Star Fox Zero launched to the worst sales figures that the series has ever seen in its home country of Japan. Reports from Japan’s largest gaming magazine, Famitsu, are showing that the dual pack including Star Fox Zero and Star Fox Guard sold only 17,114 units during its launch week
The solo Star Fox Zero package managed only 8,135 copies. This figure made Star Fox Zero the forth best selling game of the week in Japan behind two One Piece fighting games and the Yo-kai Watch medieval spin-off, Yo-kai Sangokushi.
Star Fox Zero’s unimpressive launch figures look even worse when put next to the rest of the series. A chart from game analyst ZhugeEX puts it as the worst launch in franchise history in Japan.
First week sales of Star Fox Zero in Japan vs others in the series.
It's clear the game hasn't performed well. pic.twitter.com/BJ2Yk1eRe2
— ZhugeEX (@ZhugeEX) May 3, 2016
With this data, it’s plain to see that the Star Fox series continues to carry two vastly different opinions by two large audiences. Nintendo fans revere it as one of Nintendo’s most iconic franchises and see it as an integral part of the company’s library with each passing generation. The massive mainstream audience shrug with indifference and confusion, unable to push it into larger numbers.
Unless the North American and European numbers are a lot better, which I doubt they will be, I wonder if Nintendo will ever try to bank on the series again. Star Fox 64 was a great game worthy of the millions of copies it sold back in the day. With waning interest in the increasingly mobile Japan and a downward trend in sales, how can Nintendo justify continuing it?