Although Square Enix fans will still have to wait until January for the release of Final Fantasy XIII-2 in North America, the title has already enjoyed its first week of release in Japan. Unfortunately that first week may just have shown how far the series has fallen.
According to sales numbers, Final Fantasy XIII-2 sold about a third as many units as its predecessor did in its first week of release. Back in 2009, Final Fantasy XIII debuted to 1,501,964 copies sold, while XIII-2 has only sold 524,217 copies. These numbers are only for the PS3 versions of both games — largely considered to be the primary console for Square Enix’s epic RPG series — but they are still pretty luminary.
Chalk it up to the lackluster critical and fan response to Final Fantasy XIII or even to the streamlined nature this iteration took on, but this is yet another disappointment for Square Enix. After Final Fantasy XIV tanked, most figured that Square Enix was going to wipe the slate clean and start fresh, but then XIII-2 was announced and fans were left confused.
Now Square Enix can finally be clued into just how poorly received XIII was, and hopefully they haven’t lost complete faith in the direction of this once promising franchise. That isn’t to say that FFXIII was all bad, or that XIII-2 is for that matter (as was said before it hasn’t hit the states yet), but when even the most hardcore RPG market can’t deliver similar numbers something has to be wrong right?
There are still some factors still to consider, though, including the Xbox 360 numbers and how the title performs in non-Japanese markets. Some intriguing trailers have been released for the game thus far, and our hands-on time with the game has shown Square Enix has learned some from Final Fantasy XIII, but it’s still the same engine and mechanics.
Will you be picking up Final Fantasy XIII-2 during its first week of release? Will these lackluster sales numbers affect the series's future?
Final Fantasy XIII-2 releases January 31, 2012 on the PS3 and Xbox 360.