You probably remember that Senran Kagura Shinobi Versus had a big role in lifting the Vita back in Spring 2013. The title ended up sold out within one day, selling more than 90’000 physical copies. Its success far exceeded Marvelous’s expectations and 6 months later, they announced 200’000 copies shipped, which is twice more than the previous Senran Kagura on 3DS. That is quite a performance for what is basically an otaku game. Therefore, when Marvelous announced Senran Kagura 2 Deep Crimson for 3DS, many wondered if the company management hadn’t skipped basic maths in primary school.
The thing is that since then, there’s been a lot at stake around Senran Kagura. Senran Kagura Burst was released for 3DS in Europe this year, in a rather… physical version. Thanks to a bold ad campaign in the UK, the game met the objectives. In the wake of this success, Shinobi Versus and its cooking spin-off Bon Appétit are given the greenlight too. Perfect (and unique) example of a franchise doing a successful shift from 3DS to PSVita, Senran Kagura surely became a thorn on Nintendo’s side, which was at risk to see niche gamers progressively ditching the 3DS to focus on Vita. Little doubt then that a lot a shady deals happened. Vita was the logical choice : Marvelous would sell more and at a higher price. But the publisher decided otherwise. Vita players, who made them quite rich, would be left behind, with Bon Appétit to kill the time until those fat cats eventually bother caring about them. Company deals apparently take precedence on costumer satisfaction.
Shinobi Versus fans knew they had a hard time ahead of them. Like Star Wars’s Rebels, they are little means to fight the Nintendo-Marvelous economic and financial Empire. The latter would spare no effort in trying to brainwash the public into believing that going back to inferior hardware was the right thing to do. Deep Crimson was heavily advertised in Akihabara for example. The situation was hopeless and the Nintendomination was looming ahead once more.
But the Senran Kagura fans rose and said NO! Senran Kagura 2 Deep Crimson figures were published today. It’s an all-time low for the series, and it sold only half of its stock. It’s half of what Shinobi Versus sold on PSVita, 30% less than what Senran Kagura Burst sold in 2012, and it’s even inferior to what the very first Senran Kagura moved back in 2011. I was in Okayama on that day : a 4 pm, the game had already sold out and left the shop empty-handed. Today in 2014, fans did not come, the enthusiasm of Senran Kagura’s debut is gone, only bitterness remains. Takaki producer is disowned, Marvelous’s management is ridiculous at best. Those people have to face the mess they’re in and stop running from their responsibilities (Takaki says he’s busy with DLC for Deep Crimson). Therefore, I hereby demanded that Mr. Takaki immediately made public information relative to the future Senran Kagura game on Sony systems (which he has refrained from doing until know, most likely favor 3DS over Vita).
Marvelous should have seen that coming. Let’s take an example : you go to the restaurant and eat delicious lobster. You return to the same restaurant the following day and they give you cabbage soup for the same price. Naturally, you will look for another place to have lunch. It’s quite surprising that Marvelous couldn’t have such a basic reasoning before making the decision. Others made similar mistakes and failed even harder : ImageEpoch, after successful projects on Playstation platforms like Sol Trigger or Toki Towa (maybe a bit less for this one), decided to develop exclusively for 3DS. Sol Trigger had sold 60K FW and Toki Towa 40K iirc. Tôshin Toshi on 3DS moved a bit more than 20K. Their latest game, Sonipro, cratered with only 6K sold.
One by one, those who stabbed their clients in the back will either have to take a different stance or decay, because it’s the costumer who ultimately drives the market (the ultra-fast 180° of the Tomb Raider exclusivity is another proof of that). The next one on the list is long known, Platinum Games. The moment of truth draws near and we will soon be able to track Bayonetta 2 preorders more precisely. If PG indeed were to collapse, one more step will have been made towards justice in this industry.