News Article

The Wonderful 101 Struggles In Its First Week At Japanese Retail

Posted by Damien McFerran

Just 5,258 copies sold - a less than wonderful start

The Wonderful 101 is a truly fantastic piece of software, and one of the best Wii U games we've played this year. Sadly, the quality of product hasn't translated into sales, as the game has shifted less than 5,500 copies in its native Japan, according to Media Create's data.

Platinum's Wii U exclusive has entered the Japanese multiformat charts at number 14 with just 5,258 units sold. By way of comparison, Pikmin 3 — the only other Wii U title in the chart — shifted 5,741 units in the same period of time, and that game has been available since July.

We recently reported that The Wonderful 101 had shipped just 30,000 copies for its Japanese release, which suggests that hopes weren't high for a smash hit at retail. In the UK, the game missed out on a top 20 position in the multiformat charts.

Hopefully it will perform better when it hits North American store shelves in September.

[via gematsu.com]

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User Comments (89)

DiSTANToblivion

#1

DiSTANToblivion said:

The Wonderful 101 really does deserve more sales and recognition, it's better than most of the mainstream gaming trash available now.

MrWalkieTalkie

#3

MrWalkieTalkie said:

Unfortunately this is the vicious cycle we're stuck in. People demand new IP from Nintendo instead of the usual Mario & Zelda that they're getting tired of. Nintendo delivers, and no one buys it because it's weird and new and isn't Mario or Zelda.

I for one will definitely be getting this Day 1! It's the best and most exciting thing I've ever played on Wii U so far.

KeeperBvK

#4

KeeperBvK said:

To be honest, W101 always appeared to be a wacky game, which is great, but not much beyond that. I'm not really all that surprised. Sure, less than 5500 copies is even worse than I thought, but who would ever have expected for this to fare well?

uximal

#5

uximal said:

oh my...poor sales.....not looking good, sales might pick up in the Christmas holiday.. wait Mario is due then...

Judgedean

#8

Judgedean said:

Does that include digital sales? Love the game! Going for platinum pure (on easy). Hope the sales pick up to reward platinum games.

rjejr

#10

rjejr said:

I knew this wouldn't sell well being a new IP, but that is insanely low. There are 1 million Wii U in Japan, I can't even describe what that percent is (1/2 of 100th of 1 percent?)

This just looks so anime quirky w/ giant robots and monsters, how does this not sell well in japan? At least 50k, which would still be a small percentage but a decent sounding number.

As others have said, maybe digital? This should have sold more than that for the cool box art alone. Oh well.

I don't know anything at all about this other game (guessing it has robots in it) but maybe it stole some of W101's sales? What does it take to be crushed by a Vita game?

1. [PS3] Super Robot Wars OG Saga Masou Kishin III: Pride of Justice (Namco Bandai, 08/22/13) – 39,255 (New)
4. [PSV] Super Robot Wars OG Saga Masou Kishin III: Pride of Justice (Namco Bandai, 08/22/13) – 18,929 (New)

-KwB-

#12

-KwB- said:

How much do you think is the cost of producing such a game ? And when is there an even break ?

rmeyer

#15

rmeyer said:

I think the demo and the Nintendo cast thing were more harm than good for the 101. The demo is really bad.

BossBattles

#16

BossBattles said:

I say it all the time...the problem is not nintendo, the problem is that gamers have changed drastically...most are simply NOT interested in creative & original gameplay, and most HATE nintendo consoles, but hypocriticially in their hipster way pretend to love 8 & 16-bit nintendo.

Gamers are not into their own hobby all that much. Very sad.

MilesVor

#17

MilesVor said:

Actually. The sales data is for 2 days only. And digital sales are not included.
People are exaggerating again.

ricklongo

#18

ricklongo said:

Not surprising; W101 seems like a more niche game than most. I'm still very much looking forward to getting my hands on it.

