Japan: Super Monkey Ball 3D fails to chart

Though the majority of the 3DS’ launch titles continue to have a presence on the weekly Top 20, SEGA’s Super Monkey Ball 3D, which released in Japan post-launch on March 3rd, failed to make the charts.

In other words, it failed to sell 6,527 copies in its first 3 days on the market, likely not a great sign. Maybe it’s time to try a new franchise, SEGA?

Super Monkey Ball 3D is notable in that it takes a stripped down approach to its multiplayer, removing an entire list of fan favorites in favor of just a racing and fighting mode.

Hit the break for the full sales chart, which covers 2/28-3/6.

[Source: IGN]

1. Dissidia Duodecim Final Fantasy (Square Enix, PSP, 3/3): 286,117
2. Way of the Samurai 4 (Spike, PS3 3/3): 70,380
3. Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask (Level-5, 3DS, 2/26): 59,138 (178,728)
4. SD Gundam G Generation World (Namco Bandai, PSP, 2/24): 45,989 (238,969)
5. Nintendogs + Cats (Nintendo, 3DS, 2/26): 44,699 (108,912)
6. Phantasy Star Portable 2 Infinity (Sega, PSP, 2/24): 42,302 (248,955)
7. Digimon Story Super Xross Wars Blue/Re (Namco Bandai, DS, 3/3): 35,752
8. Samurai Warriors Chronicles (Tecmo Koei, 3DS, 2/26): 30,112 (79,438)
9. Monster Hunter Freedom 3 (Capcom, PSP, 12/1/2010): 26,210 (4,351,882)
10. Star Driver (Namco Bandai, PSP, 3/3): 21,353
11. Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition (Capcom, 3DS, 2/26): 16,974 (61,624)
12. Ridge Racer 3D (Namco Bandai, 3DS, 2/26): 15,810 (54,036)
13. Winning Eleven 3D Soccer (Konami, 3DS, 2/26): 15,301 (39,857)
14. Disgaea 4 (Nippon Ichi, PS3, 2/24): 12,461 (91,886)
15. Samurai Warriors 3Z (Tecmo Koei, PS3, 2/10): 12,251 (302,963)
16. Pokemon Black & White (Pokemon, DS, 9/18/2010): 9,639 (5,101,102)
17. Donkey Kong Returns (Nintendo, Wii, 12/9/2010): 8,836 (835,930)
18. Killzone 3 (Sony, PS3, 2/24): 7,507 (34,224)
19. Catherine (Atlus, PS3, 2/17): 7,131 (170,139)
20. Ace Attorney Investigations 2 (Capcom, DS, 2/3): 6,527 (192,440)

1. 3DS: 209,623 (374,764)
2. PSP: 76,246 (47,955)
3. PS3: 25,918 (23,654)
4. Wii: 11,654 (12,159)
5. DSi LL: 8,951 (9,093)
6. DSi: 7,388 (7,802)
7. X360: 2,353 (3,366)
8. PS2: 1,750 (1,773)
9. PSP go: 1,080 (1,076)
10. DS Lite: 757 (663)

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19 responses to “Japan: Super Monkey Ball 3D fails to chart

  1. crackdude says:

    PSP2inf is doing nicely

  2. CrazyTails says:

    They just shouldn't have started treating the franchise as a cashcow. WHenever I look at them promotional video's all I can think of is, what a load of crap this is again. The first 2 games are among one of my favourite games. Super monkey ball was becoming like sonic but for the 3d era.

    What a load of bs

  3. Shame. I really love Super Monkey Ball Deluxe on the XBOX and the iPhone versions. Looks like they just ain't the same.

  4. CrazyTails says:

    Of deluxe is the first 2 games in one package, than yeah, I feel you man 🙁

  5. nuckles87 says:

    It's not the strip down approach thats the problem, Shadow. It's that they've turned the fan favorite modes into Smash Bros/Mario Kart clones.

    one of the problems with Monkey Ball series is that it loaded itself with shallw, unsubstantial mini games.

  6. -nSega54- says:

    But Monkey Target is not a shallow, unsubstantial mini-game. If you want shallow and unsubstantial, look at this game's multiplayer.

