It transpires that Bioware’s hit cover-shooter Mass Effect 2, which sold millions of copies and became the recipient of innumerable perfect scores and game-of-the-year awards, sold a pathetic 8,864 copies in Japan, being outsold by such blockbusters as Arcana Heart 3.
The translated version was finally released on the 13th of January 2011 as an Xbox 360 “exclusive.” Unfortuntely, in its first week it managed only 8,864 sales, coming 15th in the weekly charts, just behind Wii Fit Plus and narrowly beating Mario Kart Wii.
All this despite the Xbox 360 supposedly being the preserve of what few western game fans there are in Japan.
In fact, although there are apparently more Xbox 360s in Japan than ever before, sales for anything not involving gropeable anime girls are falling off into insignificance:
08/12/18 36,085 360 Fable 2
10/10/28 25,448 360 Fable 3
08/12/04 33,412 360 Fallout 3
10/11/04 24,146 360 Fallout:New Vegas
09/12/10 43,103 360 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
10/11/18 30,279 360 Call of Duty: Black Ops
09/05/21 17,502 360 Mass Effect
11/01/13 8,864 360 Mass Effect 2
Meanwhile the likes of IdolMaster and Dream C Club manage 50,000-100,000+.
Mass Effect 2’s pathetic sales have been attributed both to the all but complete death of the Xbox 360 in Japan, and to the increasingly inexplicable resistance of Japanese gamers to the hit games the rest of the world seemingly can’t get enough of.