TKOWL

#20

TKOWL said:

I think part of this is due to how poorly advertised this game was. Even with an entire Nintendo Direct focused on it, I still have not seen a single print or online advertisement anywhere.
I think maybe releasing a demo for this game to try out at game retailers/stores would help sales over here: I was not interested in this game at all until playing the Eshop demo, and now I can't wait to pick this title up.

WebHead

#21

WebHead said:

Even with the low install base and Japan being more handheld oriented, that's still pretty bad. And I can't see it doing much better in NA....

@kwb That'd STILL be bad.

Peach64

#22

Peach64 said:

Another great example of fanboy bitterness. Japan gets praised week after week for buying mountains of Animal Crossing and other Life sims, but this week everyone is saying they have no taste and are clueless!

Games are released on the same day every week, and Charts are compiled on the same day every week. I do not get people saying "This isn't fair, it was only on sale for 3/4 days", when every game making it's chart debut is in the same position, in Japan's Charts and the UK one. Loads of games go to number one, or sell over a hundred thousand copies in their debut week, which means they did it in only 3 days (in the UK) or 4 days in Japan. It's no excuse.

SmaMan

#24

SmaMan said:

Methinks they need a better demo, one with a tutorial. I played it, and could hardly figure it out. It seems the full game has it, so why not put it in the demo and, y'know, introduce people to it?

Zaphod_Beeblebrox

#25

Zaphod_Beeblebrox said:

Yeah, it's really unfortunate that digital sales numbers are not more readily available. All my 3DS purchases are digital.

But assuming the sales are poor across the board, it reminds me of the outstanding Little King's Story which sold abysmally world-wide (including Japan). There is no justice in the gaming world.

brucelebnd

#26

brucelebnd said:

digital sales aren't included so who knows what exactly the game has really sold. since digital sales aren't included. just tracking the physical sales isn't a reliable method anymore.

ultraraichu

#29

ultraraichu said:

I guess that 30,000 shipped copies is looking pretty safe right now.

With that said, it haven't even been out for a week and for all we know more people got it digital then physical, so it would be unfair to say they're struggling entirely.

I know I will download it day one.

URAmk2

#30

URAmk2 said:

@brucelebnd
when has a console game ever sold more or even remotely close to equal digitally than its boxed counterpart? face it the game tanked.

.

Nintenjoe64

#34

Nintenjoe64 said:

I think this is mainly Nintendo's lack of marketing in that region and the fact that this game probably only appeals to a minority of the Japanese Wii-U install base. This game never looked like a popular game for the masses but I will probably buy it after payday.

Some of the blame lies with modern reviewers but I think that seems to have affected western reviews more than Japanese. The "fiddly" controls and "steep learning curve" are ridiculous reasons to score the game as low as some did. It reminds me of something a Sega or Sony fan would have said about N64 analog sticks during the Saturn era. I've played the demo 3-4 times and the controls got easier each time and executing combos is very intuitive. I never felt like the game was wrong when I was getting pwned by some big robot, I just knew I'd not done it properly.

AVahne

#35

AVahne said:

@WebHead
Well going by Wii JRPG sales, I'd say this game would do MUCH better in NA. But anyway, we don't know digital sales. It could've done cruddy at retail, but decently well on digital.

Ryno

#36

Ryno said:

After playing the demo, I'm going to pass on this like most of the Japanese gamers.

Meaty-cheeky

#37

Meaty-cheeky said:

I blame Nintendo is partly responsible for the low sales since they don't know how to advertise anymore, and they don't make adds that make people say "I really want that game!!" I remember Back in 90's during the Super NES & N64 Nintendo had great adds like this one for Super Smash bros N64 http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=K783SDTBKmg

My point is that Nintendo Direct is only for the Hardcore Nintendo fans that already have a 3DS & Wii U, Nintendo needs to get involved in iadds and start advertising on free smartphone games like angry birds. I think Nintendo needs to step their game up and get the word out about their games and the Wii U.

