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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

  • dphoenix192 - August 3, 2011 12:46 a.m.

    I bought it for the boobs. jk, I am a big fan of Atlus particularly their Persona series, so when I was informed that this was a test to see what a next gen Persona title could look like, I just had to get it.
  • SonicX_89 - August 3, 2011 12:49 a.m.

    I didn't think Catherine would sell too well considering the anime visuals and wacky gameplay. Good for Atlus.
  • Zepaw - August 3, 2011 12:50 a.m.

    Imagine if they had stuck with not localizing it. I never really believed they wouldn't anyway.
  • Blasto - August 3, 2011 1:01 a.m.

    Great! I have no interest in ever playing Catherine, but I'm glad that this payed off for atlus. Let's hope they put that money into making persona 5 awesome.
  • Claymore65 - August 3, 2011 1:11 a.m.

    I personally have truly enjoyed playing Catherine, and I am very pleasantly surprised that it has sold well. To be fair, I have convinced many of my friends to play it as well. Also, good sales will encourage Atlus to make an HD Persona title, and that will no doubt be amazing.
  • Robusken - August 3, 2011 1:12 a.m.

    Awesome! I hope this is sign for developers that they shouldn't be afraid to try different things.
  • EHyundai - August 3, 2011 1:13 a.m.

    that makes me happy. maybe atlus will start to risk bringing more of there obscure Japanese titles to the states.
  • Gahmah - August 3, 2011 1:18 a.m.

    FUCK YEAH! DIFFERENT AND WEIRD IDEAS FOR THE WIN!
  • shadowreaper72 - August 3, 2011 1:27 a.m.

    Wow, Im pleasentyl surprised. I didnt think many people would go for this game. I wanted to buy but its all I can do to scrounge up money to get Dues Ex Human Revoulution on release date.
  • rabidpotatochip - August 3, 2011 1:30 a.m.

    All I can say is this: get back to work on Persona 5! I love Atlus to pieces and I'm happy for their success but this game just doesn't appeal to me.
  • SideOfBeef - August 3, 2011 1:43 a.m.

    I'm glad they're getting rewarded for doing something interesting, I just hope it's a better game next time.
  • dizzzydragon - August 3, 2011 2:10 a.m.

    i never really thought i would like catherine(besides the boobs)but being so bored and looking for something totally new i went out and got it. ITS AWSOME! The story has an almost Fight Club kinda vibe and the puzzles give u a sense of accomplishment only found in other games like super meat boy or Portal.
  • F4G1TR0N - August 3, 2011 2:22 a.m.

    Lol fight club kind of vibe? Anyways Grats Atlus, can't wait for anything related to Persona 5 haha
  • DMarten - August 3, 2011 2:25 a.m.

    I'm having a very good time with Catherine right now. I really like the themes and issues. The game seems more mature than any game I've played lately (in a man child immature sorta way). I honestly think the english voice acting is great, and I've been impressed with the voice talent they brought in for the english version. Also, I think this game was marketed better than other recent titles. I feel like I knew more about its presence then games like Child of Eden or Shadows of the Damned. Good job Atlus.
  • Ravenbom - August 3, 2011 2:40 a.m.

    I like Atlus, but I bought the game because I knew it was different.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • onetimebuster - August 3, 2011 3:55 a.m.

    Im glad for them its a good game.
  • WaffleLeech - August 3, 2011 4:30 a.m.

    Congratulations Atlus. Now start making Etrian Odyssey IV.
  • 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!

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