Sword Art Online: Lost Song producer discusses western sales, teases Hollow Realization
posted on 01.15.16 at 03:26 AM EDT by (@salromano)
150,000 sales in the west, according to producer Yosuke Futami.

Sword Art Online: Lost Song

Sword Art Online: Lost Song sold 100,000 copies in North America and 50,000 copies in Europe for a total of 150,000 copies in the west, according to producer Yosuke Futami.

“If you look at Twitter and Facebook, I think [Sword Art Online: Lost Song was received in the west] mostly favorably,” Futami told Dengeki Online. “But Re: Hollow Fragment seems to be more popular, probably because there are a lot of users overseas that like RPGs.

“However, Lost Song did 100,000 units in North America, and even in Europe it sold about 50,000 units, so I have no objections. The download version was pretty popular and sold well overseas. If we look at just the download version on its own, we put out about 30,000 units in North America.”

Compared to Japan, Sword Art Online: Lost Song‘s retail version last charted at 177,000 sales on PS Vita, 65,000 sales on PlayStation 3 , and 18,000 sales on PlayStation 4 (Sword Art Online: Game Director’s Edition).

Futami also spoke a bit about the upcoming Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization.

“Something particular to Hollow Realization is the ‘support cry system,’ though that’s a temporary name,” Futami said and laughed. “This is a system where, not only does the player praise other characters, but other characters praise the player. For example, when you attack an enemy with a cooperative attack, Asuna, Lisbeth, and Silica will attack, and they’ll trust Kirito (the player) to deliver the finishing blow. But once you deliver that attack, everyone will praise you like, ‘You’re amazing!'”

Hollow Realization will also have a character from the original novel never before seen in the Sword Art Online video games.

“We’re planning a character from the original novel who will appear for the first time. However, it’s not a character attached to the letters ‘a’ or ‘yu,’ so please understand.”

Late last year, when Futami debuted first gameplay of Hollow Realization during a Niconico live stream, he said the game was only 10 percent completed development. He clarified with Dengeki that he’s referring to the development process, and that graphics aren’t going to evolve dramatically. Their focus is on creating a great atmosphere, not amazing graphics. When he said 10 percent complete, he meant that “the appearance of the game and the system that gives it its atmosphere are developed.”

Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization is due out for PlayStation 4 and PS Vita in North America, Europe, and Japan in 2016.

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  • Taiga571

    Good news! Let’s continue the “Penetration”!

    • Phelan

      As much as I hated what Bandai Namco did… because let’s be frank it was big one fat slap to VIta owners to give so much half-assed translation. It’s like they didn’t even bother to check whether what they did sounded ok… though ToHR had also awful translation.

      So yeah… it was disrespectful but oh boy… that penetration was… well…. I’m just going to leave it here.

  • bbQ

    I’m looking forward for the day this games just drop Kirito and Swine and make up their own story and characters.

    • Hikari Langley

      Hollow Realization will have it’s own story, the writer has stopped working on light novel’s just to finish up this story. Sadly still has Kirito, but it isn’t going to just be a mash up of characters and some of the anime’s plot like Hollow Fragment was.

  • Zackasaur

    70,000 physical copies in NA. c;

    • Phelan

      But but but… Vita is mainly for digital games… we all know that digital games are way more popular than retail games… even if they are not… so it actualy makes more sense to release games as digital only.

      (sarcasm)

    • Lipo

      Care to explain further? How do I have to interpret that?

      • Zackasaur

        Sure~

        There are a lot of uninformed apologists who argue that it just makes business sense for publishers to ignore the wants and needs of customers by releasing digital-only localisations. The more childish and mean-spirited of them then insult and berate those who ask for physical distribution or won’t spend their money on digital-only for a variety of good reasons. Look out for articles where a big localisation is digital-only, and you will see it.

        SAO is one IP which was surrounded by such controversy, as reasonable people argued for a physical release and unreasonable people were hostile to them.

        Now we get some data directly from the source– 70% of their NA sales were physical. And by the way he says it, we know that 30% digital is a surprisingly high percentage compared to most games.

