After a fairly lengthy spell of very few notable Wii U retail releases, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate arrived in Europe on 22nd March as Capcom's latest attempt to popularise the series further in the West. It seemed to help, with the game being attributed as part of the reason for a Wii U sales spike and with the title (both Wii U and 3DS) earning 7th place in the UK all-format chart in its debut week. All positives for Wii U in particular, after a lengthy period of bad sales news.
We did see Capcom's title drastically fall to 39th in the UK charts in its second week, however, and it's emerging that there are serious stock issues around Europe. We've heard of examples where stores had limited stock to just about cover pre-orders, and others that have been out of copies for a while. The situation is noticeable enough that Satoru Shibata, President of Nintendo of Europe, posted the following tweets a couple of days ago.
[Shibata] I'd like to apologise for the current stock shortage due to high demand of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate at retail. (1/3)— Nintendo UK (@NintendoUK) April 3, 2013
[Shibata] New #MH3U stock will hopefully be available in shops next week for Wii U and mid April for Nintendo 3DS. (2/3)— Nintendo UK (@NintendoUK) April 3, 2013
[Shibata] Both versions of #MH3U are also available on Nintendo eShop. Again, I sincerely apologise for causing any inconvenience. (3/3)— Nintendo UK (@NintendoUK) April 3, 2013
It's difficult to determine whether the plummet in the UK charts was a result of lacking stock or loss of momentum, but there are clearly issues throughout Europe. With Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate currently carrying the flag for Wii U alongside LEGO City Undercover, this situation can't be resolved quickly enough.