Disgaea 5 Complete was one of the games released alongside the Nintendo Switch in Japan, and it really wasn’t successful: it’s sold less than 20 000 units so far. Fortunately for Nippon Ichi Software, the western release is poised to be much more successful (just like the western release of the PlayStation 4 version massively outsold the Japanese one).
In an interview with MCV UK, Takuro Yamashita (President of NIS America) announced that the game already had over 114 000 pre-orders in the United States and Europe (78 000 and 36 000 units respectively). As comparison, the PlayStation 4 version of Disgaea 5 had sold about 112 000 units outside Japan as of February.
NIS America was expecting stronger sales in the west, but they were surprised by how big the gap was.
What’s more, he shared a pretty interesting tidbit: France is now the most profitably country in Europe for the Disgaea series, stealing the crown to the UK. Historically, the UK was the biggest market in Europe for the series, but it’s not the case anymore… though NIS America isn’t really sure why. They do want to improve the UK situation, at the very least.
About the strong performance in France, Takuro Yamashita believes Disgaea 5 is performing well because of how popular Japanese culture is in the country. And of course, the fact that the game’s text has been fully translated in French is definitely helping.
But outside Japan, the US remains the biggest market for the Disgaea series. For Takuro Yamashita, the US has a larger JRPG fan base than any other country, and Disgaea happens to be one of the well-recognised series there.
With such strong performance, the western market is becoming increasingly important for NIS America. He believes that Japanese game companies cannot just rely on the Japanese market alone anymore, which is definitely true in the case of Disagaea 5 Complete.
Here’s what he said on the matter:
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.
As to why the company decided to bring Disgaea 5 Compelte to the Nintendo Switch, Takuro Yamashita explains it’s because the series has appeared on portable devices for over ten years. While the Nintendo Switch technically isn’t a handheld, it’s still a console you can take with you, and so it was a natural fit for the game.
Finally, the president of NIS America talk about how Nintendo has been supporting them:
Nintendo and NIS America have been working together to bring Disgaea 5 Complete to fans around the United States and Europe. Disgaea 5 Complete was one of the titles on Nintendo’s preview tour for Nintendo Switch. We are also reaching straight to Nintendo fans through the Nintendo Direct format, where we announced a demo will be available through the Nintendo eShop, and we look forward to building an even bigger Disgaea fan base in the future.
Disgaea 5 Complete (Switch) will be released on May 23rd in North America, and May 26th in Europe.