        • Lipo

          Yeah, I agree.
          But I asked that in the first place because I didn’t see 70k mentioned in the article so I was wondering where it was coming from, but I realized that as soon as I posted, lol.

          • Zackasaur

            Oh, okay! Sorry if I over-explained, then. c:

  • Azai Cross

    No “a” as in Alice Schuberg. No “yu” as in….???

    That girl in the promotion video surely looks like Sachi. She is back as an A.I. or so it seems.

    A new character…Must be Eugeo?

    • xzxrix

      That would bee great, he really would add a lot to the Story

      but it might be that his name is spelled “Yujio”(counting him out),
      sins “Eugeo” is not actually a Official translation of his name

      Though I don’t know who ells it could bee.

  • Elvick

    Maybe you should have did the better deal in NA as well too then?

    Some places in Europe got Re:HF digitally with physical preorders, but NA only got that deal with digital.

    Sold better here. Give us the good deals Bamco. D:< That entire thing is why I didn't buy the game yet.

  • Gankutsuou

    Why not Steam?

    • ayanami-chan

      bclolpc

    • Chie Is Life

      because u came in the wrong neighborhood

    • Chestnut Bowl

      If there’s money in it, I’m sure they’ll do it. Bandai releases a lot of games on PC nowadays.

  • PuppetMaster

    It sold quite well. No wonder Bamco always fast with SAO localization.

  • SoloKazama

    Still – with Hollow Realisation Im going to wait. I blindly bought Lost Song after not bad Hollow Fragment and it felt so dull; was cool on start, but when I arrived to 3rd island – just realized its all copy+paste, equip upgrades doesnt matter because once you enter new island first weapon you find (new tier) is much stronger that previous +6 etc. The same reason exploration of new island is pointless. I hope HR will be more complex like HF.

    And multiplayer – oh my.. ;) why we cant just have 4 players -> ready -> go to instance together.

  • Phelan

    I actualy had hard time buying SAO;LS in my country.

    I either had option to import LS from Canada (and that would cost me way less) or import it from UK. All in all I decided to import from UK to show that there is demand for retail games.

    But I can’t really blame other gamers for importing it from NA (again it is cheaper that way).

    And well… I imported first part from Asia (retail is must have for me)… it was OK~ish game? Kinda boring and uncreative. I would give it score 6-7/10. When it comes to LS it is even more boring (5-6/10… but I bought it fully knowing it (again just to show demand).

  • Rain

    I’m glad they’re happy with the sales. That is why they announced the localization of Hollow Realization so fast.

  • Rain

    Figures like this prove exactly why Japanese publishers put NA ahead of Europe in terms of priority. They sell exactly 100% more in NA ffs

    • Arturo

      Yeah, because there’s a larger market. Obviously you’d expect more sales from a region with a larger audience.

      • Phelan

        Who told you that?

        EU is bigger market than NA when it comes to both PS3, PS4 and Vita.

      • Rain

        NA is not bigger than Europe.

        • Satoshi Ookami

          What? Like… what?
          In which world NA is not bigger than EU?

    • Phelan

      Not true.

      Bandai Namco release their games only in selected EU countries. So most of times local retailer need to import it from UK… and that usualy costs more than importing from Canada.

      EU is bigger market for Vita than NA…

    • Hexodious

      Ah yes, NA vs Europe where Bandai only do a select few countries

      Do your homework

    • Aluja

      NA is like 7 times bigger than western Europe lmao.

      • Rain

        It’s far bigger than Japan too but that didn’t stop the game from selling much more there. It’s about the desire for and popularity of the game in said region, not just size.

        • Aluja

          That’s because marketing is easier to do in just one country, since this didn’t have any type of marketing, size is all we have.

          • Rain

            Excuses, excuses… Japanese games sell far more in NA and that perfectly justifies why Japanese publisher put NA first.

            • Aluja

              K cool.

  • Jinathin

    fast localization is always good news. hoping for only like a month delay compare to JPN release

    • ayanami-chan

      I’m glad you’re not dead. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm hugs

      • Jinathin

        why would i be dead lol

  • Zeria

    I’m glad they’re happy with the numbers, I just hope that means they’re happy enough to keep providing us with proper releases, not just digital licenses.

