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Catherine achieves Atlus' best launch sales ever

The first week of sales for Atlus' psychological anime thriller, Catherine, has achieved the single most successful release week of any game in the company's history. Devotees of past Atlus releases, such as Rockin' Kats, Spud's Adventure and both Snowboard Kids titles, have had little more than underground cred with which to console themselves. That is, until Catherine – a decidedly non-standard title on which Atlus took a risk with ubiquitous marketing and an extravagantly weird special edition – takes its place in company lore. Even Atlus' Sales VP – arguably the guy directly responsible for the title's release-week success – admits he's pleasantly surprised.


Above: "No... I think I WILL challenge From Dust!"

Tim Pivnicny, who you and Atlus can thank for making sure Catherine was eagerly-awaited by more than just Famitsu subscribers and anime devotees, can't give precise sales figures yet – but admits that “Catherine has exceeded our wildest expectations.” Citing the game's “mature themes, engrossing subject matter, and frantic, challenging gameplay,” Pivnicny thinks it only fitting that the title should break Atlus' release-week records and continue to see strong sales as word of mouth – key for a release like this – spreads further.


Above: Who could forget their first encounter with Billy ButtTongue?

How do you think Catherine achieved its record-breaking opening? Has fortune favored the bold? Did the title successfully tap into a burgeoning Otaku market? Might the game's psychosexual themes of confused young manhood tap into something deep within the gamer psyche? Or did you just like the chick on the cover?

Aug 2, 2011

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34 comments

  • JohnDagger - August 5, 2011 5:33 a.m.

    I bought it to make sure they had lots of munnies for Persona 5.
  • laurenhiya21 - August 3, 2011 9:18 p.m.

    Wow that really is a nice surprise D: I think it looks pretty good,(haven't gotten it yet) but I never thought it would do well in NA Anyways congrats to Atlus!
  • Plan10FromOuterSpace - August 3, 2011 5:28 p.m.

    This is GREAT news considering all we've been hearing about recently is the failure of new IP's such as Shadows of the Damned and Child of Eden, once the PAL version reaches Europe im looking forward to giving this a go...
  • Errrrbo - August 3, 2011 3:56 p.m.

    I beat this game yesterday, and it absolutely fucking rules. Buy it immediately!
  • Kilburn474 - August 3, 2011 2:52 p.m.

    Take note Shadows of the Damned and Child of Eden: MARKETING and meaty gameplay go ALOT longer than "Oh, these guys who made those games you love are making these new games that arent very long or worth replays. But what the hell, we're just gonna throw them out there with zero marketing anyway!" I've already poured 15 hours into Catherine. I'm at the end but had to stop playing on Friday because my controller broke thanks to my excellent roommate... It is fantastic and is my favorite game of 2011 by far.
  • shawksta - August 3, 2011 11:31 a.m.

    Great for Atlus! I love their games that are actually different, I am still loving Trauma Team to death, it just sucks that the series is underrated!
  • jackthemenace - August 3, 2011 9:25 a.m.

    Totally called this. i wanted it ever since the eginning, before it was released in Japan, let alone the US. Can't wait for the EU release, hopefully try and get the Love Is Over edition.
  • kassmageant - August 3, 2011 8:19 a.m.

    atlus games are reason to own a ds - to hell with that fat italian plumber ADHD crackhead. if they're gonna make more hd stuff i can't be happier i was going to buy catherine eventually but this actually pushed it up on my wish list, it fells good to support developer when he deservs it
  • Afrodisiac39 - August 3, 2011 7:09 a.m.

    I think it's the fact that people are finally beginning to feel the repetitiveness of modern gaming. Catherine is a game that takes risks, huge risks and in the end has done something no other video game has ever done. As far as I can remember, there has never been a more mature approach to relationships in video games. Sure the actual story itself is extremely wacky but Vincent's struggle is real and probably more relatable than most would admit. It's an engrossing story once you really get into it and the sexuality is only so much of it. Then again I'm sure the game was bought heavily on the *ahem* 'risque' parts of it by many people.
  • quincytheodore - August 3, 2011 6:38 a.m.

    I'm serious happy right now. My faith in humanity, or just gaming industry, has been slightly restored. Now, why don't you use the money and make Persona 5, Atlus? :)
  • Linktoreality - August 3, 2011 6:35 a.m.

    If I had a 360 of my own, I'd quite possibly pick it up now. Since I don't, I'll wait 'til it's cheaper, then play it on my friend's system.
  • Shanetexas - August 3, 2011 6:17 a.m.

    I don't know why, but I'm scared of this game (and I usually play horror/violent games)
  • bigwill1221 - August 3, 2011 5:59 a.m.

    Maybe this could teach nintendo about localizing games?.. Yes i know this wasnt for wii... but still lol
  • egregious - August 3, 2011 5:49 a.m.

    Quite possibly my second favorite 2011 title behind Portal 2.
  • QWERTYCommander - August 3, 2011 5:03 a.m.

    I'm just glad that Snowboard Kids got a mention in this article. *fan rant ahead* Although, Atlus only produced SBK 1&2. They developed the 3rd one for the DS, but that one sucked terribly. Don't know what the hell happened there, but I hope that Racjin could somehow step in and make a 4th one. /fan rant Anyway, congratulations to Atlus! I thought that this game would flop hard. Guess I was wrong!
  • WaffleLeech - August 3, 2011 4:30 a.m.

    Congratulations Atlus. Now start making Etrian Odyssey IV.
  • onetimebuster - August 3, 2011 3:55 a.m.

    Im glad for them its a good game.
  • UsernameLoser - August 3, 2011 3:20 a.m.

    I wish the 360 box-art was the same as the PS3 one. :( I haven't bought Catherine yet, but I would trade my 360 for a PS3 just for the better box-art. Better graphics too, anyway.
  • Teh_Ty - August 3, 2011 3:10 a.m.

    Atlus took a dive here. They really put a lot into this and it was just a huge risk. It was something that a lot of people weren't used to. A wacky story having to do with affairs and curses, friends and lovers, and a gameplay that was pure puzzles and climbing that looked like it would get dull fast, with outragous bosses that were just impractical and, frankly, crazy. The best part is... It worked! The game has an incredibly deep and complex puzzle system that always got more challenging, yet somehow avoided getting infuriating when you got stuck. The story made you like all the characters you met, from the more important characters like Cathrine and Vincent's friends, to the smaller characters like the Bar patrons. Every character kinda evolved as you kept playing, and you actually feel a little sad when some of the characters die. The characters are very memorable and likable. Seriously, this game is awesome.
  • Ravenbom - August 3, 2011 2:40 a.m.

    I like Atlus, but I bought the game because I knew it was different.

Showing 1-20 of 34 comments

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