SEGA Financial Report: Alien: Isolation sells over 2 million while Yakuza Zero and Sonic Boom display weak sales

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It’s that time of year again, where SEGA releases their financial statement and the internet takes parts that they like and dislike and then run articles with click bait headlines. Check ours out, how did we do? After the break, join us as we look at SEGA’s latest financial report and see what it really means.

SEGA Major packaged titles:

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Alien Isolation: Even though mainstream media like ‘MCV’ have been saying that Alien Isolation fell short of SEGA’s expectations, that is incorrect. Last fall SEGA said they wanted the game to sell 2 million. The game came out during October of last year and has now sold 2.1 million copies. SEGA can still extend the sales of the game later this year if they want to re-release it under a ‘Game of the Year’ or ‘Complete’ edition. SEGA has also teased that The Creative Assembly, the developer behind Alien Isolation, is working on another multiplatform triple A title. I’d say they are perfectly happy with the sales of the game.

Football Manager 2015Why are we talking about Football? Well, Sports Interactive’s Football Manager 2015 has a very dedicated fan base. How dedicated? Very. So much so that its one of the top played games on Steam throughout the day, everyday. The game shifted 810,000 units on PC only. That is pretty impressive and since the game doesn’t have the most advanced graphics, that is a lot of profit for a company.

Sonic Boom: While the show, comics and merchandise seem to be hits for SEGA and are being enjoyed by fans, it seems that the spin-off video game series has not been a hit at all, with sales of  620,000 units for both Nintendo Wii U and 3DS. According to a lot of online publications this is one of the lowest selling Sonic the Hedgehog video game ever. I wouldn’t go that far considering there have been many Sonic titles released over the last few decades and some of those have been questionable (we just lack sales data). What we do know is that 620,000 units is very low for a flagship franchise, but what people don’t tell you is that all software has had lower sales on the Wii U platform compared to previous Nintendo consoles. Not to mention that the game wasn’t very good and released the same month as the ever popular Super Smash Bros for Wii U and 3DS, which also included a playable Sonic the Hedgehog. Its easy to see why the game didn’t do so hot. I wouldn’t cry ‘Sonic is dead’ just yet…

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Yakuza Zero (Ryū ga Gotoku 0): SEGA’s prequel to its long running Japanese gangster drama failed to impress. The game sold only 380,000 units on both Playstation 3 and Playstation 4 since it was released in March. This isn’t new, the Yakuza franchise has been on a sales decline for awhile, so lets break down the first week sales of the last few main title releases:

  • Yakuza 3 (2009): 372,301 copies first week
  • Yakuza 4 (2010): 383,972 copies first week
  • Yakuza 5 (2012): 356,757 copies first week
  • Yakuza Zero (2015): 236,329 copies first week (combined PS3/PS4)

Even the zombie filled side game Yakuza: Dead Souls had more sales on a single platform coming in at 307,019 units the first week. This isn’t the first Yakuza game on the Playstation 4, the last spin-off released last year also posted disappointing numbers for a multiplatform title with only 220,698 units the first week. I think its time for Toshihiro Nagoshi and company to launch a new franchise and give the Yakuza games a break for awhile.

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Persona 4 Arena Ultimax: This is actually the only ‘major title’ that SEGA showed from Atlus and it moved over 280,000 units. This might not seem very impressive to most people but the game is a sequel to the first fighting game that uses the same engine. This 2D fighter is a direct sequel in the sense that the story takes place after the first fighting game released in 2012, graphically its about the same as the last title. While we poke at Yakuza sales, this game managed to move 89,000 units the first week in Japan.

SEGA has also stated in their report that the Persona franchise has shifted over 6.2 million units world wide. A lot of sites have been spinning this as very exciting, but you also have to keep in mind that the first Persona title launched in 1996 with Revelations: Persona on the Playstation. The franchise has been turning things around in the last decade, since before Persona 3 it was super obscure.

Atlus has released a ton of titles, including Persona Q on the 3DS which all didn’t get mentioned in SEGA’s major title releases. I would assume none of the other published games managed to sell over 280,000 units and thus are left out.

The Future

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SEGA sold 12.3 million units in the period, beating their expectations for the quarter by 1 million. Video games made up only 11% of their business with $925 million split between package and digital (almost 50/50). SEGA also reported that Noah Pass, their Japanese mobile publishing platform has increased its userbase and now has over 94,730 users, compared to 82,600 users from last quarter.

According to the report SEGA plans to release 20 packaged titles overseas by the end of their financial year, so we can expect to hear more game announcements soon enough. At the same time SEGA plans to release over 47 digital mobile and PC titles during the same year. Seeing as SEGA is creeping the mobile charts and is 13th most popular mobile company for 2014, its no surprise that SEGA wants to continue down this path. A few of these digital PC titles have already been known for awhile, including SEGA’s Total War take on the MOBA genre.

Believe it or not SEGA is actually reporting that it will have less mobile/digital titles compared to last year (from 117 to 47) and more core packaged titles (15 to 20). SEGA continued to state that they will stick with ‘core IPs’, which isn’t surprising in this day and age.

9 responses to “SEGA Financial Report: Alien: Isolation sells over 2 million while Yakuza Zero and Sonic Boom display weak sales

  1. TimmiT says:

    The reason why other Atlus games might not be in the report is because Persona 4 Arena Ultimax was the only game with SEGA’s name on it. Atlus doesn’t have an European side to it, so SEGA Europe handled the release in Europe. So it could be that these sales are only of the European release.

    • TimmiT says:

      Or rather, it’s the only game published in Europe by SEGA, rather than it being handled by Atlus USA or a different third party publisher like NIS America.

  2. Trippled says:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Sega_Sammy_Holdings

    Updated the Wiki for Sega Sammy results from 2005 to now (2015)

    Interresting to note that arcade side of Sega is posting losses again….

  3. Elly says:

    Personally i think that sega should have make Sonic Boom on multiple system instead of the wii u. Who know maybe it would have sold more.
    What is interesting to see this year is that Persona 5 will come out.
    I am curious to see i they can outselll final fantasy 15.

    and sega should focus on beter / Quality games, they can’t afford antoher miss take. Please sega don’t be the next Capcom / konami ( our old franchises needs to return).

  4. Ryo says:

    Well, why doesn’t SEGA bring yakuza zero to the west then?

    • George says:

      Good question.

      There is a rumor that Sony/SEGA will bring Yakuza Zero, but they are publishing Yakuza 5 first (this fall). If the game does fine, I’m sure Yakuza Zero will be next. But sadly if past title sales are any indication, it won’t help out the franchise much considering that 80%+ of sales are from Japan for this series.

  5. Elly says:

    hmmm. are we then also going to see Valkyrie Chronicles bundel for the Ps4?
    Because that was a rumor by sony i think

  6. Kell says:

    That awkward moment when you realise that licenced Sega released do better than real Sega IP…

  7. Eric Breaux says:

    That’s so odd because the Yakuza games are adored by most players and also this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ry%C5%AB_ga_Gotoku_0#Reception tells a very different story of the new games status. I guess this was after the low sales.

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