On the contrary to Super Smash Bros., which was able to crush expectations with over a million copies at retail sold, Dragon Quest X barely made a dent in the Japanese sales charts this week. The brand new Nintendo 3DS version sold only 52,375 copies.
To put this in comparison with other Dragon Quest games on the 3DS, Dragon Quest Monsters 2 sold 443,656 in its first week, and the oft-requested in America Dragon Quest VII 3DS remake was able to crack the coveted one million mark.
So yes, 52,375, a mere five digits might seem like bread crumbs next the grand scale of success the series traditionally sees, but it also seems like Square Enix expected as much. 52,375 units accounted for 95 percent of the initial shipment, meaning it must have sold out in plenty of stores and, in fact, did much better than Square Enix was hoping for.
Why the low estimation on Square Enix’s behalf? I mean, an MMORPG on the Nintendo 3DS seems like a pure win in Japan. Keep in mind though that the game is over two years old in Japan and is available on the Wii, Wii U, PC, and other mobile platforms. This version is streamed into the Nintendo 3DS, something its audience might not be used to, and it requires a separate subscription from every other version.
Also remember that Square Enix had to stop retail shipments to focus on fixing the game after the heavy influx of traffic with the 3DS crowd shut the servers down. If it had shipped throughout the week, maybe it could have cracked 100,000 units.
Regardless, Dragon Quest X continues to chug along in Japan as the company hopes to turn it into a slow-burning success story, similar to Final Fantasy XI, the most profitable game in its history. Of course, some of us in America would like to play along, but we are too greatly overshadowed by the folks blasting through Destiny or adventuring through Final Fantay XIV: A Realm Reborn at the moment for Square Enix to take notice.