Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII and Super Mario 3D World launched to lackluster sales in Japan last week. Though the pair placed first and second atop the nation's software charts, the latest entries in Square Enix and Nintendo's flagship franchises saw significantly weaker debuts than their predecessors.
Lightning Returns opened with 277,082 sales, the lowest of any Final Fantasy XIII game. As noted by Gematsu, the original Final Fantasy XIII sold 1.5 million units in its first week on the market, while Final Fantasy XIII-2 hit the 524,000 mark. It's probably a good thing Square Enix is leaving Lightning and friends behind. That progression isn't pretty.
Super Mario 3D World suffered a similar fate, moving just 99,588 copies. That figure makes for the lowest first week sales of any 3D Mario title. Even the Super Mario 64 remake on Nintendo DS sold better with 120,062. Yikes.
The acclaimed platformer also failed to spur Wii U hardware sales, which stood neck and neck with the PlayStation Vita at around 21,000. That's a mere 5,000 unit increase over the previous week, indicating Super Mario 3D World isn't quite the system-seller Nintendo so desperately needs.
That said, Nintendo games tend to have long tails, frequently continuing to chart weeks and even months after launch. Super Mario 3D World could very well go on to see success as a slow burner.
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11:00 AM on 01.21.2015