The sales stats are in for Final Fantasy XIII-2's launch in Japan, and depending on how you skew it they're either cause for celebration or a reason to doubt the franchise's future. At least, on Xbox 360 anyway.
According to a report issued by Japanese sales tracker Media Create, Square Enix's direct Final Fantasy XIII sequel sold 524,217 copies in its first week—December 12 to 18—beating Monster Hunter 3G for the 3DS (208,427) for top spot; and pushing Mario Kart 7 (182,418) to third place.
In another knock to Final Fantasy XIII-2's ego, the Xbox 360 version didn't even manage to rank. More importantly, Final Fantasy XIII-2 barely touched the sales record achieved by Final Fantasy XIII's launch week back in December 2009, wherein it broke the one million mark in one day and proceeded to move 1,501,964 units in its first week alone. For math nerds, that means Final Fantasy XIII-2 fell short of its predecessor's debut numbers by 65%.
This isn't necessarily devastating news; 500K is still a decent amount, and many other studios would kill to shift that many copies in one week. However, this is Final Fantasy, and expectations were naturally higher.
On a positive note for Microsoft fans, Square Enix has revealed it will be making Serah's chain-boosting bow, Azrael, exclusive for Xbox 360 at 80 Microsoft Points ($1). The weapon is said to change the owner's destiny, so here's hoping it'll do the same for Final Fantasy XIII-2's Xbox 360 sales. Then again, there's still a chance Square Enix will increase its stats when it releases the sequel next year in North America on January 31, and later in Europe on February 3.