"Big in Japan" doesn't even begin to describe Square Enix's Dragon Quest series, a fact that was bolstered by Japanese industry tracker Media Create's latest retail sales charts for the week of July 6-12. As reported earlier this week, Dragon Quest IX sold through a staggering 2.3 million copies in its debut week.
To put that figure in perspective, in one week on sale in Japan, Dragon Quest IX sold more copies on a single platform than Madden NFL 09 sold in its debut month in the United States on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, Wii, DS, and original Xbox combined, according to NPD figures. Even more remarkably, Japan's population is around one third that of the US.
The first installment in the series to debut on the DS crushed all competition for the week, outselling Nintendo's second-place Wii Sports Resort by a 22:1 ratio. Few publishers bothered to release games against the juggernaut, with the second-best new release of the week--Global A's PSP RPG Sekai wa Atashi de Mawatteru Hikari to Yami no Princess--ranking 46 on Media Create's top 50. One other new release, the Japanese PlayStation 3 edition of WWE: Legends of Wrestlemani, managed to sneak just inside the top 50 at 49.
Dragon Quest IX's impact was also felt on the hardware charts for the week. The DSi easily doubled its sales from the previous week, jumping from 47,000 to more than 118,000. All other systems--with the exception of the legacy DS Lite--saw their hardware sales slide week-over-week.
Looking at the non-Dragon Quest parts of the charts, evergreen Japanese hits like Wii Fit, Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G (Monster Hunter Freedom Unite in the US), and Pokemon Platinum continued to pad their stats, while more recent releases like Square Enix's action-RPG Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days and Level 5's puzzler Sloane to MacHale no Nazo no Story maintained momentum as well.
Week of July 6-12, 2009
1) Dragon Quest IX (DS) - 2,319,000
2) Wii Sports Resort (WII) - 103,000
3) Tomodachi Collection (DS) - 57,000
4) Boku no Natsuyasumi 4: Seitouchi Shounen Tanteidan, Boku to Himitsu no Chizu (PSP) - 24,000
5) Hatsune Miku: Project Diva (PSP) - 14,000
6) Monster Hunter Freedom Unite (PSP) - 13,000
7) Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days (DS) - 9,000
8) Wii Fit (Wii) - 9,000
9) Pokemon Platinum (DS) - 8,000
10) Sloane to MacHale no Nazo no Story (DS) - 7,000
DSi - 118,202
PSP - 26,527
Wii - 22,141
DS Lite - 10,161
PS3 - 9,864
Xbox 360 - 3,561
PS2 - 3,508