The End of Suzumiya Haruhi? Gekidou Sales a Damp Squib


The news that Haruhi Wii dance game Suzumiya Haruhi no Gekidou’s opening day sales managed a pathetic 8,500 units, according to announced figures, has been greeted by fans not with horror but with derision.

It seems there can be no doubt now that Haruhi fans have dwindled precipitously, and that those that remain are more jaded than is convenient for the purposes of marketing to.

The game itself seems a good bellwether of these trends; without much in the way of innovation or gameplay, its chief selling point is reasonable production values and the presence of the essential Haruhi cast. Character goods, in other words.

Additionally, a substantial contingent doubtless viewed the game as an extra to the accompanying Fraulein figure, further diluting its effective sales between two bundled products.

This state of affairs is much the same as with previous games, which have been uniform knock-offs, however these sold much better, reaching heights of 140,000 in the case of Suzumiya Haruhi no Tomadoi (PS2, February 2008), and 87,000 in the case of Suzumiya Haruhi no Yakusoku (PSP, December 2007).

Their opening day sales were correspondingly high.

As it is reasonable to extrapolate out from opening sales to total sales (a poor seller on its opening day is unlikely to experience any rebound), even a generous estimate would suggest likely total sales in the region of 20,000 (including the figure-less edition which some purchased).

A far cry from the heyday of the franchise, where merely roping in Aya Hirano and commissioning a Noizi Ito cover apparently guaranteed success for any product.

The Wii is also a popular and current console, so it does seem reasonable to compare these figures.

Given all this, is the franchise now in terminal decline? Most fans are now quite jaded at the treatment they have received from anime producer Kyoto Animation and publisher Kadokawa, to say nothing of the hiatus the novels suffered.

Few are willing to believe KyoAni’s announced announcement is anything but another tiresome marketing ruse, so we are left to wonder about the prospects of the series even if it is resumed in anime form.

A case of chronic mismanagement of a franchise, spelling a decline in popularity?

Or will amnesiac fans flock back to the banner of a second season, should it ever appear, and forgive their past mistreatment?

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    Avatar of GANTZ Playboy!
    Comment by Gantz_Playboy
    22:14 25/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    It blows my mind that who ever owns the rights to Haruhi (and it's characters)- would've have already 'milked' the hell out the fans with a 4th season, 3 OVA's, a spin-off future series (for Mikuru) and a alternte adventures for Nagato & her Purple haired back-up!. WTF?? This series was a license to PRINT MONEY!!- especially with boost coming from such USA support on the English Dub. 5 of Anime's A List heavey hitters voiced the thing Superbly!

    If Japan's processes for a second season are gonna be this stagnant and F'ed up- Let the USA create it or spin-off a subplot series (prequal, whatever) while they get their crap together! USA could have something Locked & loaded in 3-4 months! They've beem milking "Bebop" & "Eva" for how many years?..."Haruhi" could've easily reached that Level if only they got off their ass!!

    Comment by Lisek
    06:57 27/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Kyonko, it needs moar Kyonko for full milking.

    Avatar of misterchef
    Comment by Riot Gear
    00:45 26/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Bad marketing strategy.Shame on them.

    Comment by Marshmallow
    01:26 26/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I used to be a huge fan of Haruhi, but the length they're taking to get the second season out really made me fall out of love with it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:24 26/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    lol marketing fail. don't mess with the fans coz we are the ones who control your money.

    Avatar of Icy-nee-san
    Comment by Icy-nee-san
    03:35 26/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Well with they released it INTERNATIONALLY...maybe they'd have higher sales... >__>|

    Avatar of metatron
    Comment by metatron
    21:50 25/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    this is more of a mismanagement of a franchise.

    i blame KyoAni and Kodokawa on this

    Comment by soloista
    16:31 25/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    This is the consequence of too much cocktease.

    Now if Gonzo would hurry up with Strike Witches...

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:29 25/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    It's because of The Problem With Licensed Games.

    (Damn, TVTropes ruined my vocabulary.)

    Comment by BuggyBY
    22:57 25/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I see I'm not the only one

    Avatar of GHS
    Comment by GHS
    20:51 25/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Well considering that the Haruhi novels are (to my knowledge) at a standstill still with no specific date and the multiple dissapointments from marketing, I think most fans have pushed Haruhi to the back of their minds and turned to something more fresh and recent (myself included; right now I'm playing Sumaga which my friend wouldn't shut up about).

