News Article

Launch of Professor Layton's Final Adventure Falls Below Series Heights

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Only his 3DS debut performed worse in week one

Professor Layton and the Azran Legacies is likely to already be on the wishlists of a number of puzzle fans in the West, arriving in Japan as the sixth main-series title starring the tea-drinking and fashionable hat-wearing academic. It'll bring a conclusion to the prequel trilogy and, if Level-5 sticks to its decision, the adventures with Layton at the forefront.

Six games following the same formula — give or take the occasional tweak — is a decent run, and this final adventure promises hundreds of puzzles to keep gamers happy. Of course, its arrival in Japan led to some sales disappointment as it was pushed to second in the charts in its debut week, and Siliconera has found a Media Create sales comparison that perhaps explains why the series is ending in its traditional form. Its arrival on 3DS has seen a major downturn in launch week sales.

(2007) Professor Layton and the Curious Village – 136,736
(2007) Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box – 293,897
(2008) Professor Layton and the Unwound Future – 347,360
(2009) Professor Layton and the Last Specter – 306,473
(2011) Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask – 119,591
(2013) Professor Layton and the Azran Legacies – 130,686

You can see a graphic of the results below (click to enlarge). There are considerations to bear in mind, of course, such as Miracle Mask launching with the 3DS in Japan and having a far smaller user base to target. With that said, sales of Azran Legacies are likely to disappoint Level-5, with well over ten million 3DS handhelds now sold in Japan; it's notable that Azran Legacies was outsold by the debut of Dynasty Warriors 8 on PS3, yet the 3DS has actually already surpassed the lifetime sales of Sony's home console in the region.

Perhaps too much of the same thing has deprived the series of some of the hype and anticipation it enjoyed in the past, but it's nevertheless been one of the most iconic franchises on Nintendo handhelds in the past six years.

[via siliconera.com]

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User Comments (36)

WiiLovePeace

#1

WiiLovePeace said:

I feel sorry for Professor Layton, such a great series. Unwound Future is my favourite of the games I've played so far. Maybe people aren't enjoying the transition he made from 2D to 3D?

Spoony_Tech

#4

Spoony_Tech said:

Yeah part of the reason is less people have it but still there are well over 10 million 3ds's in Japan so the real reason is probably more down to Luigi's Mansion coming out soon and people are saving or waiting for that. Still that a nice number of units for the first weeks launch.

Placlu

#5

Placlu said:

..but Phoenix v Layton sold really well right? .. and we are getting that localised yes?.. and we are definitely getting the 6th Layton game translated...? Right Level 5?.. just give us any form of confirmation so I can sleep tonight!

Spoony_Tech

#6

Spoony_Tech said:

Also let's give the series a rest. Really??? There has been 6 games in the last 6 year's. That's a bit ridiculous if you ask me. That's not even counting the cross over with the phoenix series right?

Geonjaha

#7

Geonjaha said:

@Tech101 - Game series' can go out with dignity. Of course there are dozens of other game franchises that need a break and should probably quit while they're (badly) behind - but that doesn't mean Layton has to continue for as long as possible.

LEGEND_MARIOID

#9

LEGEND_MARIOID said:

Check out the stats agin though. It's only sold a little less than the first game, Curious Village which went on to sell very well. Its also sold more than Miracle Mask on 3DS. It's actually an good achievement of the series to have sold so well at launch or as total. At the end of the day it's an all time great video game series :)

Linkstrikesback

#11

Linkstrikesback said:

@xbassmonsterx

Don't be stupid. By that logic, we should all be playing games JUST on the PS2. And even if you can say it in hindsight, no-one could have expected the DS to eventually outsell the gameboy, which was the best selling handheld (and console!) until the PS2 and DS came along. And it still took 5 whole years from the DS launch for it to eventually overtake the gameboy sales. Should they have just not made any games for the DS for the 5 years from it's launch then?

Layton is doing fine : It's getting roughly what you would expect in comparision to Lost Future, when you look at the ratios of DS owners in to 3ds owners.

There are just over 10million 3ds owners in Japan. When lost future came out, there were just over 25million. Azran sold 130,686 copies. That * 2.5 is ~327,000, so only 20k less than Lost future, and better by ratio than every other game in the series.

I don't honestly know how well they expected the game to do, but if they projected much more than this, they're fools.

CommanderV

#12

CommanderV said:

How could so many not see the Layton series out to the end.
There monsters I say... MONSTERS!

Beta

#13

Beta said:

I am gonna miss this guy so much... So long, my dearly beloved best gentleman ever... ;_; YOU WILL BE MISSED! goes to cry in the corner

datamonkey

#14

datamonkey said:

Talk about franchise fatigue! It's had as many releases in as many years as COD!

Hardly surprised it has seen a sales decline, people need a breather!

