In a rather unexpected turn of events for the gaming industry, Natural Doctrine released to extremely low sales this week. Only its Playstation Vita version managed to climb into the top 20 in Japan, selling a mere 6,046.
Natural Doctrine was one of the first major titles to launch for Playstation 4 in Japan, alongside its other formats. It was expected to be a showstopper, but the reality seems to have taken a turn for the worst.
Top sellers this week are Mario Party: Island Tour on Nintendo 3DS, netting 47,106 copies, followed by Samurai Warriors 4 on Playstation 3, totaling 25,572 units. Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes comes in at an 18th spot as the first and only PS4 release with 7,859 copies sold.
Natural Doctrine has all the right elements to please the Japanese crowds. It’s a roleplaying game (RPG) with strategic battles and an elevated challenge rating.
It bears a resemblance to the Fire Emblem series, but with the added kicker of having the game stop fully whenever anyone dies. Apparently, it takes more than just that to succeed, even with names like Suda 51 involved in the title.
There’s also an interesting multiplayer design in Natural Doctrine, which involves a set of cards. It’s playable across the game’s different platforms. It also features cross-save functionality.
It’s a little early to scratch off Natural Doctrine completely though. Maybe everyone is still picking up one or two other major releases before getting to that one.
Also bear in mind that the Playstation 4 hasn’t actually been out that long in Japan, so it might still be building a user base.
In any case, we hope this doesn’t ruin our chances for a Natural Doctrine localization. It was just recently picked up by NIS America, who will publish it in other regions this fall.