    Comment by soloista
    11:15 26/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Gonzo must learn from their mistake

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:32 02/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)


    Avatar of motherfuckingcomplex
    03:13 03/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    prove that wii music games are fail

    in your face haruhi susumiya


    Comment by loldongs
    06:10 27/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    So gonna buy this

    Shit will be so cash

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:09 26/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Well privately theres was quite war going on the anime backfront good/evil/anime/fine arts/what people can draw and can't/publishers/effort/quality/quantity. Anime politics heated up within what they say "WAR" which is hinted in anime shows and niconico. Haruhi was a casualty, sadly. And the fans are holding out until a "certain trigger happens", they do want to buy it, honestly.

    Artefact, on the article, please do not pour salt on Noizi Ito with that statement.

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    You are the one comparing Noizi Ito to a slug, not I.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:32 26/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    A slug? It's a wound.

    "A far cry from the heyday of the franchise, where merely roping in Aya Hirano and commissioning a Noizi Ito cover apparently guaranteed success for any product"

    That statement shouldn't be brought up(PERIOD)

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:02 27/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Quit turning it around me. It's you that made the statement.

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    So Noizi Ito is a wound now? I see.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:27 25/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    The only reason it sold at all was because there was a picture of Haruhi on the cover. If she wasn't there it would be called shovel ware crap.

    Comment by DeGrade
    13:47 25/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Actually, the game received good ratings. But yeah, dancing is not hitting the target audience.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:48 25/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I think,IMHO,that its probably not the dwindling of fans that caused low sales but the all the delays and the crazy marketing. Your saying that your removing the dancing part and replacing it with mini games? That probably turned a lot of fans off from even preordering it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:45 25/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Like any Haruhi fans would actually own or admit to owning a Wii. And it's a dance game, Haruhi fans are... male. The cow's been milked dry, deliver on the hype and give us a second season, and then go for the marketing again.

    Avatar of Omochikaeri
    Comment by Zing
    20:54 25/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Huh? I am a Haruhi fan and I own a Wii and three Nintendo DSes. I fail to see your point.

    Avatar of h8GWB
    Comment by h8GWB
    13:00 29/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    And Hare Hare Yukai dancers also have been devoid of the male gender, right? Anon needs to STFU.

    Avatar of Halconnen
    Comment by Halconnen
    04:16 25/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I think the event that decides about 'the end' will be the announced announcement.

    If it is indeed another bad marketing ruse, well. I wont bother following anymore.

    I'm probably enough of a fanboy to keep collecting more Nagato figures... but that'll be it.

    Some part of me is hoping that the second season will come with a bang.

    However, I'd never consider a second season 'too late'.

    We're seeing stuff being redone rather frequently lately. (Ugh, Birdy Decode was BAD) So it apparently still works even if a series is 10-14 years old.

    FMA, too.

    Avatar of maxchain
    Comment by maxchain
    04:52 25/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I know I won't be back. I watched the first(?) season of the thing; it's Okay. Nothing I'd watch a second time, much less more of. Certainly don't need a video game of it. That's just me, though.

    Comment by Shimu
    08:19 25/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Srsly, wasn't that great.

    Avatar of giascle
    Comment by iapfah
    05:47 25/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    It's because most of the fans are fat otaku who don't want to exercise.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:07 29/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Or maybe it's because it's just a crap game?

    Comment by Marine-RX179
    06:06 25/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Haha good one, as it would most likely require them 'standing up' to play it instead of sitting on their fat ass; or may be they are just glued to their PC with all the eroge :P

    Avatar of Actar
    Comment by Actar
    06:49 25/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    People might take these comments the wrong way...

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:46 26/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    This is the internet.

    Avatar of Bokusatsu Tenshi
    Comment by XSportSeeker
    05:30 25/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    As a Haruhi fan, with no hatred towards milking the series or whatever, and also not expecting second season, I have to say this is not really surprizing.

    I mean, the first season is long gonne. There are several other "hyped" animes right now.
    It's a dancing game. It's a Wii game (most of the Wii audience is casual).