ErnisDy

#15

ErnisDy said:

I love Layton! I think the 3DS version are superior to DS games. But we still need something more refreshing.
Personally, I would like to see grown up Luke as protagonist.

Dpishere

#16

Dpishere said:

I have only played Curious Village but I found it to be a very enjoyable experience, though I didn't like the math puzzles as much as the others. I have yet to try the Last Spectre sitting in my shelf but I do plan on playing it at some point in the future since I hear it is a great game. The series' music reminds me of Dark Cloud 2 and that brings back fond memories of playing that game and inventing useful items.

Sir_Anthony

#17

Sir_Anthony said:

I'd say it's due to the fact that it's just a few days out and only in available in Japan...

Ludicoloishome

#18

Ludicoloishome said:

well by the time the first professor game came out who didn't have a ds? i don't even know anyone with a 3DS while i just stick to my ds :O

ClockworkMario

#21

ClockworkMario said:

Well those still aren't BAD numbers. Also I have to wonder if they count the digital Eshop downloads.

PuzzleMaster7

#22

PuzzleMaster7 said:

Considering all of the games that are released in Japan and how many 3DS users there are, I can see why the sales are on the low side. However, I hope it will not affect it's localization to the west.
@Everyone complaining about a yearly release, it didn't stop the COD and the FIFA series from continuing. Plus, it's not just another FPS. IMO, it's one of the most unique handheld series that I've played in a while. However, even if the 3DS series does come to an end, there will more than likely be more movies to follow the events of Unwound Future. Either way, I'm glad to have known the Professor! :)

TotalHenshin

#23

TotalHenshin said:

I've played all five of the releases so far and this series needs to be put to rest. I've enjoyed the games (most of them anyway), but this series has grown very repetitive. InternetBowser is correct though that digital downloads of both 3DS games aren't showing the true sales. Sure, those downloads likely won't catapult either entry towards Unwound Future levels of sales, but I think as we saw with New Leaf, digital download sales be surprisingly large.

Lunapplebloom

#25

Lunapplebloom said:

Not the best numbers, but digital sales could also be what's affecting it, as well as major games coming out soon.

I've been with the series ever since I got the first one at Circuit City, and have waited anxiously for each subsequent one to reach our shores. When I finally am able to play this, it will be a very fond farewell to the Professor that taught me that a game with a great plot and puzzles sprinkled throughout can be fun.

Oh, and that every puzzle has an answer.

Dodger

#26

Dodger said:

I'm glad to see a series end gracefully for once. I like Professor Layton even though I've only played Unwound Future and Last Specter. Unwound Future would be on my list of best DS games, if not best games I've ever played. The story was incredible and there was so much to do. Last Specter was a bit underwhelming. It never got as hard as Unwound Future and ended just as it did get difficult. I'll probably pick up the entire series at some point.

MagicEmperor

#27

MagicEmperor said:

I love Layton, and I'm glad to see the character (if not the series) willingly step down before becoming stale. As for the last game having a bad launch, well... at least it's the last, instead of the first!

ecco6t9

#28

ecco6t9 said:

Let's hang up Layton for a few years, and maybe we'll see him again down the road in a Puzzle Game and not a Brain Teaser Game. :)

Ralizah

#29

Ralizah said:

This game is going to be absolutely incredible, if the little teaser at the end of Miracle Mask is any indication.

Either way, it'll be bittersweet finally playing the final entry in one of my all-time favorite video game series.

Wilford111

#31

Wilford111 said:

The only Layton game I've played is the Last Specter, and honestly, I couldn't stand it. I know it's sad for a lot of people to see the Layton series go, because a lot of people like it, but I can't say I'm affected at all by this.

AJWolfTill

#32

AJWolfTill said:

I think Layton is one of the biggest system sellers in the UK. I didn't know anyone with a PAL 3ds until Layton 5 came out.
I haven't got Miracle Mask yet but I own all the DS games. I have to confess that I didn't enjoy the Spectre's call as much as the others.
However I will be sad to see the series go, at least I currently have 3 Layton games and a movie yet to enjoy!

Henmii

#33

Henmii said:

I didn't know that the popularity went down in Japan! And yeah, that's probably why the series is ending! But it could still return in a couple of years! I would appreciate it! And they could try a proper point-and-click adventure with the Professor Layton characters!!

Jamma01

#35

Jamma01 said:

@WiiLovePeace Same here in a huge fan if professor Layton and i finished the last game which has a sad ending it did make me cry when it was over because i was always excited for it and if they didn't like it on the 3ds because it was 3D then turn it off but anyway its a real shame that the series ended but if they read this the creators then please make another one :)

Jamma01

#36

Jamma01 said:

@MagicEmperor I think it is the first because at the end past The credits it says to be continued and its the curious village in the background

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