  7. Ali says:

    SEGA should let fall down this franchise, even the last Monkey Ball on Wii sold poorly. Maybe make some mobile phone games, but that's all. People don't care about this game (and to be honestly it's crap).

  8. Aki-at says:

    Why are you guys acting surprised it sold poorly? The Monkey Ball series has never been a big series in Japan, the original only managed a low 58,000 for lifetime sales on the Gamecube. Before people start announcing the death of the series, look at some facts. Sonic does not sell more than 20,000 in Japan now but it's not been a big series there either, so there is no reason to proclaim it to be dead. Do not take Japan as the rest of the world.

    Infact to stab my point in hard as possible

    Monkey Ball 1 – 58,000, first week 16,000

    Monkey Ball 2 – 35,000, first week 11,000

    No need for some of the over the top reactions, Monkeyball is like Sonic, a longterm seller (Check the British budget title charts, Step & Roll still makes it on the Wii) and it just shows that even when Monkey Ball had some of the minigames people liked and the original gameplay, sales were already in decline.

    The more major worrying sign is just how poorly PSP2i selling and does not bode well for sales of PSO2, the first shipment was 350,000, at this rate it won't ever make a second shipment. Seems like the Monster Hunter crowd have grown tired of playing the same game thrice over.

    Also Dissidia sales absolutely tanked, which is funny for a game that just has sold over 200,000 in its first week, but considering the original did 500,000 in it's first week, worrying signs for Square.

  9. fernandeath says:

    But the game got a great score in the 'famitsu magazine'.

    – 32/40 (9/8/8/7).

  10. @CrazyTails:

    Yup, Deluxe packaged the first two games PLUS is backward compatible on the 360 PLUS has widescreen support. So it looks and plays awesome!

  11. -nSega54- says:

    Aki: The 3DS is a system that is sure to have huge success in Japan, and SEGA really should have been there with a strong launch title to appeal to Japan. That was my point.

    As for Dissidia, it's a sequel to a spinoff on a handheld that's soon to be obsolete. It still pulled decent numbers. As did PSP2i. Again, the NGP was announced, the 3DS was released, and this is yet another yearly installment on the PSP. Sales will bgin to fall. SEGA has to realize that it's an inevitability with yearly installments.

  12. Aki-at says:

    "The 3DS is a system that is sure to have huge success in Japan, and SEGA really should have been there with a strong launch title to appeal to Japan. That was my point"

    "The 3DS is a system that is sure to have huge success in Japan, and SEGA really should have been there with a strong launch title to appeal to Japan. That was my point"

    SEGA is not a publisher that enjoys huge success in Japan. And the only series that is relative in Japan from SEGA is Yakuza and they're not about to start risking that cashcow anytime soon.

    "As for Dissidia, it’s a sequel to a spinoff on a handheld that’s soon to be obsolete. It still pulled decent numbers"

    Decent numbers? It's terrible numbers, it's a sequel to a title that managed to get 900,000 in sales. The justification that as the PSP is nearing the end of it's life it's done good numbers looks silly when you see Monster Hunter 3 in the very same chart is still charting after doing 4 million units.

    It did decent numbers if it was anything but a major title from Square, which it is.

    "As did PSP2i. Again, the NGP was announced, the 3DS was released, and this is yet another yearly installment on the PSP. Sales will bgin to fall. SEGA has to realize that it’s an inevitability with yearly installments"

    The shipment for PSP2i was 350,000, SEGA expected a lot lot more from the title. Numbers would be decent if publisher did not expect more, same with Dissidia.

  13. -nSega54- says:

    lol dude 286,000 in week 1 and being the top game is not horrible numbers. FF spinoffs are rarely well-received enough to get sequels to begin with. The sequel did decently. Obviously not up to the 1st game, but decently.

    "SEGA is not a publisher that enjoys huge success in Japan. And the only series that is relative in Japan from SEGA is Yakuza and they’re not about to start risking that cashcow anytime soon."

    Eh….wha? Dude SEGA's one of Japan's top publishers. They're of course no Square-Enix but they do very well in Japan, especially on handhelds.

  14. Aki-at says:

    "lol dude 286,000 in week 1 and being the top game is not horrible numbers. FF spinoffs are rarely well-received enough to get sequels to begin with. The sequel did decently. Obviously not up to the 1st game, but decently."

