Recently, we heard the first Japanese shipment of Final Fantasy XIII-2 would be about half the size of the initial Final Fantasy XIII shipment.

And now, despite what can only be viewed as relatively decent sales numbers, it seems FFXIII-2 is marking the franchise's perceived popularity decline. Check it out:

Everyone is talking about the latest tallied sales figures ; the long-time fans have noticed that thus far, FFXIII-2 hasn't even outsold Final Fantasy III on the SNES. The industry was considerably smaller back then, ya know. Furthermore, if you compare the sales of FFXIII-2 to some of the more popular installments during the PS1 and PS2 eras, the picture starts to get clearer… We're making no judgments on this; we'll let the readers hash it out.

By the way, does anyone else find it supremely hilarious that the Xbox 360 version of FFXIII-2 has sold around 10,000 copies compared to the 525k the PS3 version sold? Why even bother to release the 360 version in Japan?

Seriously?

Related Game(s): Final Fantasy XIII-2

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ZenChichiri
ZenChichiri
10 years ago

There isn't that much initial hype with XIII-2, so I can see why sales seem to be lacking. People are so skeptical because of what happened with XIII that they are holding back on purchasing this upon initial release. I bet it's long time sales numbers will go up, but it won't be until either:

A) After lukewarm reviews, the price drops.

or

B) The game ends up getting a great aggregate review score, so people buy it full price some time after it releases.

The thing that helped FFXIII's sales so much was the sheer hype for it. Even though disappointment followed after the game was actually played, the people that were lining up for their day 1 purchase had no idea. I'm not saying it was a bad game, but the general consensus on XIII is that it's a disappointing Final Fantasy experience.

With XIII-2, they used the same engine and have less pre-rendered cutscenes, so it's not like they're going to be losing a profit on this one regardless.

Bonampak
Bonampak
10 years ago

Even if they did recycled assets and don't end up losing much in term of profits, you gotta admit that these first week Japanese sales numbers are making the brand name lose some face. Its quite damaging to it, in fact.

First Week Launch Numbers (Japan):

FF XIII-2……… 524,217 Units

FF XIII………. 1,516,532 Units

FF XII……….. 1,840,397 Units

FF X-2……….. 1,472,914 Units

FF X…………. 1,749,737 Units

FF IX………… 1,954,421 Units

FF VIII………. 2,504,044 Units

FF VII……….. 2,034,879 Units

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
10 years ago

Bonampak, chart those numbers on a bar graph and put a best fit curve to it. FF peaked with FFVIII and has been in steady decline since, with a truly precipitous drop with FFXIII-2.

If I was a business man looking at those numbers, I'd be really worried. Especially in the full knowledge that the sales lives of games are much more concentrated in the 1st week & 1st month than before with relatively lower long term sales than in the PS2 days.

Arvis
Arvis
10 years ago

But I thought multiplatform was supposed to INCREASE sales?

-Arvis

ZenChichiri
ZenChichiri
10 years ago

Lifetime sales of FFXIII were more than FFVIII. FFX and FFVII are the only games to outsell FFXIII in the entirety of its lifetimes. Here is what I found:

FFVII: 9.8 million (includes international ed.)
FFVIII: 6 million
FFX: 6.6 million
FFX-2: 3 million
FFXIII: 6.2 million

I have a feeling that XIII-2 isn't going to sell nearly as well as its predecessor, but FFX-2 sold less than half of what FFX did in its lifetime as well, coming in at only about 3 million.

ZenChichiri
ZenChichiri
10 years ago

I forgot to mention one other important fact: People in Japan are buying less games these days. Japanese sales in general across all video games are in decline. This also has an impact on those week 1 Japanese sales.

Bonampak
Bonampak
10 years ago

@ZenChichiri, you are saying that XIII-2 might've not sold well because the Japanese don't buy many games these days.

Then how do you explain other games selling quite well during their first week in Japan?

