critical praise even on that side of the pacific. For instance Weekly Famitsu awarded the game a flattering 38/40 (9/9/10/10), one point more than what the magazine gave to its most direct rival Gran Turismo 5 (that received a 37 with three 9s and a 10).

Despite this, looks like the marketplace in the game is still full of Itasha (Cars decorated with anime, manga and Japanese games characters). Looks like the most hardcore Japanese artists didn’t abandon the franchise, after all.

What do you think is causing this lack of performance? Maybe the shoehorned kinect fucntionality? Or the timely release of the Spec 2.0 patch and DLC for Gran Turismo 5?  While you ponder on this question, you can go feast your eyes on my new weekly column on Forza Motorsport 4 paintjobs. The review of the game itself will be coming soon, so stay tuned!

Giuseppe Nelva

Hailing from sunny (not as much as people think) Italy and long standing gamer since the age of Mattel Intellivision and Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Definitely a multi-platform gamer, he still holds the old dear PC nearest to his heart, while not disregarding any console on the market. RPGs (of any nationality) and MMORPGs are his daily bread, but he enjoys almost every other genre, prominently racing simulators, action and sandbox games. He is also one of the few surviving fans of the flight simulator genre on Earth.

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