Tsukihime Remake Sales Prove That Type-Moon is Still in a Class of its Own - Game Design Gazette

Monday 6 September 2021

Tsukihime Remake Sales Prove That Type-Moon is Still in a Class of its Own

13 years after its announcement in a 2008 issue of Tech Gian magazine, Type-Moon's Tsukihime remake saw its Japanese release last week. The game sold 77,237 units on the Nintendo Switch and another 66,171 units on the PlayStation 4, bringing it to a total of 143,408 copies sold at retail. 

That makes the Tsukihime remake one of the highest-debuting visual novels released on a console in nearly 20 years, even without accounting for digital sales.

Update: Type-Moon has announced that the Tsukihime remake has shipped over 240,000 units in Japan, between retail shipments and download sales. Original article continues below.

The Tsukihime remake's first week sales compared to other popular visual novels released on consoles in recent years.

As highlighted in the chart above, the Tsukihime remake debuted on par with 2008's Fate/Stay Night: Realta Nua, a PlayStation 2 port of another popular Type-Moon game. The chart also highlights how every other visual novel that has been released on a console in the last 20 years, regardless of its popularity on PC, has failed to achieve the same heights, putting Type-Moon in a class of their own.

The resilience of Type-Moon's games is even more evident if one were to extend this comparison all the way back to the mid '90s, when the visual novel market was far healthier on both PC and consoles. Even after the Japanese videogame market's decline—a phenomenon referred to as "gamer drift" by some publishers—Type-Moon has remained more relevant than other visual novel brands.

In fact, given its strong debut, there's a strong chance that the Tsukihime remake will outsell the vast majority of these games over the next couple of years—and that's without including digital sales.

Retailer Tsutaya's sales ranking for this week. Tsukihime's Switch version is absent, suggesting it is largely sold out, given its strong first-week sales.

While Japan isn't a country known for strong digital sales of console games, there are exceptions to this rule. In particular, if a game is difficult to find at retail, ardent fans will opt to buy digital instead. And in the case of Tsukihime, the game's Nintendo Switch version is reportedly sold out at several major retailers, leading to Type-Moon pushing the digital version instead, as they attempt a restock of physical units. 

It should be interesting to see how the Tsukihime remake performs in the weeks and months ahead, and if the release of Melty Blood: Type Lumina, a Tsukihime fighting game slated for release later this month, creates any sort of synergy between the two. One factor that could limit Tsukihime's potential is the fact that the game is rated CERO Z, owing to it retaining some of the original's more violent events. The CERO Z rating, which is the equivalent of an ESRB M, does prevent games from being discovered by younger audiences, and this will most certainly play a role in Tsukihime's long-term sales.

Food for thought:

The Tsukihime remake is one of the largest Nintendo Switch games to ever be released in its entirety on a cartridge, with no additional content downloads required to play. Weighing in at 20.9 GB, that puts it on par with The Witcher 3 and Dragon Quest Heroes 1& 2, both of which were shipped in their entirety on a 32 GB Nintendo Switch cartridge.

Sales data sourced from Famitsu and Game Data Library. Sales charts by Ishaan Sahdev.