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Author Topic: Regarding the Japanese Blue Dragon Sales Numbers  (Read 1564 times)
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Dante Rising
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« on: December 11, 2006, 06:17:05 PM »

So Blue Dragon has just been released in Japan and it has already moved 70,000 units and 27,000 consoles. In my opinion this is VERY good news for MS. Their usual console sales average between 1K to 2K per month. Basically, Blue Dragon just sold 1 year of consoles in less than a week. Now, I'm certain those sales will fall dramatically within the next week, but hopefully it gives a few more months of sales above 2000 units. This would mean that 1 game caused a system sales spike of a few thousand percent, followed by a relatively sustainable increase of over 20%.

Granted, the sheer numbers involved are relatively small, but it shows that the 360 could be a feasible machine in Japan if they cater to the desires of the Japanese consumer base. Blue Dragon 2 has already been green-lighted, but the console has not been announced. MS should tie Mistwalker up in exclusives, or buy the company outright. If Lost Odyssey and Cry On perform well, I would dare to say they may be on the road to becoming the next Square Enix. Microsoft should take advantage of their ground floor leverage, as interviews have already shown that the working relationship between Mistwalker and MS is a good one.

MS can never have the #1 console worldwide without a strong presence in Japan. Mistwalker could be their first Ace of Spades.


Out of curiosity, if you were at the helm, would you try to buy Mistwalker, or just tie them up in exclusives for the remainder of the generation. I'll tie some random, imaginary numbers to the mix. 500 million to buy (more expensive than Rare) or 100 million to tie up their development cycle for this generation. (I have absolutely no idea how much money is shelled out in exclusive deals. I'm assuming the amount necessary is weighed against the estimated sales loss on the PS3/Wii + some extra percentage thrown in)
« Last Edit: December 11, 2006, 06:24:59 PM by Dante Rising » Logged
Kevin Grey
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« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2006, 06:34:30 PM »

The thing to realize about Japanese sales numbers is that they tend to be very top heavy, far more than even American sales.  Most Japanese games sell the majority of their units in the first week (and sometimes days on the shelf).  Blue Dragon may have longer legs than most, though, if it motivates more people to buy the console. 

Otherwise I don't really have much of an opinion on numbers one way or the other.  No matter how many thousands of perent it spikes, the overall numbers are still so tiny that I can't see it making any difference at all yet.  But they've also got Earth Defense Force X (popular Japanese franchise) and Lost Planet hitting in the next couple of weeks, so maybe that will help keep the numbers elevated.  I just can't see a console with an install base of less than a million (and 360's Japan base is dramatically smaller than even that) being a factor in that market. 

Re: buying Mistwalker- after the Rare debacle, I think they should avoid it.  Just keep the pot sweet enough that they want to stay working with MS.  If the 360 never takes off at all, I could see Sakaguchi getting frustrated that his games aren't being enjoyed in his home market.  If Mistwalker was 360 owned then that might be enough to cause him to walk.  But if they just have some exclusive development deals with MS, then that leaves them free to explore using the DS, Wii, or even PS3 to scratch that home market itch while still keeping product in the pipeline for the 360. 
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« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2006, 06:47:28 PM »

Wow... it's amazing how a game they use to target the Japanese market could actually make me want to get an XBox 360.
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Dante Rising
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« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2006, 07:05:02 PM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on December 11, 2006, 06:34:30 PM

The thing to realize about Japanese sales numbers is that they tend to be very top heavy, far more than even American sales.  Most Japanese games sell the majority of their units in the first week (and sometimes days on the shelf).  Blue Dragon may have longer legs than most, though, if it motivates more people to buy the console. 

Otherwise I don't really have much of an opinion on numbers one way or the other.  No matter how many thousands of perent it spikes, the overall numbers are still so tiny that I can't see it making any difference at all yet.  But they've also got Earth Defense Force X (popular Japanese franchise) and Lost Planet hitting in the next couple of weeks, so maybe that will help keep the numbers elevated.  I just can't see a console with an install base of less than a million (and 360's Japan base is dramatically smaller than even that) being a factor in that market. 

Re: buying Mistwalker- after the Rare debacle, I think they should avoid it.  Just keep the pot sweet enough that they want to stay working with MS.  If the 360 never takes off at all, I could see Sakaguchi getting frustrated that his games aren't being enjoyed in his home market.  If Mistwalker was 360 owned then that might be enough to cause him to walk.  But if they just have some exclusive development deals with MS, then that leaves them free to explore using the DS, Wii, or even PS3 to scratch that home market itch while still keeping product in the pipeline for the 360. 

