Japanese company Tsutaya has compiled a list of the 19 games that sold the most copies in Japan during 2012, and unsurprisingly, Nintendo and Capcom dominate the chart thanks to strong sales of the latest Pokemon, Resident Evil, and Monster Hunter games.
It seems like Pokemon just never goes out of style, because Pokemon Black 2 easily earned the top spot in terms of sales this year. Its counterpart, Pokemon White 2 placed fourth, and if you combine the sales of the two versions together, it becomes even more apparent that Pokemon is just as popular in Japan today as it was when the original games were released back on the black and white Game Boy more than a decade ago. The 3DS version of Animal Crossing managed to come in second place for the year, which is extremely impressive, considering that it only came out last month. The game has been selling so well that Japanese retailers have reported nationwide shortages of the game, and Nintendo president Satoru Iwata even had to issue a formal statement apologizing for how Nintendo hasn’t been able to produce enough cartridges of the game to keep up with demand. Fire Emblem: Awakening is on track to become the best-selling entry in Nintendo’s long running strategy RPG franchise as well, as the latest game in the series charted in 13th place.
Despite a mixed reception from fans and critics alike, Capcom’s Resident Evil 6 still sold well enough to become the best selling PS3 game of the year and earn a third place position in terms of overall sales. The equally critically panned Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City also managed to sell pretty well, charting in 11th place, proving that Resident Evil can still sell well, regardless of quality. Capcom’s other big hit of the year, Dragon’s Dogma, placed 9th on the chart, while the 3DS version of Monster Hunter 3 managed to hang onto 14th place, an impressive feat when you consider that the game is over a year old at this point.
Square-Enix also has a lot to be happy about as well: Dragon Quest proved that it’s still Japan’s favorite RPG franchise, as 3DS spin-off Dragon Quest Monsters: Terry’s Wonderland sold well enough to earn the 6th spot on the list, while Wii MMO Dragon Quest X came in 8th place. Namco Bandai also had some hits thanks to the latest One Piece Musuo game, as well as the strong performance of Tales of Xillia 2.
The full list is as follows:
|# 1||Pokemon Black 2||DS|
|# 2||Animal Crossing: New Leaf||3DS|
|# 3||Resident Evil 6||PS3|
|# 4||Pokemon White 2||DS|
|# 5||One Piece Pirate Musou||PS3|
|# 6||Dragon Quest Monsters: Terry’s Wonderland 3D||3DS|
|# 7||New Super Mario Bros. 2||3DS|
|# 8||Dragon Quest X||Wii|
|# 9||Dragons Dogma||PS3|
|# 10||World Soccer Winning Eleven 2013||PS3|
|# 11||Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City||PS3|
|# 12||Tales of Xillia 2||PS3|
|# 13||Fire Emblem: Awakening||3DS|
|# 14||Monster Hunter 3 (Tri) G||3DS|
|# 15||Super Robot Wars Z II||PSP|
|# 16||Mario Kart 7||3DS|
|# 17||Mario Party 9||Wii|
|# 18||Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance]||3DS|
|# 19||SD Gundam G Generation World Over||PSP|
It’s interesting to see the differences between the Japanese market and the American NPD charts: over there handhelds are dominant over home consoles, and the Xbox 360’s presence is non-existant, where as the 360 has dominated software and hardware sales for the better part of 2012 here in America.
It’s also worth noting that a lot of Japan’s best selling games of the year aren’t out in America yet. In case you’re interested in picking any of these games up, their current release dates on our shores are as follows:
Animal Crossing: City Folk (New Leaf in Japan) – Q2 2013
Fire Emblem: Awakening – February 4, 2013
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate – March, 2013 (ditto for the HD Wii U port as well)
Tales of Xillia 2 doesn’t have a US release date yet, but that’s probably because the original Tales of Xillia hasn’t come out here yet; while Tales of Xillia 1 has been confirmed for a US release, Namco Bandai still has it listed as a nebulous “2013” release.