WebHead

#38

WebHead said:

@koto

I'm pretty sure those JRPGs did alot better in their first weeks in Japan too compared to this game.

AVahne

#39

AVahne said:

@WebHead
Maybe, but at least NA sales ended up being much better.
Though, how do action games from Platinum generally do here, and how well did new Nintendo IPs like Dillon's Rolling Western and Sakura Samurai do? How well did the original Pikmin do in its first week?

WebHead

#44

WebHead said:

@koto

1. Dillon and Sakurai are eshop only and cost alot less to make.

2. Idk how the original Pikmin did but it ended up being a million seller and spawned sequels.

3. You have a point I guess on PG developed games..

...But still. Guys, the game is gonna be a bomb. Face it.

AVahne

#46

AVahne said:

@WebHead
Still too early to judge, since it hasn't even released in America yet. It's a bomb in Japan, but could do decently well in NA.

Meaty-cheeky

#51

Meaty-cheeky said:

@WebHead @Koto

I'm afraid that if Nintendo & Platinum Games couldn't sell the Wonderful 101 for their own audience in Japan, this game will definitely bomb here in the United States, everyone here is mostly FPS, Madden and GTA crazy. Sadly no room for New Creative IP's here in the USA. :(

CliffordB

#52

CliffordB said:

Just not surprised, simple as that, I truly never thought this game would sell all that well, biggest worry with this news is that it could end up forcing "Platinum" to go multi-platform which would be another kick in the teeth for Nintendo and the Wii U.

I actually bought a Wii U at launch for Platinum's "Bayonetta 2" but, just not interested in W101, obviously a lot of Wii U owners feel the same way.

element187

#53

element187 said:

I wasn't expecting this game to do well in Japan anyways. They really are not too much into action games like this... Monster Hunter, Animal Crossing, JRPG's do really well there.

X will blow up the charts in Japan next year while bombing in the west.... I'm curious to see how well W101 does in North America, it really does seem like a game made more for the audience here... its bright, colorful and chock full of super heros.

This demo was very quiet on how it taught you to do multi-unites, and that probably hindered it. I admit I had zero fun just using one of the of the 5 weapons, but when I combined them for massive combo's the game opened up and now I understand its brilliance.... It took me a few hours to figure out how to do multi-unites. So I can see where people played the demo once and said 'meh'

Peach64

#54

Peach64 said:

@ScroogeMcLz How often is week one not a game's sales peak? Even taking into account games making their chart debut don't have a full 7 days of sale, they pretty much always sell more in that first week than anything that follows Pikmin 3 sold 92,000 in it's first week (5 days on sale), then it's second week (full 7 days on sale) it sold 29,000. In it's third week, it sold 14,000 copies and goes down a bit more each week. At this point it's been on sale for 6 weeks and has sold 160,000, so well over half it's sales came in those first five days. The vast majority of games follow this same sales pattern.

duality

#55

duality said:

Two points I think which would have made this sell a lot better.
a) Better Marketing was needed for the game by far I'd say
b) While it may sound silly - a Bigger shipment, 30 000 sounds ridiculously small to me, most stores probably didn't even have a copy at all which means unless people were willing to travel to a place which did they probably just decided not to get it.

I bought the game here in Aus and I'm loving it but the EB (not my local) I went to had one copy when I bought it, no idea how many they got to start with but my local only got sent enough for preorders - not enough to even put out a display copy (not that they had any instore advertisement besides a single Wii U poster which had the release date for it and several other games) and the guy there said that the main EB in the City Myer Centre itself only got 2 copies.

Doma

#56

Doma said:

If the Wii U wasn't so damn unappealing to me, i'd probably have bought this.

Oh well, too bad it ain't multiplatform.

fluggy

#57

fluggy said:

Never liked the look of this (action looked like a confusing mess) and enjoyed the demo even less! A below par 79% on metacritic would be a turnoff for lots ... Why invest time and money to create something that's ordinary at best. . . and they wonder why sales are poor ... buck up on quality control and you'll sell more!

