Nippon Ichi is set to announce a new Disgaea title for the PS3, in what is thought to be an effort to restore the company’s fortunes after a 100% drop in profits, a humiliating stock market plunge, and the dismal performance of its recent releases.
From Nippon Ichi’s own “the plan for next term” presentation:
“The Disgaea series – 1.6 million copies shipped!”
“Awareness and brand strength grow!”
[The top area of the graph is overseas sales, the bottom Japanese sales.]
The company also promises heavy emphasis on the North American market, although so far its efforts in this direction have been less than reassuring.
The actual sales figures for Disgaea reveal the brand is in fact dependent on an interminable series of handheld spinoffs and remakes:
Disgaea 2 150,428
Disgaea PORTABLE 50,966
Disgaea PORTABLE Tsushin 107,169
Disgaea 3 93,227
Disgaea Akaime (DS) 38,770
Disgaea 2 PORTABLE 101,688
Fans could be forgiven for thinking the reason the main Disgaea titles remain stagnant with PS1 era graphics and gameplay is so they can be easily milked on portable systems.
However, producing endless rehashes and a series of frankly embarrassing PS3 releases seems to have left the company in a state of creative and technical enervation. Disgaea 4 may be the company’s last chance to get back on track and rescue both the franchise and its increasingly tenuous financial position.