NIS America: The US Has “A Larger JRPG Fan Base Than Any Other Country” Besides Japan
In an interview with MCV UK, NIS America President Takuro Yamashita revealed that Disgaea 5 Complete for Nintendo Switch has been pre-ordered more than 110,000 times in the West (78,000 from the United States, 36,000 from Europe) ahead of its May 26 release. This far exceeds the less than 20,000 copies sold in Japan at launch in March.
As Yamashita went on to explain, the US is the biggest market for Disgaea outside of Japan, the US has “a larger JRPG fan base than any other country” besides Japan, and Disgaea is “one of the well-recognized JRPGs among such US communities.”
After mentioning that “the era is over for [Japanese games companies] to just rely on the Japanese market,” Yamashita said the Japanese video game market share could be less than 30%:
The Japanese video game market is getting smaller. If you look at the recent Tokyo Game Show, you do not feel the momentum that it used to have until five years ago. The Japanese video game market share might be now less than 30 per cent of the world, while I think the western market share accounts for around 70 per cent. Therefore, Japanese games companies need to focus more on the Western market to expand their game business.
Addressing the low sales of Disgaea 5 Complete in Japan, Yamashita said they predicted it to some extent, but they “were surprised that the gap was much bigger than we thought.” However, he still believes the Switch version will be a success, thanks to the US and European sales.
Disgaea 5 released for PlayStation 4 in 2015 and sold under 23,000 copies in its first week in Japan, and opened in 27th in the UK. You can read our review over here.