Final Fantasy XIII-2's Diminished Debut May Spell Trouble For The Franchise

Final Fantasy XIII-2 for PS3 moved over half a million copies after shipping in Japan last week -- around one-third of the sales the original Final Fantasy XIII saw just two years ago.
Final Fantasy XIII-2 for PS3 moved over half a million copies after shipping in Japan last week -- around one-third of the sales the original Final Fantasy XIII saw just two years ago. These relatively low sales could reflect diminished consumer interest in Square Enix's flagship franchise, or more specifically for its Final Fantasy XIII line of titles, which includes upcoming PS3 action RPG Final Fantasy Versus XIII. Square Enix also admitted several months ago that the Final Fantasy brand was "greatly damaged" by the troubled launch of PC MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV in September 2010 (a PS3 version is due to release in late 2012/early 2013). Final Fantasy XIII, which sold 1.5 million PS3 copies in its Japanese launch week two years ago, suffered much criticism from gamers who found fault with its linear gameplay approach -- something the company sought to address with this sequel. Elsewhere in the charts, 3DS software sales remain strong this holiday season, led by Monster Hunter 3G. The Capcom RPG sold over 200,000 copies in its second week after launching, coming off its 522,000 units sold the previous week -- a record high for 3DS software. While Monster Hunter 3G's week-to-week fall-off is around 60 percent, the game is on track to sell a million copies before the end of the year. Capcom's preparing for that milestone, and has shipped over 1 million units in the country already. Nintendo's Mario Kart 7 sold about the same as last week, 182,418 copies. And Super Mario 3D Land enjoyed a 25 percent boost in week-to-week sales, pushing 112,533. Both are also on the way to hitting 1 million sold each before 2012 arrives. Inazuma Eleven Go: Shine/Dark for 3DS, the latest from Level-5's popular soccer franchise, sold 135,259 copies -- much less than Inazuma Eleven 3: Spark / Bomber's half-a-million debut in 2010 , though that released for DS's much bigger userbase. The strong 3DS software sales were likely supported by the number of new hardware sold -- 367,691 of the Nintendo portables made it into consumers' hands last week, besting even the PS Vita's launch weekend of 324,859 sold. With the PS Vita's launch came plenty of new titles for the PSP successor, though only four made it into the top 20 software chart. Sony's Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational was the top seller of the bunch, moving 61,412 copies. The SCE Bend Studio-developed Uncharted: Golden Abyss, which was voted as the most anticipated PS Vita title by online readers of gaming site/magazine Famitsu, was the system's second biggest seller last week after pushing 48,224 copies. Koei Tecmo's Dynasty Warriors Next (29,181 copies sold) and Square Enix's Lord of Apocalypse (28,742 copies sold), were the remaining PS Vita titles, taking the #18 and #19 spots on the top 20 software list respectively. When the 3DS launched in February, the console saw six of its games chart, their sales numbers varying from 24,556 (Konami's Winning Eleven 3DSoccer) to 119,591 (Level-5's Professor Layton and the Mask of Miracle). Media Create CEO Atsushi Hosokawa admitted on Tuesday that PS Vita hardware sales were lower than expected, and blamed the unimpressive launch on the handheld's expensive price and the lack strong titles in its initial software lineup. The complete top 20 chart, as supplied by Media Create and posted by NeoGAF, is shown below:
LWTWTitlePublisherPlatformWeekly Sales
NEW1Final Fantasy XIII-2Square EnixPS3524,217
12Monster Hunter 3GCapcom3DS208,427
23Mario Kart 7Nintendo3DS182,418
NEW4Inazuma Eleven Go: Shine / DarkLevel-53DS135,259
35Super Mario 3D LandNintendo3DS112,533
86Kirby's Return to Dream LandNintendoWii71,028
NEW7Hot Shots Golf: World InvitationalSony Computer EntertainmentPSV61,412
NEW8Uncharted: Golden AbyssSony Computer EntertainmentPSV48,224
109Just Dance Wii NintendoWii44,021
1210PokePark 2: Beyond the WorldPokemonWii43,829
1111Wii PartyNintendoWii42,632
612Magician's Quest: Oshare na Mahou TsukaiKonamiDS35,068
1313Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic GamesNintendoWii34,351
NEW14Shin Kamaitachi no Yoru: 11 Hitome no SuspectChunsoftPS333,686
NEW15BlazBlue: Continuum Shift ExtendArc System WorksPS332,992
1616Wii Sports Resort with Remote PlusNintendoWii30,804
1717Taiko Drum Master WiiBandai Namco GamesWii30,046
NEW18Dynasty Warriors Next Koei TecmoPSV29,181
NEW19Lord of ApocalypseSquare EnixPSV28,742
1920One Piece: Gigant Battle 2 - New WorldBandai Namco GamesDS28,406
This week's major releases in Japan include Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (Dubbed Edition) for Xbox 360 and PS3, Musou Orochi 2 for Xbox 360 and PS3, and Inazuma Eleven Strikers 2012 Xtreme for Wii.

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