The NPD data for March is out, and it tells us that Red Steel 2 only sold 50K in its opening month. Not good, especially compared with other games that debuted in March (like God of War III, which sold over a million) and long standing Wii sellers (like New Super Mario Bros. Wii, which has been out for almost six months, but still sold nearly a half million copies in March alone).
Ubisoft is already working some damage control PR on the situation, stating that the game only had 12 days to rack up sales last month, and that the NPD doesn't collect data from "all retailers". Still, considering that the first Red Steel sold over 100K in its first week, these numbers can't bode well for the series, skewed or not.
Some would be quick to explain this away with the old "hardcore games don't sell on the Wii" mantra, but that doesn't really wash, considering that Modern Warfare Reflex sold around a million copies since last November, and Resident Evil: Darkside Chronicles sold over 500K since December. There are at least that many Wii owners who would buy a "hardcore" game like Red Steel 2, but so far, most of them haven't. Why is that?
I haven't bought the game yet, for a few reasons. For one, I didn't like the first Red Steel, so the sequel got rightfully bumped by the likes of Mega Man 10, Cave Story, Sakura Wars, and Fragile Dreams. Secondly, a new FPS with no multi-player is hard to get excited about, even if it has great controls. Finally, like many Wii owners, I've been trained to wait at least three months before I buy any "non-event title" from a 3rd party on the Wii, as they almost always drop $10-$20 a few months after launch.
What if Ubisoft sold Red Steel 2 for $30 for the first twelve days, and after that pledged to sell the game for no less than $50 for at least twelve months? How well do you think the game would have sold then?