I agree that Kojima has damaged his reputation some with Death Stranding. But I still think it's a pretty big win for MS for several reasons:
Death Stranding sold over 400k in Japan, if this Kojima game can even help MS move 1/4th that many Xbox Series units in Japan (than they would have sold without it) that is already a win for them since it will help to encourage more JP 3rd party devs to release on Xbox.
What are your sources for this?
Media create had the game selling 260k in 2019 (21st best selling game). It doesn't even chart the top 100 for 2020 with game 100, GT Sport, only selling 36k. So by the end of 2020 it has sold less than 300k. You are saying that 100K came from digital sales?
Other things you need to consider is that
1) XSX is a sales disaster in Japan.
2) Those Death Stranding sales take into account the existing PS4 fanbase in Japan, and
3) JPN devs are not using Japanese sales to determine whether they support XB or not: they are using WW data, because that is where the money is (unless you are the Switch, then every region is game).
MS getting a Kojima exclusive has almost nothing to do with Japan as a region.
It's on the wikipedia page from Death Stranding, but the website they have sourced seems to be down for maintenance right now:
"As of March 2020, the game's sales in Japan have reached 262,827 physical copies and an estimated 136,279 digital copies, for an estimated total of 399,106 sales in Japan."
To respond to your other points:
1. I wouldn't call Series S|X a sales disaster in Japan, sure it's not exactly lighting up the sales charts, but it's severely supply constrained and would be tracking well ahead of XB1 in Japan were it not for the supply issues, as demand for it so far seems considerably higher than XB1, with retail stores selling out of Xbox Series restocks in less than an hour, and online restocks selling out even faster. For the past few weeks it has actually been gaining on XB1 launch aligned, in spite of the supply issues.
2. Never said that it didn't, but there is no doubt that Kojima's name carries weight in Japan, this game could boost Xbox Series sales there a good bit. Obviously 400k sales in Japan like Death Stranding, on Xbox, are unlikely, but with Kojima's name carrying weight in Japan, I wouldn't be surprised to see this exclusive game (alongside a few other JP exclusives from Tango and a few other devs) helping to move Xbox Series lifetime numbers that are closer to OG Xbox (530k) than to XB1 (120k), and helping to boost xCloud/Gamepass subs in Japan as well.
3. While worldwide sales are definitely important to some JP devs, and many who care about worldwide are releasing on Xbox these days, I'd say that there are definitely some JP devs who mainly care about performance in Japan. It's an old fashioned viewpoint that is dying out, but does still exist to some degree. There is a reason why Xbox 360, which had the highest sales of all Xbox consoles in Japan (1.6m) also got the best JP 3rd party support of all the Xbox consoles. Xbox Series selling decently in Japan (and xCloud doing well there) could attract a few of those devs and publishers who currently avoid Xbox like the plague (NIS, Gust, Marvelous, just to name a few of them).
Last edited by shikamaru317 - on 08 April 2021