Is it the end of the line for Hatsune Miku Project Diva?

Miku fail a

Tough I told this many times, let me say again that I love Project Diva f and the project Diva series, which I discovered last summer. I invested 10’000¥ in that game, in particular for the beautiful DLC that added songs from the PS3 versions. That blew me away : my brain had to make an internal update of the definition of «beautiful» after seeing Senbonzakura.

Therefore, when I learned that Sega was preparing a sequel to the 3DS iteration Project Mirai, which is not even remotely as good as Project Diva, I was far from happy. The publisher had never failed to deliver a Project Diva each end of year before. Driven by rage, I took my phone to give them a piece of my mind.

Still, I should have known. The PR guy wasn’t enthusiastic when the first Diva f numbers were published. And two days ago, Sega gave the final ones. They shipped 390’000 Project Diva f (PSVita) + F (PS3) in Japan (probably crossed the 400K mark with digital purchases). The grand total of the Hatsune Miku games (Project Mirai included) is of 1.8 million games shipped. According to GAF, Project Diva f shipped 220K, Diva F 160K. Both are nearing the end of their shipment, because Diva f hit 200K as of end of 2012, and Diva F is currently around 155K sold. The 1st Project Mirai had 2 shipments and sold 150K in 2012. If we extrapolate, 1800K – 400K Diva f+F – 200K Mirai = 1.2 million PSP games shipped between 2009 and 2011. That means that it took one PSVita game + one PS3 game to equal the sales that PSP games used to acheive. Diva f like Diva F are each way more costly than a 3DS game, hence Sega greenlit Mirai 2.

This triggers serious questions. When even its second-best selling game can’t meet the objective, how can PSVita survive on the market? Will publishers find any interest to deliver the ultimate experience when spin-offs make more profits? Are we going towards lesser quality because of the bearish market? Bad business news are rife those days. SquareEnix’s western games are a gigantic failure that burned millions. The newest God of War, Gears of Wars and Darksiders bombed, and many more stories point towards the end of the current economic model. Next gen is around the corner, can developers keep up? Will gamers foot the bill? Won’t publishers have to cut in their budgets? Will they be still eager to surprise us while it’s the the less innovating games (CoD, FIFA, Mario,…) that make the most money? All this with the rounds of applause from the press which on the top of that often give lectures on innovation and indies. Their hypocrisy is sickening.

Those questions then find a direct illustration in the little world of Hatsune Miku games. What can I do? Unless Mirai 2 bombs hardly, Playsation versions seem out of the agenda. There are rumors of new DLC, but the official silence spells doom on the Project Diva series. I played 15 minutes to snap this screenshot, 15 minutes and yet it’s utmost delight.

Tonight, I am no longer angry. I’m just sad. Of this sadness that draws all your strengh, by which you can’t move forward or even turn on a game. After Valkyria Chronicles, losing Project Diva would far too harsh…

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