A Japanese/American/Others sales question?

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Okay, I say what the question is until I explain what I'm trying to say..

I notice that near every game release there is a opening or launch. To my knowledge those are really the early adopters or fans of the game that get the game first.

Who as in gamer-wise extend the life of the game after the launch week. Is it the casuals that continue to pick up the game or is it still those die-hard gamers?

This is in reference to some titles like Monster Hunter Freedom 2G and several other games that have awesome numbers opening week and then gradually stay in the top 20 or contiune to sell at a reasonable price.

Again is it the mainstream audience that continue to pick the game up or is it still the fans that are making the sales what they are?