How do you explain Monster Hunter 3G selling 471,055 in two days?

Let's face it… S-E is solely responsible for those lackluster numbers. Not Japanese gamers. They had good reason to avoid XIII-2. And boy, did they…

ZenChichiri
ZenChichiri
10 years ago

And weirdly enough FFXIII-2 sold on par with that in its first week even with a declining fanbase. Goes to show how much even with a declining fanbase it still manages to outsell Monster Hunter. Square is still important, but it's up to them whether or not they use it to their advantage or they fail.

Mamills
Mamills
10 years ago

lol, ok sorry, 13's characters sucked the story sucked etc. thus the reason i have no interest in the new one.
im sure they made improvements in the gameplay but as i said, without good story and good character development it gets no purchase.
will i play this game? maybe but i will not pay for it.
(sorry but the cast sucks they lack character, completely)
the story of the 1st was pretty stupid and i have no interest, so this one (if they are similar which i think they are from what ive seen. so ill try it out if a friend buys it) but for the most part, ill be skipping.

sorry square, but they have lost me until they start listening

Jawknee
Jawknee
10 years ago

LOL! Hilarious. Square killed this franchise with one installment. Sad for Square. Even more sad for gamers.

Now…where in the hell is Versus XIII?!

Mamills
Mamills
10 years ago

lol, dont hold yur breath, vs 13 aint coming. but if it does its no longer exclusive. who knows, maybe they renamed it 15 so they can go multiplat.

Jawknee
Jawknee
10 years ago

Says who?

bigrailer19
bigrailer19
10 years ago

I'm just surprised they are unveiling the next FF installment, rather than talk about vs. 13 at all. That tells me it's on the back burner at least.

Jawknee
Jawknee
10 years ago

Different teams work on the main Final Fantasy's than those people who are working on Versus. Nomura probably just doesn't feel it's ready to be shown yet.

I'm cautiously optimistic about Versus.

Mog
Mog
10 years ago

VS 13 was introduced in 2006……

its almost 2012……

It better be as good as ff 7,8,9,or 10 but knowing SE's current state, I doubt it.

Snaaaake
Snaaaake
10 years ago

Well Jawknee, at least the good news is that FFvXIII is in full development power now.

Mamills
Mamills
10 years ago

lol, Jawknee

vs13 will not come out unless they can go multiplat.
its called business, too much time and money has been spent already.
i mean you are optimistic, but im pretty sure this is what is happening.

Jutter
Jutter
10 years ago

@Mamills With SE dropping Crystal Tools for Versus I don't really see why they would drop a multi-plat engine if they wanted to port it.

Mamills
Mamills
10 years ago

@Jutter

let me explain,
versus has been in development for too long and that means too much money has been spent.
now with that being said they will not be able to release it exclusively on PS3.
(I know it sux but thinking with a business mind, which they are. it does not make sense, they need to reach the largest audience possible)

so there are a few options of what is going to happen:

A. it goes multiplat
B. it is canned
C. it will be renamed and announced for the next gen of consoles. (AKA PS4 & xbox 720) (This may also be the reason why the engine may have been dropped or replaced.)

thus the reason as i say, it is not coming out this gen and if it does it will be multiplatform.

its quite obvious at this point.

remember guys, we are just the fans, we want it to be exclusive because we want it to kick ass on our console of choice, but looking at their point of view, they screwed up and they need to make money to keep afloat.

sorry, but its business… it sux sometimes

Jawknee
Jawknee
10 years ago

And you know this mamils because you work for Square?

Oh you don't? Okay then…

Mamills
Mamills
10 years ago

lol, oh jawknee,

keep up yur optimism buddy.

but remember i said this,

i see this happening too often and we will see

Arvis
Arvis
10 years ago

First of all, this is just a rumor. We have no idea if they're really unveiling FFXV at all.

Second of all, if the rumor is true, they won't even be "unveiling" ANYTHING until 6 months from now!

