While we wait patiently twiddling our thumbs for both Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts III to be released, the final game in a 3-part Final Fantasy XIII series, in Lightning Returns, has released in Japan. The first week sales are in and, for a Final Fantasy game released in its home country, the numbers are pretty bad.
Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII has opened to 277,082 units sold. When you consider the population of Japan to be roughly 126-128 million, that number doesn’t seem so bad. However, sales history mean numbers don’t exist in a vacuum. The first game in the series, Final Fantasy XIII, released in Japan to 1,501,964 copies sold in week 1, while Final Fantasy XII-2 sold about a third of that its first week, in roughly 524,000 units.
Hopefully this speaks more about general lack of interest in the character Lightning than in the famed RPG series. Over the past two games in the series, it seems more and more like game director Motomu Toriyama is fascinated and enthralled more in one fictional character than the world she exists in. The quality of recent Final Fantasy games has taken a noticeable dip.
Perhaps, now that the series’ next game will be directed by someone (read: anyone) else, the next Final Fantasy release will be received with a much warmer reception in Japan. In turn, hopefully Final Fantasy can return to former glory here in North America, as well.
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