    Again, you are not looking at the context, merely the numbers, discussing sales like that is wrong, you overlook many factors, for example, Square shipped out 450,000 to retailers, following the usual falloff rates in it;s second week, this game is going to be hitting the bargin bin and retailers will feel rightly shafted by Square Enix, especially after Front Mission and several other games that falled to sell out their first shipment.

    As I said, if Halo did something under one million in America, would that be considered good sales? Of course not, Microsoft would be expecting more and considering the original shipment was 450,000 for Dissadia, the 280,000 is not a good figure at all, Square were looking at similar numbers this time round.

    "Eh….wha? Dude SEGA’s one of Japan’s top publishers. They’re of course no Square-Enix but they do very well in Japan, especially on handhelds"

    I said they do not enjoy huge success, which is true, outside of Yakuza, which series does SEGA have that sells a large quantity? PSP seemed like it, but that's born off of the Monster Hunter fans, you have Project Diva, but that's not a series SEGA owns. The only one left is Puyo, and that's strictly an over 200k under 300k series.

    Europe and America is were they enjoy greater success. Mainly thanks to Sonic in America, mainly thanks to Football Manager, Total War and Sonic in Europe.

  15. -nSega54- says:

    Regarding Dissidia: I'm aware SE may be disappointed by the numbers but to call it a *flop* this early on may be a bit of an overstatement.

    The Americas are actually SEGA's weakest market, they cited it in one of their recent financial reports as their most disappointing region.

    In Japan SEGA has the Valkyria series, they have Miku, they have Yakuza, they have Phantasy Star Portable, they had Bayonetta, the Shining games, they've even had small success with games like End of Eternity and 7th Dragon.

    Of course more raw numbers for software sales come from America, it's a bigger region/market. But as far as marketshare is concerned, they're definitely better off in Japan, where a vast majority of their big releases chart, whereas in America, it's rare for a SEGA game to ever make the NPD top 10.

  16. Aki-at says:

    "Regarding Dissidia: I’m aware SE may be disappointed by the numbers but to call it a *flop* this early on may be a bit of an overstatement."

    How? If we were to follow the same pattern of sales as the original Dissidia, this one is going to top 480,000 in sales, which would be frankly quite optimistic. It's not an overstatement if you follow sales chart, 280,000 for FF: DD is terrible, unless the title shows legs that are more akin to Nintendo titles, it is going to be a flop. Do you think retailers, who have now been let down several times by Square Enix, will be quite happy that 170,000 units are going to be sitting on their shelves?

    For it to be anything but a flop, this title would have to have a first week / lime time ratio that would go beyond even the very best Final Fantasy title.

    "The Americas are actually SEGA’s weakest market, they cited it in one of their recent financial reports as their most disappointing region"

    I read them. Disappointed does not equate as weakest, the reason they were disappointed were key games, such as Alpha Protocol, Vanquish and Iron Man 2 failed to make the impact they had hoped. In Japan SEGA only managed 1,9 million units, both Europe and America were well over 5 million units each.

    "In Japan SEGA has the Valkyria series they have Miku, they have Yakuza, they have Phantasy Star Portable, they had Bayonetta, the Shining games, they’ve even had small success with games like End of Eternity and 7th Dragon"

    With the exception of the first two PSP titles and Yakuza, you are not looking a highly successful games there.

    Publisher's that enjoy huge success in Japan are Level 5 (Games sell easily over 500,000) Capcom (Same with titles such as Resident Evil and Monster Hunter) Konami (Metal Gear and sports titles) Namco (Gundam, God Eater) and Square.

    SEGA is a moderately successful publisher in Japan and with the exception of Yakuza, only has one series that does half a million in the duration of a year, that did change with PSP, but sales decline make it seem like it too will go under 500,000, perhaps it'll improve, but considering God Eater is in decline, I very much doubt that.

    "Of course more raw numbers for software sales come from America, it’s a bigger region/market. But as far as marketshare is concerned, they’re definitely better off in Japan, where a vast majority of their big releases chart, whereas in America, it’s rare for a SEGA game to ever make the NPD top 10."

    The NPD top 10 usually is all full of 100,000+ sellers and can stretch as far as the top 20 before you go below 100,000.