Third of all, in regards to the "have to make it multiplat for money" idea: it's that kind of thinking that got them where they are now! They "had to release a sequel to to FF13 for money," and now we have articles like this one.

Back in the day, Square would release something "Final Fantasy" in the name and everyone would get excited and sales would be good.
Now, everyone kind of groans and grimaces and wonders if it will be worth buying used.

Back in the day, Square would release something that DIDN'T have "Final Fantasy" in the title, hardly anybody would buy it, but it would review really well and pull in a loyal fanbase of grateful gamers who would get their friends into the game, giving it a long tail sales-wise. Games like Chrono Cross, Front Mission, and Radiata Stories are perfect examples.
Now, Square releases a non-FF title and nobody pays any attention. Kane & Lynch, really? That's what Square has for us these days? Even Deus Ex has become relegated to "just another sci-fi action game," even though it's quite good and reviewed well.

The point?

The Past: Final Fantasy raked in the cash, while exclusive, high quality games and RPGs catered to a loyal (and growing) fanbase.

The Present: Final Fantasy sales dwindle after becoming multiplatform, while multiplat action/shooter titles flounder in retail, killing off their established customer base rapidly.

The Moral: Loyalty equals good business. And Square has sold their loyalty this gen.

-Arvis

Jutter
Jutter
10 years ago

@Mamills I'm not sure of this. The development time could be thanks to all the waiting the team has done. They had to create a specific engine for the game and wait for a lot of other reasons. If those are the only reason's I'll spot The Last Guardian which has been in development for quite a while as well and there is absolutely no chance of it going multi-plat.

Most exclusive PS3 games use specific engines for the console. We have no idea that this engine isn't multi-plat but it would make sense. The PS3 is harder to develop for when using Multi-plat engines. Unless the game is lead on PS3 it will look and run better on the 360. I'd even say the same if Crystal Tools lead on 360.

ZettaiSeigi
ZettaiSeigi
10 years ago

I actually had to chuckle after reading this bit of news the other day. I'm sure it won't take long before the game hits the bargain bin. Sorry, that's a gutted fan talking right there.

VampDeLeon
VampDeLeon
10 years ago

The poor sales shouldn't come as a surprise to them seeing as no one really demanded for a sequel to Final Fantasy XIII.


Last edited by VampDeLeon on 12/22/2011 10:56:16 PM

Arvis
Arvis
10 years ago

Good point. Great avatar.

-Arvis

tes37
tes37
10 years ago

I don't think that SE will get the right message from this decline. It requires too much faith to believe they would.

I'm starting to get used to the fact that we may never see another Final Fantasy rpg.

Phoenix
Phoenix
10 years ago

I expected as much from this title, I think there are 2 major reasons it wont sell very well, 1 being that it's a sequel to XIII, which some people enjoyed, though most did not.
The 2nd reason is because it's a sequel….. I for 1 will prolly not buy this because of how bad X-2 was, sure it's a different game, but X-2 scared me for life…. one could also say that despite a different story, the game will feel a lot like XIII did, so why pay for it again.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
10 years ago

I think that this has a lot to do with the betrayal that Japanese gamers felt over FFXIII. It wasn't a good FF game at all, and wasn't a JRPG. A good game in it's own right, but not what it should have been. Japanese gamers bought blindly last time, this time they are cautious.

As for the 360 version, I know why SE bothers, and so does everyone else, it's called a contractual obligation linked to a dumptruck of money.

Phoenix
Phoenix
10 years ago

Well after the beating thier stocks took, can u really blame them for taking MS money? =P

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
10 years ago

Yes, because the beating they are taking in the stocks has moer to do with the way they are handling their home market and key franchises than anything else, and the mis-handling of those things traces back to the total BS represented by their early exclusivity contracts with MS, and their more recent exclusivity waffling. They have no clarity of vision and have become distracted by the short term financial baubles that are on offer rather than the long term, but less sexy, business success that they once had.

