Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII Opens To Poor Japanese Sales

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.

(h/t NeoGAF)


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Tags: Final Fantasy XIII Lightning Returns Motomu Toriyama Playstation 3 Video Games Xbox 360

  • Will

    It’s a shame but I feel the same way the Japanese RPG fans do. 13 is horrible even I stopped buying them and won’t be buying this one either.

    • Daniel G.

      What I found most offensive about XIII is just how hard it is to get into. It starts off really slow, gives you a lot of alienating terms and odd-sounding words (Fal cie, l’cie, etc.), takes 20-25 hours to get into and is more of a hallway than any other title in the series. No towns, etc.

      FFXV: Please save us!

      • Chibi RAWR

        yea 15 is gonna be really big and make up for the crap that 13 was. well it was just a really linear plot with characters i didnt care about. the game had towns but MT was an idiot and said he didnt want you to talk to NPCs in those towns and have mini games none generic quest and other typical things u do in towns cuz “your on the run” pathetic excuse.

        • Lost

          13 has the biggest and best monster hunting side quest of any FF game and people act like its not even their.

          When were towns last great in FF?

          You all want 7 back, and you’re going to cripple SE begging for something they something can’t do so include little nods to 7 in every game and end up more scared about pissing you off than making us fans who just want to enjoy FF a great game.

          13 and 13-2 are better than no FF for 5 years, I enoyed both and so did many others but you whiners will just never quit.

          You’d complain about FF15 if SE delivered it to your house on a solid gold PS4 3 months early, your tune will change when you realise 15 isn’t 7 like it is in your narrow minded head.

          • Kame Senin

            You forgot to mention that is the only ”quest” that you can do in the game,it is not enough to kill thousands of monsters when you go through all that linearity?13 and 13-2 are better than no other FF in 5 years?sorry for offending you but are you retarded?no i can’t believe i read all that crap.

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  • Krijn van Alten

    I hope SQ starts to realise by now: the public is done with Lightning. So move on, finish XV, start developing XVI and already think about XVII. Cause that is what we really want, not al Final Fantasy XIII-432.

    • Lost

      Are you insane? Do you think SE is some magical company that laws of business dont apply to? So finish 15 and start 16 and 17 before 13-3 even releases. While in a major (and successful) MMO release and further release for Next gen, while finishing X-HD, while developing 15 and and KH3 and still finishing touches to 13-3 English language they need to start 16 and 17 because you dont like lightning?

      Yep, all FF cry babies truly are bat s#it crazy.

      • Krijn van Alten

        Do you really think I thought that? I might be a FF fan indeed, but I am really not insane. What I mean is that they should moving on after LR. And, don’ forget that there are more teams at SE, so don’t be surprised if there is already a team brainstorming on XVI. remember, 2,5 years before the European release of XII the already started with the development of FNC. And since the LR development team finished there business on LR, (the release in the states and Europe are the responsibility of Square Enix Ltd. and Square Enix Europe respectively) they might be that team. Or the started to develop one of those stories around XV, where Normura revered to. And what to think about that team behind XII? In 2012 they made Guardian Cross, but not much of Hiroyuki Ito is heard since the release of that game.

  • Matthew Tyler Preston

    Okay so i’m a Big time FInal Fantasy Fan. I played everyone until 11 because it was one of those online games. I played 12 but didn’t finish it beause I didn’t like the story or battle system. I played 13/and 13/2. 13/2 was a .little better but still far off. I didn’t play 14 because it was online again. XV is looking pretty awesome but after this I hope they get back to their routes and go back to turn based that was always fun for me.

    • Lost

      Define turn based? Because thats FFX, I prefer it too, but most Playstation and beyond era FFs are in 13′s ‘ATB Gauge’ style. So again more negativity that doesn’t really hold up. 14 is excellent by the way but its almost 12-2 so maybe not for you. 8 was the big dissapoitment to me, well X-2 but thats gamings biggest ever disappointment. Its not like SE always hit home runs, seems nostalgia rules in Final Famtasy discussions.

  • Jayden Lucan

    I liked 13 because of the technology aspects, it was a really modern final fantasy with a bad ass protagonist in a world where the gods are essentially machines… The gameplay was liner but the narrative kept me interested… of course all that credibility got thrown out the window when time travel was introduced – and however you spin it, entropy is still entropy.
    The only good thing is that XV got delayed for next gen, the bad thing is that XV might not have enough money to get made…

    • Chibi RAWR

      what xv is being made lol. it has been in development since 2006. SE however cannot give a release date for it because they do not put FF on PS without the system having over 4 million units in japan 1st. the game is getting english voice overs right now. TN also spoke about sequels and how it might be an epic.

  • Chibi RAWR

    NO SHIT it should have poor sales. Motomu Toriyama is an idiot who thinks his games are really that good. come on dude give up on lighting. 3 is enough. 1st game was not written well at all. characters are 1D. gp is the only good thing and the mythos, which sucks in video game format but on the wiki it sounds a 10000000 times better.

  • Lost

    13 was okay, FF fans have become the most whiney part of the games community. I hear people all the time critsing 13, 12 and 11 and now 14 for being online (its excellent btw) the same people cried about X, undoubtedly the best FF game imo, so when exactly were these people FF fans? For 7, 8 and 9? Because I’ve got news 8 and 9 are not in a different class to 13, definitely not character wise and 8 was pretty bad all round (except that dam card game) so basically all these constant FF cry babies want 7, get over it, im sick of SE having to please you, some of us liked 13 but always get stuck with tributes to 7 and your constant complaining, if they remake 7 you’d hate it, anything new you hate it, you seem to hate half the old ones too, so what’s the deal, why care so much?

  • Lost

    “I even stopped buying THEM” talking about 13? So you bought 13 then stopped buying them?

    Just negative bullshit, this one sums up FF fans in 2013 perfectly, nonsensical negativity.

  • MotomuToriyamaIsADouche

    I just opened a big smile on my face while reading these news, this horrible trilogy of awfulness that was Final Fantasy XIII shouldn’t even have seen the light of day, the first game was bad and didn’t deserve any sequel, but Motomu Toriyama just won’t accept that people hate this shit he did.

    But at least it’s all over, now we can finally move on to Final Fantasy XV and pray it turs out to be a great game.

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  • Kame Senin

    I don’t know what is happening in the west but the japanese can’t tolerate this nonsense anymore,this abomination should have ended with the first game it infuriates me to see SE milking more and more with this morbid game labeled as FF,this game is not even a JRPG theres not even a gameplay and everything else is an illusion,SE is senile and it can define the doom for FF.