Disgaea 5 Complete is set to sell over 110,000 units in the US and Europe when it launches on Switch on May 26th, but publisher NIS America has said it needs to work harder to improve the franchise’s standing in the UK.
So far, the game has reached 36,000 pre-orders in Europe and 78,000 pre-orders in the US, NIS America president Takuro Yamashita told MCV, but the UK has slipped behind France as the most profitable country in Europe for the publisher’s tactical role-playing series.
"The UK has been historically the biggest market in Europe for the Disgaea series," Yamashita stated. "However, talking about Disgaea 5 Complete, the UK is not the biggest one [any more]. I am not sure why this happened.We really need to improve the UK situation for Disgaea 5 Complete.
"The best country in Europe is France because the country has been booming up with the Japanese culture for over last decade," Yamashita continued. "Another key factor of performing well in France is Disgaea 5 Complete’s support for French text."
The US, of course, still remains the biggest market for Disgaea outside of Japan, with Yamashita saying it has "a larger JRPG fan base than any other country" besides its native homeland. He also says Disgaea is "one of the well-recognised JRPGs among such US communities."
Indeed, the western market is becoming increasingly important for NIS America: "The era is over for [Japanese games companies] to just rely on the Japanese market," says Yamashita.
"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.
"In order to make the NIS Group’s consolidated figures better, our western sales is very important.While the Western pre-order units of Disgaea 5 Switch exceeded 110,000 units, the Japanese sell-in number on the game was unfortunately less than 20,000 units.We had predicted this would happen to some extent. However, we were surprised that the gap was much bigger than we thought."
Nevertheless, Yamashita is confident that Disgaea 5 Complete will be a success on Nintendo’s new console, and that its US and European sales will help bolster the franchise’s popularity in the west.
"The Disgaea series has appeared on portable devices for over ten years," he said. "The Switch, being a platform to take with you wherever you go, made it a natural fit for Disgaea 5 Complete."
He continued: "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."