Sceptic

#59

Sceptic said:

The gameplay seemed to have some quirky ideas but overall seemed like Pikmin on Crack.

It being new IP had nothing to do with it IMO. It looked funny but confusing and very much like a "rinse, repeat" gameplay experience. But no, I didn't get it. I'm not that desperate yet.

Dogpigfish

#60

Dogpigfish said:

It just wasn't a good game, sorry to say. His games always look incredible and then gameplay gets the short end of the stick. I thought they were taking another 8 months to figure this out, but I guess not. Ill buy it when it's a bargain. Looks like a weekend game.

banacheck

#61

banacheck said:

It looks like there won't been a W101 2, next up is Bayonetta 2, but will this sell any better?

Flashman

#62

Flashman said:

I got myself a copy due to having the 30% off that was offered with Pikmin 3. I played it for about 30 minutes and thought it kinda sucked and turned it off. Doesn't suprise me that it hasn't sold loads.

mch

#63

mch said:

If it was only on the stores for two days and eshop sells are not included this article is worth less than nothing and i am unhappy with nintendolife! If i remember correctly the exactly same mistake was made when Pikmin 3 launched.

Peach64

#64

Peach64 said:

@mch It's not a mistake. The Charts are put out by Chart companies in Japan and the UK. Every game making it's debut in the chart has only been in stores for a few days. It's not being twisted to make these games performance look even worse. Like I said above, Pikmin 3 sold 92,000 on it's first chart week, and that was only a few days on sale. The next week it had a whole 7 days and sold 29,000.

Hernandez

#65

Hernandez said:

It's a real shame.

If only they had made the gameplay less confusing and eased up on the sensory overload, I'm sure it would have sold better. Then again, it wouldn't have been a real Platinum game if they did.

I don't know. I guess I just miss the days of Ghouls 'n Ghosts, Battletoads, etc. Games back then didn't need to be chaotic and cluttered in order to be challenging.

The controls were "simple" and intuitive (near perfect, imho), but you still needed excellent decision-making skills and reflexes to beat them.

"Minutes to learn, a lifetime to master." - That's what I've come to expect from Nintendo's first and second party games. W101 did not deliver.

LetsGoRetro

#66

LetsGoRetro said:

I hate to say it, but once WindwakerHD was confirmed to be arriving Sep 20th digitally, instead of Oct 4th, I lost interest in this game. It really was just cuz I've been looking for something... ANYTHING to play on my Wii U and I've already beat Pikmin3. Sorry lil' W, but you're no longer my September game :(

jayclayx

#69

jayclayx said:

@rjejr honestly the artstyle of the game is so japanese, if the game has this sales in Japan Im afraid it wont sell well here either, personally I didnt like the game, but I hope more sales so we can see more games from Platinum in the future.

Pachterkid

#70

Pachterkid said:

What a surprise. A stupid looking game doesn't catch on with the mainstream and sells poorly.

xevious

#71

xevious said:

I think the demo was wicked. Definitely going to buy this. Perhaps even tomorrow.

Lukaz2009

#72

Lukaz2009 said:

This is a real shame. I played the demo last night and has convinced into purchasing it on day 1!

Buzzthebatgirl

#73

Buzzthebatgirl said:

In all fairness for W101 to shift that amount of copies in a few days is, well Wonderful. It is a new IP with little or no advertising campaign. It is the best Wii U game I've played a certainly one of the best games I've ever played.

nik1470

#74

nik1470 said:

its a shame, its such a great game, i'm having so much fun playing i hope sales pick it soon so ninty sign up for a sequeal.

citizenerased

#76

citizenerased said:

Well, this should surprise absolutely no one. Quirky game from PG, released on a struggling console? Of course it's going to sell millions.

JaxonH

#77

JaxonH said:

@rmeyer
No way man! I played that demo back to back to back it was so spectacular! The best thing to happen to the Wii U since launch (exception being Pikmin 3)!

