As December slowly creeps up, hundreds of thousands of Japanese gamers eagerly anticipate the arrival of the long awaiting Final Fantasy XIII. Sony and Square Enix are also looking forward to the launch, as the game is expected to be a jump start for the falling Japanese video game market. And while no one is doubting the selling power of the long running franchise, Japanese game industry sales tracker Media Create is warning that the series may just have the lowest opener of the series since it migrated to Sony's console in 1997. Media Create predicts that Final Fantasy XIII will shift 1.5 million units at launch, while all the other Final Fantasy titles since VII have debuted at 2 million plus.
Kenichi Chiba, Media Create's senior analyst, arrived at this conclusion by comparing the PS3's predicted user base at the time of the launch, 4 million, to the PS2's user base at the launch of Final Fantasy X, 5 million. Final Fantasy X sold 2.4 million in it's opener, so by adjusting that to the userbase ratio of PS3s to PS2s, he arrived at 1.5 million. He also notes that the series has seen a decline in popularity over the years.
With December 17 only a stones throw away, we'll find out soon enough how accurate Media Create's crystal ball is.