Final Fantasy XIII-2 sold 538’774 in two days on the market. This figure is both good and bad : while being the biggest launch this year in Japan, it is far below the 1’500’000 achieved by the first Final Fantasy XIII. Second week sales were not bad (118’000), but reaching the million will be a struggle. There’s no denying it : FFXIII dealt a huge blow to the series at home. The Japanese are unforgiving and were quick to shift to other series.
However, the vile crows who are already celebrating the collapse of the series shouldn’t rush themselves. The Japanese market is known to be the Sick Man of the industry. On the top of ever decreasing software sales volumes, many players are favoring handhelds as mobile hardware (such 3DS and Vita) gets more powerful. I’m not trying to justify Final Fantasy XIII-2 sales, but the worst that can happen would be that Final Fantasy become a strong licence among others. From the beginning of this generation, a balance is surfacing with competing RPGs like Monster Hunter, Tales of or Atelier.
It is not even sure that SquareEnix cancelled the party : the publisher had shipped 850’000 copies and thus foreseen this decline. Developped in far less time than Final Fantasy XIII, in which it inherits the graphical engine, the battle system, the enemies and most of the characters, Final Fantasy XIII-2 should have no problem to profit. All the more easily that the Japanese frim has scheduled an extensive DLC campaign, a tad strange, but it should help make quick cash (especially with 300¥ costumes, I can’t imagine how much optional bosses will be). It might even be SquareEnix’s strategy from the very beginning : rather than releasing a big game every 2 or years hoping to interest as many gamers as possible (risky in a fast-changing industry like gaming), the company might want to address the fanbase more often, which means less but more faithful consumers who won’t hesitate to preorder the most lavish edition in advance and buy a lot of DLCs after. The producer Kitase-san has recently said that he wanted one Final Fantasy released every year, like series such as Assassin’s Creed or Call of Duty (let’s just hope FF won’t end up like those two).
Last but not least, it may be too early the write-off Serah’s adventures yet, because FFXIII-2 has currently more preorders than FFXIII in its time in the US. In France, the Cristal edition has been sold out since a while, and the Collector’s edition already knows shortages, that is… on PS3 at least.