Forza Motorsport 4 Fails to Conquer Japan Despite Undeniable Quality

When Gears of War 3 didn’t manage to meet impressive sales figures in Japan, I wasn’t that surprised. After all it is a TPS, a genre that doesn’t really click much with the Japanese gaming community. On the other hand I was totally expecting Forza Motorsport 4 to take the Japanese gaming market by storm.

Japanese gamers are serious petrolheads, and Forza Motorsport 4 has a lot of quality and gameplay to vouch for it, despite being released on a console that isn’t exactly overly popular in the Land of the Raising Sun. On top it there weren’t many heavy hitters released in Japan last week, so I was completely convinced that Forza 4 could hit the jackpot and sell a fair number of Xbox 360 consoles as well.

Turn out I was dead wrong, as according to the Media Create software charts Forza 4 managed to sell only 24,854 copies in Japan, placing fifth in a week dominated by Ace Combat: Assault Horizon and Just Dance for the wii (both released in the same day).

Xbox 360 sales didn’t really feel a jolt of life from the release of the beautiful-looking driving simulator, as 1887 units were sold. Only 500 more than last week’s 1,346.

To add insult to Injury Forza 4 sold in Japan less than what Forza 3 did, as the predecessor managed to find a route to the home of 31,202 customers in it0s first week. 

Honestly I didn’t expect such a bad result, especially considering the game’s undeniable quality and the fact that it’s doing extremely well all over the rest of the world. Maybe the Kinect functionality turned off some of the potential customers, or Polyphony Digital managed to hold their grasp on the Japanese gaming community thanks to the spec 2.0 patch and the new DLC packages for Gran Turismo 5.

Luckily for Microsoft racing games are marathon runners and not sprinters, and we’ll see how the sales will fare in the upcoming weeks. In the meanwhile you’ll soon be able to read my own review of Forza Motorsport 4 (and I have another little feature in store, but that’ll be a surprise), even if you can probably already guess that I’m impressed.

You can find the full Media Create Top Ten (from October the 10th to October the 16th) below:

  1. Ace Combat Assault Horizon (PS3) 149,470 (149,470)
  2. JUST DANCE Wii (Wii) 90,039 (90,039)
  3. Winning Eleven 2012 (PS3) 61,787 (333,823)
  4. AKB1/48 If I Loved an Idol in Guam (including Limited Edition) (PSP) 34,114 (270,701=
  5. Five Forza Motorsport 4 (including Limited Edition) (Xbox 360) 24,854 (24,854)
  6. Ace Combat Assault Horizon (Xbox 360) 20,523 (20,523)
  7. Dead Rising 2 Off the Record (PS3) 16,913 (16,913)
  8. Class of Heroes Final (PSP) 16,904 (16,904)
  9. Minna no Rhythm Heaven (Wii) 13,202 (505,315)
  10. Dragon Quest I · II · III 25th Anniversary Collection (Wii) 12,987 (362,797)

New Games are bolded, total sales number for each titles are in parenthesis.

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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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