    Yes, SEGA hardly gets a title in the top 10, but a title that is number 1, 4, or even 78 in America will usually be higher than the relative number in Japan.

    As I showed with the numbers from SEGA's most recent report, Europe and America are their bread maker when it comes to software sales and that's what matters, not marketshare.

  17. -nSega54- says:

    How do you know how many copies of Dissidia were shipped? Just curious.

    As far as retailers being "let down" by Square-Enix…….eh. They're not going to under-order the next Final Fantasy game. I really don't think SE has too much to worry about.

    Now, SEGA sending north of 1 million copies of Bayonetta to North American retailers only to have it sell a few hundred thousand…that's something to be concerned about.

    Units sold and marketshare…what's actually most important is neither, it's how much profit is generated from a game's release. At those sales, Dissidia may very well profit for Square-Enix. It's a handheld title. Monkey Ball 3DS certainly won't profit for SEGA, not at these numbers.

    We'll see how well it does in the West. Hopefully much better.

    "Publisher’s that enjoy huge success in Japan are Level 5 (Games sell easily over 500,000) Capcom (Same with titles such as Resident Evil and Monster Hunter) Konami (Metal Gear and sports titles) Namco (Gundam, God Eater) and Square."

    Konami doesn't enjoy the same level in Japan as SEGA, at least, looking at the charts. Konami seems to live off Winning Eleven and Metal Gear. SEGA has a slate of titles that all have moderate success in Japan, vs Konami, which has a big seller per year in Winning Eleven and whenever a Metal Gear game comes out.

    SEGA's certainly not in SE or Capcom's league but I'd argue that they're a major publisher in Japan. Could they live off Japan alone if all they had was software? Well, no, of course not, but nobody can anymore.

  18. Aki-at says:

    "How do you know how many copies of Dissidia were shipped? Just curious"

    Analzyn gives out estimated retail shipments out, Yakuza of the End is said to have an order of around 350,000.

    "As far as retailers being “let down” by Square-Enix…….eh. They’re not going to under-order the next Final Fantasy game. I really don’t think SE has too much to worry about"

    They will if they are consistently being let down by the publisher, if half a million units is send and they only sell half of that, they'll have reservation on the next title. Especially when it comes to Square's recent history with retailers.

    "Units sold and marketshare…what’s actually most important is neither, it’s how much profit is generated from a game’s release. At those sales, Dissidia may very well profit for Square-Enix. It’s a handheld title. Monkey Ball 3DS certainly won’t profit for SEGA, not at these numbers"

    Of course they will profit from it, but they cannot have underselling games, profits go down, share price falls and the company has less ability to discuss with retailers the quantity of shipment, especially as Kingdom Hearts and Front Mission both failed to go past intial shipment.

    Monkeyball's major market is not Japan, it is Europe and America. The original Monkeyball did over a million, but only around 58,000 of that was in Japan. Again context.

    If Yakuza sells little (And indeed it does) in America and Europe, it's not a major worry because this is not the series strongest region, if it underperforms in Japan there is a major worry.

    "Konami doesn’t enjoy the same level in Japan as SEGA, at least, looking at the charts. Konami seems to live off Winning Eleven and Metal Gear. SEGA has a slate of titles that all have moderate success in Japan, vs Konami, which has a big seller per year in Winning Eleven and whenever a Metal Gear game comes out"

    Konami has sold more units in Japan than SEGA in their last report and for the major duration of the last decade.

    Just for reference, Konami's Q3 report had them down as selling 5.17 million units in Japan from Q1 – Q3, whilst SEGA had 1.9 million. They have both major sellers and moderate sellers, the Power Pro series for example.

    "SEGA’s certainly not in SE or Capcom’s league but I’d argue that they’re a major publisher in Japan. Could they live off Japan alone if all they had was software? Well, no, of course not, but nobody can anymore"

    I did not say they are not a major publisher. I said they are a publisher that does not enjoy huge success, which is evidently true in the majority of their reports.

  19. -nSega54- says:

    hm. Haha looks like you've got the info to support your argument while I don't.

    Either way, I think it's safe to say that this is definitely a sign that the Monkey Ball series is dead in Japan, and SEGA will need to try a different tactic on the 3DS if they want to sell games on it. To be honest I'm wondering if North America/Europe is exactly dying for another Monkey Ball game either…

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