As usual, I’ll preface this with the fact that I haven’t played Breath of the Wild yet, but NieR: Automata is my favorite video game of 2017 so far. It’s also a 1 million seller after one month of being on the market, as confirmed by Square Enix.
The company stated that this accounts for both the physical and digital versions of the PlayStation 4 version and the PC version. This makes NieR: Automata far and away the most commercially successful game created by director Yoko Taro, a fine match for it being his most critically successful game as well.
Year of the niche action game
2017 is, so far, proving to be a year where niche Japanese games are stealing the spotlight. NieR: Automata isn’t the first niche title to garner a seven-digit following with Nioh doing the same just last week. Let’s not forget about a little game called The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which happens to be one of the highest rated video games of all time. Persona 5’s stealth approach gives it action beats that the series has never seen before, and both Resident Evil 7 and Yakuza 0 made their franchises more exciting than they have been in years.
Horizon Zero Dawn managed to deliver big, and For Honor squeezed in a shocker. However, Mass Effect: Andromeda continues to tear down the shaky wall of trust that the AAA market is slowly whittling away.
In 2017, if you’re a niche Japanese action game, you’re officially on my radar now. From the success of Nier, Nioh, and Zelda, it seems you’ll be on many other radars as well.