Star Ocean 6 Sales In Japanese Stores Weakest In Series

Published: November 4, 2022 11:13 AM /


A ghostly character soaring through a majestic city in Star Ocean 6, otherwise known as Star Ocean The Divine Force

Star Ocean 6 sales have been disappointing right out of the gate in Japan, where the franchise would usually be expected to perform reasonably well. While we don't have the full picture for retail and digital sales yet, by Japanese retail sales alone, Star Ocean 6 is the worst-performing installment in the franchise's history at launch.

The sixth game in the Star Ocean series (without counting spinoffs or remakes) launched last month, and with developer Tri-Ace suffering huge fiscal losses in the previous financial year, The Divine Force was under a lot of pressure to perform for the company. Sadly, that doesn't seem to have happened.

According to Japanese game data analyst Game Data Library on Twitter, first-week sales for Star Ocean 6, otherwise known as Star Ocean The Divine Force, reached just 27,000 on PS4 and 17,100 on PS5. That's less than every other Star Ocean game in history, including remakes like Star Ocean: First Departure R.

A futuristic cityscape in Star Ocean 6
Star Ocean 6's impressive futuristic cityscapes don't seem to have saved it from retail misery in Japan.

That list also includes other PSP remakes, the Game Boy Color Star Ocean spinoff Blue Sphere, and the late PS3 port for Star Ocean: The Last Hope, the fourth installment in the series. Again, it's worth remembering that digital sales for the game haven't been counted yet, but Game Data Library says that The Divine Force will need big digital sales just to match the series' second-worst debut.

So, what's happening here? Why has Star Ocean 6 sold so poorly in Japan? Well, there could be a number of reasons. The game's reviews haven't exactly been stellar. Critical consensus, as well as that of fans on platforms like Steam, seems to suggest that Star Ocean 6 is basically genre fodder, fit only for those who have already played all of the best JRPGs out there and are desperate for more.

Other market factors might be at play here as well. Star Ocean 6 didn't launch on the Nintendo Switch, which is a much more popular console in Japan than both the PS4 and the PS5 combined. Square Enix has also lamented its position in the Japanese market, stating that achieving Japanese success isn't enough anymore and that it wants to focus more on its global audience. Additionally, digital sales are increasing, so that may overstate the impact of these sales slightly, although even a 60-40 or similar digital/physical split would not look good for Star Ocean here.

Whatever the reason might be, the fact remains that the future is looking pretty grim for Star Ocean 6. If Tri-Ace was hoping that this would be the game to rescue it from its dire financial straits, it looks like those hopes probably won't come to fruition. We'll have to wait and see how digital sales shake out, but it isn't looking good.


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