    Most people have the wrong image on Haruhi otakus, thinking there are lots of them out there and stuff...

    But it's just an impression. It's because the few Haruhi otakus out there makes lots of noise... with Hare Hare Yukai dances and all.

    Considering it's a game that only hardcore Haruhi otakus would buy, a game that was advertised to that crowd only, and not only that, but also for Wii owners... I guess it sold well enough.

    Maybe if they marketed the game for other audiences as an anime dancing game, it would have sold more...

    Avatar of Yangth
    Comment by Yangth
    06:28 25/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Exactly, the target audience of Haruhi fans who own a Wii is just too small to expect much of a profit.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:31 25/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Until the second seasons starts, fans will spend there money elsewhere. Even devout Haruhists as myself have plenty of other ways to spend the their money on things that are at least new . . .

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:17 25/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Move along, nothing to see here. I'm not touching anything Haruhi until they stop blue-balling us and give us the first episode of the second season.

    Comment by IcyStorm
    03:08 25/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    You know, it's not a huge surprise. They have waited way too long for a second season.

    Comment by PokeNirvash
    03:19 25/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Bad game sales for a DVD is NO reason for this show to end!

    Bring on season 2, muthafukkas!

    Comment by antimateria
    03:22 25/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Even the fanbois have finally realized the cocktease of kyoani and haruhi second season. Evey time they were about to lose their interest, kyoto animation threw in another vague hint. I'm supriced though, all the "comfirmations" of more animated material should increase the sales.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:02 25/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    You mean like the Full Metal Panic references they put the Haruhi anime and then the Lucky Star one? Though, that's one franchise I could never get tired of waiting for... :/

    Comment by rockbottom
    03:24 25/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I think the problem is they released this game on the Wii. Not to bash the Wii, but I think for Japan it's the same as it is in the US, majority of owners are not really into games, anime, etc. The actual otaku who own a wii are probably a tiny fraction of the ones that own a PS3 or 360. As well as a PS2 and PSP. But who knows, I haven't played the game so maybe it's the game itself. Just saying since I've seen a few other hardcore games on the Wii fail really miserably.

    Avatar of relentlessflame
    Comment by relentlessflame
    03:43 25/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I was wondering about something similar. How many anime-otaku-centric games have been huge successful on the Wii? Popular though it unarguably is, it doesn't seem to me that it's a platform commonly-used for these sorts of games. Plus, maybe people just didn't like the game premise and setup, franchise-affiliation aside?

    Also, hasn't this game been delayed a lot, too? I seem to recall it originally being scheduled for sometime last year, and then being reworked -- at one point they were saying the dance portion was replaced, and then it was back... It was sort of hard to follow.

    Anyway, "The End of Suzumiya Haruhi?" seems a bit premature, though a decrease in the amount of video game cash-ins *might* not be such a bad thing... In the end, it'd be hard for any sequel to live up to the original in the best of times, but if it turns out well I'm quite sure fans will still be into it even if in less massive throngs. Maybe it'll just come back down to earth, so to speak.

    Avatar of Actar
    Comment by Actar
    05:49 25/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    It's the revoltech figure. Got the DX Box and did a fair comparison between the two. Fraulein versus Figma.

    Comment by Daisuke.exe
    10:37 25/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I just think they need to release the 10th novel...

    I can't wait for the 2nd season... but... a new novel will be WAY better.

    Avatar of Omochikaeri
    Comment by Zing
    20:56 25/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    That 10th novel is ridiculously late now. Even more ridiculously late than Season 2 of the anime.

    My pet theory is that each is holding off for the other, to be released around the same time.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:31 25/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I would so get a copy if I got a Wii and some spending money for the game. But really now, releasing the game when the economy are in a slum is a bad idea.

    Comment by Peanutbutter003
    11:05 25/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Now, where's that picture of the "typical" Wii and PS3 gamer?

    The Wii's fanbase is different, maybe?

    Comment by SnooSnoo
    12:14 25/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Its about time.
    Why would a dancing game sell to otakus anyway? Aren't they all fat-snack-crunching-computer-hogging NEETs?

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:38 25/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    they want a sure fired hit?
    haruhi eroge!

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:09 26/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I think it's a significant opposite effect.

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