Fane1024
Fane1024
10 years ago

With FFXIII exclusive to PS3 in Japan, I'm surprised the sequel sold *any* copies. I guess those 10,000 people imported the first game or something.

Jawknee
Jawknee
10 years ago

Fane it didn't remain excluvie in Japan. Square Enix released the 360 version with extra content in Japan not long after it released in the West.

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
10 years ago

FFXIII was a mediocre RPG, not surprising the sequel to it didn't have as big of sales.

rainrox
rainrox
10 years ago

MS paid a crap load of dollars to SE to publish xiii-2 in japan. FFX has 7 playable chars, FFXIII has 6 playable chars, FFX-2 has 3 characters and FFXIII-2 has 2 characters with pokemons. FF series is all about the different characters and they way you organize your party, not changing clothes and catching pokemons.

Phoenix
Phoenix
10 years ago

Yea I dunno why MS bothers paying companies for RPGs, do they think it's going to make people who enjoy playing them buy thier RROD machine? If I want my fix of JRPGs, I go sony…. though this gen so far has been a disapointment to me, but that's beside the point.

While I agree that more characters is a good thing, aswell as being much more intresting than in XIII, I gotta tell ya dont knock the new pet system until you've tried it. I played FFXI ( MMO ), and my fav class in that game was called Beastmaster, the job allowed you to charm wild monsters and to use them in combat along side you, it was fun as hell. Dont get me wrong, I'm not saying go buy this game because of it, I'm just saying give the pet thing a chance ….. in another game, or until this hits the cheapy bin =P.

Underdog15
Underdog15
10 years ago

Beastmaster has been around since FFV in various FF games. It was also sort of in FFT (Mediator could do the same thing). I remember FFXI well. Blue Mage was also fantastic. I was a Red Mage. It was alright, and I could solo lots of things (although it often took time), but in a party… well…. lets just say as a RDM you -NEVER- had trouble finding a party.

BigBoss4ever
BigBoss4ever
10 years ago

to step up a bit, it will be more hilariously laughable if it sells zero on xbox 360 in Japan — so much to go for multi-plat huh, you heartless brainless greedy Squeeenix Wada bastard…


Last edited by BigBoss4ever on 12/23/2011 12:42:21 AM

Jawknee
Jawknee
10 years ago

Read it again.

The whole thing.

Fane1024
Fane1024
10 years ago

To be fair, 10,000 is functionally the same as zero.


Last edited by Fane1024 on 12/23/2011 2:40:28 AM

___________
___________
10 years ago

i dont think its entirely down to fans being disappointed with it and the original.
XIII sold so well because 1 it was the first FF in a new generation, 2 it was the first FF in such a long time, and 3 it was the first game to use the crystal tools engine.
its not exactly surprising to see its predecessor sell less, especially when its only 2 years later, and was originally suppose to be DLC.

Snaaaake
Snaaaake
10 years ago

Not really though, FFXIII sold many and fast is because it's the first FF in 3 years and it had a lot of hype and expectations.

FFXIII-2 is only 2 years after FFXIII and there's not as much hype, not to mention FFXIII was the first main FF this gen.

raptassassin
raptassassin
10 years ago

I must be the only one here who has pre-ordered FF13-2. I don't care what anyone im going into the release of Final Fantasy XIII-2 with open mine and giving it a shot.

Underdog15
Underdog15
10 years ago

I agree about the open mind thing. If it's fantastic, I'll get it. But due to SE's behavior recently, I'm not going to do so in blind faith.

