Hatsune Miku Project Diva F 2nd, the differential equation

Digital sales for March in Japan have just leaked. We can hence have a precise idea of the launch sales of Project Diva F 2nd. Adding to the 165’000 physical units sold during the week of March 27th, the game was downloaded 15’000 times (10’000 on PSVita, 5000 on PS3). Project Diva F 2nd consequently sold 180’000 units in 3 days. 

In order to assess its performance, we have to do a bit of economic research. In the PSP era, the series had already known a substantial drop between Project Diva 2nd and Project Diva Extend. Diva 2nd benefited from the fact that the concept was still fresh at that time. Extend inherited from a bunch of songs from Diva 2nd, thus diminishing its consumer value.

Then comes Project Diva F. With the PS3 version releasing at a later date (March 2013, while the Vita version came out in August 2012), it achieved spectacular sales given that the PSVita+PS3 userbase (12 million) is quite less than the PSP userbase at that time (19 million). Combined, the launch of those two versions top 270’000 physical units sold, to which we probably add between 15’000 and 20’000 downloads. Project Diva F 2nd therefore seems to have lost some 100’000 purchasers! It so happens that 110’000 persons bought the PS3 version of Diva F when it released in March 2013. We must therefore set two hypothesizes. 

If we consider that the majority of those 110’000 didn’t have the PSVita version, then the series has indeed lost a great numbers of fans and lands more or less at the same level as Project Diva Extend. Extend and Diva F 2nd are actually pretty close in terms of situation, since Diva F 2nd takes half of its songs from Project Diva 2nd on PSP. But since those entirely remade with the 3D engine made for the F series, it has definitely more value. Notice that in that case, the people who bought Project Diva F at release on Vita and those who picked Diva F 2nd (PS3&Vita) are essentially the same. They make a very solid fanbase that is likely be faithful in the long term, all the more likely that they had already purchased Project Diva Extend back on the day. Let’s stress that like Extend, Diva F 2nd costs less to produce given that half of the musical licenses are already paid for. The series could therefore remains profitable even in the case of a Project Diva F Extend. Launching a new trilogy might be a lot more problematic tough… 

Second option, the 100’000 figure is no coincidence and the majority of early buyers of Project Diva F PS3 actually bought the game a second time. It means that between Project Diva F and Project Diva F 2nd, the series hasn’t lost a single person given that Diva F sold 158’000 in one week and Diva F 2nd 165’000 in the same time frame. But there’s a snag : while the PS3 version had indeed some additional songs compared to the Vita version, those ones could be bought for 3000 ¥ as a DLC for the Vita version. True, the pieces fit, but it’s hard to imagine that many people shedding 7000 ¥ for the PS3 game when they could «complete» their Vita version for only 3000 ¥.

Another thing is to be taken into account : import. Diva F having been localised long after the Japanese release and Diva F 2nd already being westbound, a lot of people who imported Diva are likely to wait the western release of Project Diva F 2nd later in 2014. While it’s impossible to give definite quantities, the Japanese figures of Diva F 2nd clearly lack those sales. Those sales are not «lost» but merely transferred to the western sales of the game later in the year, that should be quantifiable since both come in boxes this time.

There’s one last parameter that didn’t exist in the PSP era : Project Mirai. By introducing a spinoff series, Sega took the risk of a split of the fanbase. It was all the more likely to occur that Project Diva F is directly towards a male audience, while girls will certainly prefer the kawaii side of Project Mirai. Sega hence has to manage to series without extending its public, instead of one before. I really hope that Project Mirai won’t jeopardize Hatsune Miku games in a whole, because it would be Sega’s own blunder.

But the most important in all that is to what extend Sega has integrated all those parameters before making the budget for Project Diva F 2nd. The game has already sold more than 80% of its initial shipment, so if the publisher wasn’t planning a second one, the objective is already met and the western sales will be a plus. Sega’s financial coming next month should shed some light on the matter, and hopefully we’ll know whever we’ll be able to enjoy Project Diva in the years to come. 

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