Wow, people just don't know what good games are anymore... I can't believe the most amazingly fun game I've played in YEARS sold less than some eShop garbage that doesn't even deserve to be called "games"

ACK

#78

ACK said:

W101 will go down as one of the most memorable, striking games from 2013. Whoever brought up Little King's Story is right on. One of the must own/play games of the Wii era that never achieved a fraction of it's sales potential despite quality content well-suited to gamers of all ages.

The fact is, the kids most of all have changed. I spend lots of time with my kids and their cousins. These are all Nintendo-raised darlings, but are often ridiculed for their gaming habits. They are ages 4-10. What do these bullies play? You wouldn't believe how much I hear them talk CoD or watch them act out Assassin's Creed...

Well, my family is thrilled about the original Saturday morning superhero throwback.

Neram

#79

Neram said:

I'm calling it right now, once the exclusivity deal with Nintendo is over, this will end up a multiplatform game.

Senario

#80

Senario said:

Poor platinum games, they make such good games but they almost never sell well ): I guess the majority of people don't pay attention to actual creativity in the game industry.

I'll be picking this up because I found the demo to be buckets of fun.

XCWarrior

#81

XCWarrior said:

Very sad. I didn't have high expecatations, but this fell well below even my guess. I don't think digital would have made that much better of a scenario.

erv

#82

erv said:

Shame, this game is absolutely awesome. There's nothing quite like it and it just oozes quality everywhere.

You gotta get into this, it's so so worth it!

BakaKnight

#84

BakaKnight said:

I hope the sales will raise as this game deserve it.

And to all the users here being on the fence... well, it's hard to say something for change your mind... this game is so awesome I would have to write a lot lot lot for give just a little idea of how deep, surprising and incredible it is.
It's one of those special games that you need to play for understand and unavoidably love it ^_^
(and not think "I played it" cause you tried the demo, that's the first level, not enough to judge a whole game, especially a weird and surprising one like this).

gojiguy

#85

gojiguy said:

The best games, shows and movies usually dont perform well... If it's not dumbed-down and mass-market then it won't push high sales numbers...

Schprocket

#87

Schprocket said:

I said it once already but it seems to have been lost:

From a casual observation one might think it looks a bit like Pikmin with its masses of minions but to say it's the same is an over-simplification and TW101 plays nothing like it.

Graphically it looks great - it may be from a Japanese studio with the usual amount of design 'quirkiness' but to me it has a Pixar-like look about it which just seems to help bring it all together.
Imagine if The Incredibles had the roster of the Marvel Universe heroes and that's what TW101 reminds me of

However, this is not a game that anyone can just bro-dude their way into on hard or even normal.

It may confuse some people - it did me - and it may seem mercilessly complex.

However, it's not hard, it's just different.

No-one with any self-esteem should feel bad about playing the demo on easy for the first run if the screen is a little busy. By the time you get half way through the demo, you should have figured out most of the moves and the rest is a combo of action and puzzle.

So it ain't Angry Birds or Cut The Rope, but by the same token, platforming wizards aren't gonna make this puppy roll over and beg either.

Just don't expect it to be like anything you've played before and cut yourself some slack - it'll be worth it!

rjejr

#88

rjejr said:

@dumedum - Thanks for the math numbers. You're right, 1/2 of 1% isn't as bad as I thought. Still thought it would do better in Japan though, 2 or 3% at least, which would be 4 or 5x what it did. It's Power Rangers and giant robots and Godzilla monsters. I thought they'ld eat this up. Guess it really is all about "Friend Collection: New Life" and "Animal Crossing: New Leaf" over there. Maybe they should have called this "Superhero Coalition: Need Lots".

Sorry for the late thanks, been a very busy week on here.

P-Gamer-C

#89

P-Gamer-C said:

u losers clearly dont buy any games just damage control like a good wiitard here is your chance and u blew it splintercell hasent done great either another fail lol

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