I am probably 92% likely to get this game. But I am 100% likely not getting it in the first week. I remain…. cautiously optimistic.

evilmunkie
evilmunkie
10 years ago

Never thought I'd see this day, but I do think its too early to judge this titles sales numbers since I think we can all agree that the first game left a bad taste in most east and western FF fan's mouths. Its normal that a person to be cautious after a bad experience and FF XIII must be like a car door that slams shut on your hand on the scale of bad experiences. To be fair I still haven't tried XIII but the fact that I hear more negative things than positives about this installment has made me hold off a purchase till I almost forgot XIII even existed with all the other great games that have came out since then. One day I will have to try it, but its going to have to wait till I am done with Disgaea 3 and also after I buy and finish 4. Yes S-E, I would rather play that than buy XIII, I revel in nostalgia and Disgaea brings that in spades. Unlike some companies that forget what they they spent years doing to appeal to those that would outright ignore the series just for it being turn based (I remember my older cousins heckling as they watched me play VII for the first time). Now it only seems to be acceptable to do that if it is HD remake…… how is it possible that we love what you have created more than its own creators? What will it take to wake up S-E? The FF X HD remake selling better than XIII-2 in day 1 purchases? That actually sounds like its possible with this news, which is #$*%in alarming. Maybe your just trying to make the fighting system as complex as the stories with the better technology thats available, I don't know, but it still needs to be tweeked if the franchise is in this shape.


Last edited by evilmunkie on 12/23/2011 6:45:49 AM

Underdog15
Underdog15
10 years ago

I didn't read the whole thing, as it's too hard to read for me on my screen with no paragraphs (no insult to you or your writing), but I agree it's too early to judge it.

I bet most of the Japanese that like FF will get it eventually. I would think that they are likely like us here…. waiting and seeing before they make a purchase. After FFXIII (which broke records for how quickly it was sold back to game stores), I'm willing to bet most people over there want to be sure about what they're getting this time around.

SE no longer has blind faith purchasers as they once had. But you're right. Those numbers will likely rise significantly with time.

Excelsior1
Excelsior1
10 years ago

FFX-2 only managed to sell less than one half as many copies as FFX and that was a direct sequel to an extremely well liked Final Fantasy game so I'm not so sure we can infer much from this. Plus 13-2 is a sequel to a game that got a mixed reception at best.

If FF15 comes out and struggles then I would say the series is in decline for sure. I don't think anybody, including Square themselves, expected 13-2 to light up the sales charts. Square only shipped about half as many copies out.

From a quality viewpoint I think the series has been in decline since after FFX.


Last edited by Excelsior1 on 12/23/2011 6:53:47 AM

DrRockso87
DrRockso87
10 years ago

"FFXIII-2 hasn't even outsold Final Fantasy III on the SNES"

Christmas has come early!! Now I wonder if my wish for a pony with sacks full of money will come true?

Underdog15
Underdog15
10 years ago

The FFVII PSN release sold more in it's first week. Just sayin'.

Anyways, this is a lose-lose situation for fans anyways, so whatever. Here's how it is:

We think it should happen like this: SE makes big sales on sequel, it shows continued brand loyalty and people will complain. SE makes bad sales then HA they learn their lesson and go back to the old ways.

BUT, it was NEVER going to work that way. HERE is the way it actually happens and will happen. And it's why it's best to just roll with the punches and accept FF for what it has become (as wishing for old days won't help). As promised… here's the way it is:

SE makes great sales, that means people obviously like the NEW way FF is made! SE makes poor sales, then it isn't because of the changes… it's because people don't like FF anymore. (From SE's persepctive, of course)

SE, guaranteed, will not see this as fans wanting them to go back to their old ways. They will see this as a reason to move even further away from it in order to boost sales. They truly believe the old mechanic is archaic. There's no way, even if consumers speak with their wallets, that SE will go back to their old ways.

My friends… we either need to accept that FF is no longer our favorite franchise and just enjoy them for what they are and BUY, or like Japan, stop buying into it and be prepared for the FINAL final fantasy.

AntDC
AntDC
10 years ago

So you dropped your old faithful JRPG crowd in favour of… What exactly, Enix?

If I were an employee of SE I'd being feeling very uncomfortable and embarrassed for the future of the company right now.