    • Ragnawind

      Based on what the article says, it is safe to assume there will be physical copies in the West, considering that according to the article’s quotes, the game sold more units physically than digitally, by around 100,000 in the West

  • ArgyleMonkey

    I’m late to the party, but I *just* started watching the anime and I love it. Will be grabbing RE: Hollow Fragment as soon as I’m done w/ season 1. I’m probably not the only one, and as word spreads on how good this series is hopefully the fan base – and sales – will continue to grow.

  • DavidCage

    100k sales for this gen considered good,while in ps2 era 100k is failure

    • Some guy

      I don’t mind, it changes from Capcom’s “everything under 3 millions sales is a failure and will never ever get a sequel”

    • Romored

      It depends on the expectations. With low-cost games like this, 100k is far from a failure. Million-sellers (quality ones, at least) are never been the norm in this industry.

      • DavidCage

        I forgot about “low cost” thing xD

    • Renaldi Saputra

      Depends
      Sales number doesn’t always say so
      Expectation from publisher does

      • DavidCage

        Hi indonesian people..

    • quodvadis

      I don’t care, that’s the publishers’ problem, not mine. As long as I get good games they can set expectation however they want.

      And before you argue about what ‘good’ mean, that’s subjective as heck and I don’t have any opinion regarding quality for this particular title since I haven’t played it yet.

    • Darak

      well it has sold 410.000 worldwide

    • Satoshi Ookami

      Do you think niche games will have million sales?

    • Fox

      Absolutely not true.

      The number of sales needed to qualify as a success or failure depend on the cost of development and the expectations of the publisher.

      IE Tomb Raider sold several million copies, but was a failure because SE expected it to sell more; Trails in the Sky sold only a few thousand copies and was a resounding success. Each game is different.

    • Chie Is Life

      the game is extrmely expensive for a handheld game

  • Renaldi Saputra

    How was the PSV PS4 sales differences?
    How much each of them?

  • Mirikku

    “However, it’s not a character attached to the letters ‘a’ or ‘yu,’” So, it’s not Alice. Or Eugeo, since that can be written as Yujio. Damn… I wish it was Eugeo. It’d be nice to see more male party members.

    • BenriBunny

      At this point I expect any new characters to be females to be added to Kirito’s harem.

      • James Reilly

        Not a guarantee. I mean we got at least one new male which was Sumaragi in the sea of females.

    • Satoshi Ookami

      I’m pretty convinced they first want people to get accustomed to Alice and Eugeo through anime, that’s why they avoid putting them.

      I’m 90% sure it will be Kikuoka.

  • badmoogle

    “When he said 10 percent complete, he meant
    that “the appearance of the game and the system that gives it its
    atmosphere are developed.”

    Well it already shows from the trailer that they are doing a really good job…This will be my first SAO game.

  • http://psnprofiles.com/TomatoDragon TomatoDragon

    Just glad to hear that Japan is more open to localizing games for the west.

    • http://nerdbacon.com/ ChronoSloth

      Agreed. Usually if you hear anything under 500,000 nowadays, titles are considered failures. Glad to see that they’re happy with 150,000 sold and that it’s encouraged them for more localization.

  • OlimacFTW

    Yuck! SAO is the Twilight of anime and light novels.

    • natchu96

      So why bother restating the obvious :|

    • Darak

      that’d be fairy tail

      • ayanami-chan

        No.

      • Satoshi Ookami

        FT is not LN, though.

    • ClaudiusWhite

      Eh, I don’t think it’s that bad. It’s fairly entertaining…though I did hate the villain in ALO.

    • Fox

      Something that people love to talk shit about even without reading so much as a single sentence? Yeah,it certainly is very much like Twilight.