Good points. Grabbing the exclusive flagship title(s) but leaving the house free to develop for other consoles may help all parties involved. MS saves money and has a heavy-hitting exclusive franchise, and Mistwalker can devlop for all consoles.
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Canuck
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« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2006, 12:26:57 AM »

What are the reviews like coming out of Japan?  80,000 copies in one week can only be called respectable considering that there are likely only a few more Xbox 360's in circulation.  Like someone else mentioned I bet that most of the copies that will be sold were sold during the first week. I'll be interested in seeing the end of month numbers.
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2006, 01:25:11 AM »

Most impressions I've read are extremely positive. 
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ROTC1983
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« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2006, 01:56:47 AM »

I think that the Special Xbox360 and its faceplate look awesome for the console biggrin  I forgot where I saw the picture.
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slackerjoe
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« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2006, 02:15:05 AM »

In my local electronics store (I'm in Japan, btw), there's plenty of inventory of special edition Blue Dragon XBOX360's and inventory of the game itself.  The XBOX360's are tucked all the way in the corner of the store too... very low visibility behind the Nintendo and Sony systems.

It's tempting to get a Japanese XBOX360 core system plus Blue Dragon plus the extras (face plate, figures) for around $250, but because the XBOX360 is not region-free, I can't bring myself to justify the expense since I plan on getting a North American XBOX360 once I return to the US.
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Calvin
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« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2006, 02:34:00 AM »

Blue Dragon outsold Zelda in its first week in Japan according to Gamespot.
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Destructor
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« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2006, 03:26:43 AM »

Quote from: Calvin on December 15, 2006, 02:34:00 AM

Blue Dragon outsold Zelda in its first week in Japan according to Gamespot.

Outsold Zelda in the week that Blue Dragon came out, yes. But Zelda has been out for a few weeks, and we all know that the game has an attach rate of like 80% or so. So everybody who wanted the game has bought it already.

As somebody else said elsewhere (as the PR spin is absurd on this one) - this is like saying 'I'm taller than Shaq but I forget to mention that he lost his legs in a car accident 2 days ago.'
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2006, 04:01:23 AM »

Quote from: Destructor on December 15, 2006, 03:26:43 AM

Quote from: Calvin on December 15, 2006, 02:34:00 AM

Blue Dragon outsold Zelda in its first week in Japan according to Gamespot.

Outsold Zelda in the week that Blue Dragon came out, yes. But Zelda has been out for a few weeks, and we all know that the game has an attach rate of like 80% or so. So everybody who wanted the game has bought it already.

As somebody else said elsewhere (as the PR spin is absurd on this one) - this is like saying 'I'm taller than Shaq but I forget to mention that he lost his legs in a car accident 2 days ago.'

Actually, Zelda's attach rate isn't that high in Japan- more like 35%.  However, Zelda, like Metroid, is a series that is actually more popular in the West than it is in Japan.  For example, Wind Waker did 800k in Japan while it sold over 2 million in the US alone. 
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Misguided
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« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2006, 02:37:36 PM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on December 15, 2006, 04:01:23 AM

Actually, Zelda's attach rate isn't that high in Japan- more like 35%.  However, Zelda, like Metroid, is a series that is actually more popular in the West than it is in Japan.  For example, Wind Waker did 800k in Japan while it sold over 2 million in the US alone. 

That sounds pretty good per capita. 298mil in US vs 127mil in Japan. So if the per capita rates were the same, Japan should have sold about 850k, so it's within 10%.
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2006, 02:48:34 PM »

Quote from: Misguided on December 15, 2006, 02:37:36 PM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on December 15, 2006, 04:01:23 AM

Actually, Zelda's attach rate isn't that high in Japan- more like 35%.  However, Zelda, like Metroid, is a series that is actually more popular in the West than it is in Japan.  For example, Wind Waker did 800k in Japan while it sold over 2 million in the US alone. 

That sounds pretty good per capita. 298mil in US vs 127mil in Japan. So if the per capita rates were the same, Japan should have sold about 850k, so it's within 10%.

I don't have any solid statistics to back this up, but my gut feeling is that gaming is a bit more widespread there- ie a larger percentage of the population are gamers compared to the US.  Despite having only half the population of the US, quite a few series (including many of Nintendo's franchises) sell significantly more units in Japan than the US. 
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metallicorphan
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« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2006, 03:16:39 PM »

when is this game out in europe...and ok ,America as well?
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #14 on: December 15, 2006, 03:18:26 PM »

Quote from: metallicorphan on December 15, 2006, 03:16:39 PM

when is this game out in europe...and ok ,America as well?

Hasn't been announced yet unfortunately. 
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