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Japanese physical games drop 13 percent for the worst year in over two decades

by Ron Duwell | January 8, 2016January 8, 2016 7:00 am PDT

Akihabara-15 - Optimized

You need further proof that traditional physical games are going out of style in Japan? Famitsu has reported the figures from 2015, and it’s not looking pretty. Overall, the video game industry made roughly 321 billion yen ($2.7 billion dollars) through hardware and software sales, a 13 percent drop from 2014.

Not accounting for digital sales, which are increasing in Japan thanks to the rise of smartphones, console sales fell 8.5 percent and video games dropped 16 percent, making 2015 the worst year for physical video games in 26 years.

Naturally, the usual suspects performed well with Monster Hunter X selling 2.4 million copies, but the rest of the industry wasn’t so lucky. See the top the best selling games in Japan below.

  • 1. Monster Hunter X (Capcom) 3DS – 2,441,977
  • 2. Yo-Kai Watch Busters: Akaneko-dan / Shiroinu-tai (Level 5) 3DS – 1,965,202
  • 3. Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer (Nintendo) 3DS – 1,282,880
  • 4. Splatoon (Nintendo) Wii U – 1,064,897
  • 5. Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King (Square Enix) 3DS – 864,865
  • 6. Super Mario Maker (Nintendo) Wii U – 674,194
  • 7. Monster Strike (Mixi) 3DS – 636,709
  • 8. Yokai Watch 2: Shinuchi (Level 5) – 3DS – 625,223
  • 9. Rhythm Heaven: The Best+ (Nintendo) 3DS – 607,343
  • 10. Fire Emblem Fates: White Kingdom/Black Kingdom (Birthright / Conquest) (Nintendo) 3DS – 538,669
  • 1. Nintendo 3DS (including 3DS, 3DS LL, New 3DS, New 3DS LL) 2,189,900
  • 2. PS4 1,205,163
  • 3. PS Vita (including Vita TV) 959,342
  • 4. PS3 188,207
  • 5. Wii U 82,304
  • 6. Xbox One 18,093

If there is any hope to saving this sinking ship, 2016 has a massive line-up of traditional Japanese favorites like Final Fantasy, Persona, Dragon Quest, and Star Ocean. If these games can’t get the PlayStation 4 up and roaring into a better new year, I don’t know what can!

VG247

Ron Duwell

Ron has been living it up in Japan for the last decade, and he has no intention of leaving this technical wonderland any time soon. When he's not...

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