The good news? Rhythm Thief was not one of the cancellations reportedly occuring in the wake of SEGA’s recent financial woes; the game saw release in Europe earlier this month. The bad news? Nobody bought it. Though exact numbers are not currently known, SEGA’s forray back into Samba De Amigo-styled rhythm games failed to make the UK top 40 in its debut week, and its chart position remained missing in action in week 2.
I apologise in advance if this comes off as a rant; my intention is certainly not to upset anybody, but it’s hard for me to respond in any other way to what I find to be such an incredibly shocking turn of events. How is it that even with the fan outcry for more quirky, Japanese-style fare from SEGA, that with the good reviews and the lack of competition on the system, that with an ad campaign and Nintendo as a distributor…how is it that this didn’t sell? If niche Japanese beat-em-up Pandora’s Tower (on the Wii of all systems) can make this same chart (debuted last week at 38) then is it a stretch to expect a game being billed as one of the best rhythm games in years to find at least similar success?
It’s truly unfortunate to see sales like these for such a great-looking game. I’ve been a SEGA fan since the Genesis area, and speaking for myself, I want to see in-house SEGA continue making games outside of Sonic the Hedgehog. I want there to be a market for new IP drenched it that quirky SEGA flavor that we all love. I want SEGA to continue to take risks and, for once, actually have them pay off. If a fanbase like the one Atlus has is able to beg for a game like Catherine, a game originally said to be Japan-only, and then have it localized and have it become a smash hit for the company, why can’t SEGA’s fanbase do the same?
Sadly I can’t yet purchase Rhythm Thief, as it won’t see release in my country until this July. To those of you who have already bought the game, I thank you as a SEGA fan, and hope that, somehow, this game finds an audience down the road.
(Note: This post is specifically my own and does not necessarily represent the opinions or points of view of the rest of the SEGAbits staff.)