Ranking the best selling Japanese RPGs of the current generation of consoles provides evidence of some less than inspiring trends in gameplay and production values, amongst what is often considered the Japanese gaming industry’s flagship genre.
The ranking (strictly per-platform, barbarian sales not included):
1. Final Fantasy XIII (PS3) – 1,904,313
2. Monster Hunter 3 (Wii) – 1,041,174
3. Dragon Quest Swords: The Masked Queen (Wii) – 489,112
4. Tales of Vesperia (PS3) – 362,359
5. White Knight Chronicles (PS3) – 339,690
6. Tales of Graces F (PS3) – 313,215
7. White Knight Chronicles 2 (PS3) – 249,350
8. Demon’s Souls (PS3) – 218,546
9. Star Ocean 4 (PS3) – 208,521
10. Tales of Vesperia β (360) – 204,305
Another Namco beta almost manages to appear in the list, with 203,770 sales for the Wii’s all but unplayably buggy Tales of Graces β – having people pay to beta test their games appears to be a depressingly effective business model.
Final Fantasy XIII, though by far the best seller and the shiniest of the lot, is also the worst selling Final Fantasy title since FFIV, dimming its lustre rather substantially.
Some of the recently hyped Wii RPGs do even worse – Last Story managed only a pathetic 114,722, and Xenoblade a slightly more respectable 141,059, barely equal to the likes of Disgaea despite mainstream design and the huge install-base of the Wii.