    • Chie Is Life

      lmao true but the game is good i just hope we wont be kirito on the next game

  • Seigi no Mikata

    SAOLS was quite a bad A-RPG

  • EnzerPyro

    So far I’m liking the NM theme, and I’m glad it’s at 10% judging from what we saw so far

  • ayanami-chan

    “Their focus is on creating a great atmosphere, not amazing graphics.”

    mad respect

    • Zackasaur

      Well, those two things have never been mutually exclusive. We have plenty of games releasing with both better atmosphere and better graphics. The latter even raises the ceiling potential of the former!

      But those things typically require more budget and talent. Look to FFXV for an extreme example in 2016.

      So, if they are forced to make a choice, I agree with you. Atmosphere all the way~

      • ayanami-chan

        They aren’t mutually exclusive and I never implied that nor did the quote imply that, the quote noted priority by using the word “focus”

        • Zackasaur

          The “focus” is also not mutually exclusive.

          But, it can become so when there are big limitations put in place, such as with these games. I already noted that, of course.

          My hope is that they can improve graphics, animation, etc. over time to raise the ceiling potential for their atmospheric focus. And I agree that they have made the right call.

          • ayanami-chan

            Realistically it is, given the limitations of time and money

            • Zackasaur

              Particularly in this case, absolutely.

      • moreover

        FFXV will most likely be all graphics and no substance though, extremely weird example.

        • Zackasaur

          No, your comment is extremely weird.

          It would be difficult to construe a more irrational, inaccurate, and unjustified comment about a video game.

          • moreover

            Yeah, I’ve been getting the exact same answers just before the XIII and Type-0. We’ll see, I’m pretty confident by now.

            • Zackasaur

              My own answers have never been off, and I’m quite certain right now.

              • moreover

                Haha, the higher they fall

                • Zackasaur

                  *tips hat*

  • Makoto

    “But Re: Hollow Fragment seems to be more popular, probably because there are a lot of users overseas that like RPGs.”

    Probably also because a lot of people didn’t like the Fairy Dance arc

    • James Reilly

      or you know…. it was debut at $20 or even free for some. Way more people exposed to that game.

      Did enjoy HF more though gameplay wise.

    • Satoshi Ookami

      Well, this wasn’t set in Fairy Dance arc =D

    • Robert Hendrie

      Or people wanted to finally play the game after the shit show the Vita translation was.

  • https://www.youtube.com/user/TheViledinner?feature=mhee Evil Ascendant

    Now this I’m looking forward to :)

  • DesmaX

    I’m glad Hollow Fragment did better

    It’s unpolished, but it’s quite the gem

    • Hexodious

      And a shit more content to boot

  • Satoshi Ookami

    Good, good. Satisfying sales are good.

  • stevenm281

    It would sell even more if they would include the English cast, so far its the only reason I’m not buying, I want to hear the voices I was used to hear while watching the English version of the series.

    I hate having to read subtitles

    • Sadaharu

      On the other hand, if it is only English cast, then it will probably sell less.

  • Ksatmata

    well this is weird. according to vgchartz it sold more than 100k in europe the same like US.
    it already sold 300k in japan, the only question is how many did it sell in asia?

    • DesmaX

      vgchartz is just speculation, it’s not legit

      • Nem

        It’s not just speculation. They are not just making some random numbers up. Its based on actual previous and present data and algorythm estimation. It’s an educated prediction. They also correct the numbers when theres official information. In short, its the best thing we got after official numbers. Itshouldnt bescoffed at. It should just be seen for what it is. An estimation.

    • Zackasaur

      VGchartz do surprisingly good work, so don’t listen too much to the NeoGAF-type trolls on that matter.

      But they’re not perfect, because they use their own models and information instead of having access to every publisher’s numbers. That can be extra tough on more niche games like this, which can have wide regional swings. And, if the sequel did a lot less than the original, that can also throw off models a bit.

    • jacks81x

      vgchartz’s numbers are estimated via their algorithm. They’re not official numbers by any means. That’s why they’re never used as a source in any major gaming sites or publications.

    • C4

      His numbers probably were outdated since Europe isn’t one country unlike NA so it’s probably harder to get sales (not shipped) numbers. They are probably a lot closer now as you said.

  • –ZERO–

    d-dont tease meeeeeeeeee…