Friday, December 30, 2011

The Case of Senran Kagura - How Firm Size Can Affect Sales Expectations and Localization

Case in point - Senran Kagura

According to various reports, Senran Kagura sold 52,000 units in its initial release. Sometime earlier, producer Kenichiko Takaki told the entire web that the side-scroller game featuring girls with big breasts is expected to move 80,000 units in sales.

And Takaki-san talked about making a sequel for the game - this game that has 52,000 units in sales.

Consider something made by Nintendo or Capcom, 52,000 units in sales for them is something so low. Nintendo of America initially refused to finally announced a release for Xenoblade Chronicles way back then because they think it will not sell well. Take note, Xenoblade Chronicles at that time had been making wonders in the European charts, and NOA still think the numbers at the European charts are still low.

Capcom, on the other hand, declined to release Ace Attorney Investigations 2: Miles Edgeworth outside Japan because their forecasted sales for the game will not meet their sales expectations.

I was very frustrated at that time. I followed the news about that game day by day to no avail - until the news coverage died down. There's still life in the Capcom Unity forums for the eventual localization of the game. But what's the fact here is that it didn't get release because of low sales expectations.

Capcom is a big company after all, so as Square Enix, as well as Nintendo, Sony, etc. These companies are big enough that making titles that will not sell is something that bother them. Square Enix in particular, said before that they are only interested in turning profitable games into franchises, while leaving the other games into obscurity.

Turning things around.

What if Capcom is not the owner of the Ace Attorney franchise? What if a company such as Marvelous owns it? Perhaps there will be a different story. Perhaps the game will get release because the sales expectations for that game, which is low by Capcom's standards, is already high for them.

We can say that as well with Senran Kagura - a game adored by the fans because of its fan-service, a game that will only cross 80,000 units in sales before the year closes while Mario Kart 7 has already reached the 1 million mark. Senran Kagura has met the sales expectations of Marvelous, and that is what's important to them.

It's a shame that companies are bound to do things based on their forecast and expectations. And that's what how the world works, unfortunately. They can always never afford to lose a lot of money over something that cannot be profitable. 

But we can also always assume that a sales expectation between a small and a large company, have a big difference. Really big.

How about you? Do you think a company's sales perception is directly affected by its size? How about the console where the game is on? Let me know by hitting up the comment section below!

Senran Kagura is one of those Nintendo 3DS games that have gained attention because of its fanservice. Take a look at these other games too!