Sega Sammy released their 2018 integrated report on Tuesday, including a list of lifetime sales figures for the entire roster of IPs – including acquisitions. This report has fielded quite a bit of revelation, including the Yakuza series’ rise in Western gaming awareness.
Sonic the Hedgehog leads all Sega IPs…and it’s an absolute landslide.
For all the gripes that Sonic fans give the series for all its foibles, Sonic‘s the epitome of a mega-franchise for Sega. Sonic, between physical and digital game sales and downloads (this counts free-to-play titles such as Sonic Dash,) has moved approximately 800 million units. This also includes the over 1 million units moved for Sonic Mania and Sonic Mania Plus. No other game IP comes close to these figures. The distant second IP is the Puyo Puyo series, with approximately 27 million units moved. Total War, acquired in 2005, moved 22 million units, followed by Chain Chronicle, which was shut down in 2016, with 15 million units. Shin Megami Tensei and Persona moved an approximate combined 21.7 million units (12.4 and 9.3 respectively.) However, the most notable is Yakuza, with 11 million units moved, as Yakuza 6 was the first in the series to match sales numbers in the West and in Japan.
Yakuza 6: The Song of Life has sold as many copies overseas as it did in Japan.
We may not have exact numbers for Yakuza 6: The Song of Life (check out our review here,) however, Sega President and COO Kenji Matsubara did state that Yakuza 6 was the first title in the series to sell as much in Western Territories as it did in Japan:
In Yakuza 6: The Song of Life, although the main character is played by the legendary Yakuza and set in Tokyo and Hiroshima, it has sold as many copies overseas as it has in Japan. In the past, the Japanese market has generated the bulk of sales for these series, and although it has elements that are appealing to overseas. However, the game was not developed with European and U.S. markets in mind. Thanks to painstaking efforts to create a game that Japanese fans will appreciate, the title has become popular not only in Japan but also won over fans overseas who praise the refined game sense of the title. I believe this is why Yakuza 6: The Song of Life has become such a popular hit around the world.
Persona 5 has moved 2.2 million titles total.
Atlus’ Persona 5 has proven a successful hit in 2017, with overseas sales being double of that in Japan. Doing the math, that means Persona 5 only moved approx 750K units in Japan, with 1.45 million units being moved overseas, with a safe assumption that America owns a chunk of that 66% of overall sales. Matsubara states:
This game title is a successful hit with more than 2.2 million copies sold worldwide, and overseas sales are more than double the sales in Japan. I would like to stress that this success came despite the game being an RPG based on Japan’s view of the world, with Japanese high school students as the main protagonists in the story.
Sega’s had quite the successful few years, and if these numbers are any indication, their success should be largely sustainable.