Momotaro is going to be the biggest 3rd Party launch on the Switch, with a initial shipment of around 500K, at this point - you gotta wonder if we will have the first Japanese 3rd Party million seller shipped+digital by the end of the year.
Age of Calamity initial shipment is expected to be around 300K for comparison.
How much did Hyrule Warriors sell FW on the Wii U and DS?
Across the Wii U and 3DS they sold close to 233K of units, so nothing too impressive.
The difference between the 3DS and the Switch for 3rd Parties is how successful Switch has been outside of Japan and specifically in Asia. If you look at some of the big third party games that aren't AAA their sales WW are 80% or so in Asia and Japan. So by Switch becoming the dominant system in places like South Korea, Taiwan, China and potentially in other markets where we don't get sales figures - it's becoming increasingly impossible to rely on the PlayStation ecosystem alone. This is why the news of Switch growing extremely quickly in some regions compared to the same period of the previous fiscal year is very significant. The Switch is obviously a record breaking system in the West and potentially in Japan, but the growth elsewhere is more important to third parties. Sales grew by 67% in Japan, 61% in the Americas and 72% in Europe this year.
But the real news in the most recent quarterly report was that sales for the "other" region grew by a huge 152%. I even spoke about how Switch's success in China due to Ring Fit Adventure & Animal Crossing might be a turning moment for consoles in the country. As culturally the Switch makes far more sense to a Chinese consumer than the PS4 or PS5, and secondly the Nintendo games rarely have problems with the regulatory process in China because they are all family friendly. If a game like Sakuna made by Marvelous is localized in China, Tencent who invested in Marvelous will most likely be the company pushing it on their home market. It will be the same case for Story of Season Olive Town and Rune Factory 5, Monster Hunter Rise, Age of Calamity etc. China's market is potentially a huge growth driver for Japanese companies. Tencent have been investing in a lot of companies in recent years so Japanese 3rd Parties are part of their growth strategy for their video game business. I believe they will become increasingly important partner for Nintendo, on the Switch. As they've been the ones pushing Ring Fit in China for example. China is definitely a driver behind the results we will be seeing during Q3 and Q4 this year, Ring Fit was launched officially there is September so really the huge impact it has had will be seen far more pronounced in the next financial results.
The second factor around the changes in support is that publishers haven't really been able to see a huge expansion in their sales thanks to the PlayStation 4's success in the West. That's probably due to their games not really aligning with Western consumer tastes on the PS4/X1 - there are not that many games that really break this pattern. Thinking about it I believe that Kojima's, RE, FF, Monster Hunter World, Nier and Persona are the ones that definetly had huge success in the West on the PS4. But outside of those there haven't really found much success and it's far more risky for companies, as Avengers recently demonstrated - huge budgets mean that you are taking a pretty big risk. Compare that to a AA game like Atelier for example setting franchise records and potentially becoming a million selling game with Atelier 2 this year. The game is not with a huge budget so it will be far more profitable, same is the case with Sakuna.
Another interesting example is DQXI, the game didn't become the big break out hit in the West Square was hoping and they had to quickly pivot their original strategy for the game from being a PS4 exclusive because they realize they would still need to offset development costs by creating 3DS version in parallel and than an enhanced port for the Switch. Had they only had a PS4 Version I honestly don't think their outlook would have been good.
Sakuna is expected to Top the Media Create South Korean ranking this week, while even in France is not in the Top 100 games on Amazon for the month and France is the most Japanese friendly market in the West. Right now Momotaro and Age of Calamity are in their launch week with Momotaro's opening expected to be around 300K and Age of Calamity at 150K between them on the Top of the eShop we see Sakuna, so during it's second week on the market it's probably selling over 20K digitally due to no physical stock. Considering it's reception there is a very good chance the game ships over 1 million by the end of the year, with more than 80% of it's sales in the Asian markets. This will be just one demonstration of the potential growth 3rd Parties will be seeing in the coming months/years if they have AA & AAA games whether exclusive or multi-plat arriving on the System.
If China really does see the console market growth I'm expecting, it will become increasingly important for pretty much any Asian developer.
Below you can check out the thread about the growth of the Other Regions for Nintendo:
Last edited by noshten - on 22 November 2020