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Did KINGDOM HEARTS III Under-Perform?



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Face My Fears

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I'm not sure what game sales are normally expected to be. But was KINGDOM HEARTS III a failure in sales for Square Enix? Especially given the amount of hype and the fact that it was KINGDOM HEARTS III which everyone was waiting for, should it have sold more? I see that it only sold one million copies, were they trying to sell more discs? Is that the norm for video games released?
 

AR829038

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So, from what I know, KH3 was the 8th best selling game of all of 2019. I'm not sure how to stack that up against projected sales, but Square Enix themselves seem pretty damn happy with the sales from everything I've heard. I've never once heard anybody say that it under-performed.
You also have to remember that Kingdom Hearts was never seen in the broader gaming industry the same way it was seen within its own fandom. KH3 was a breakout for the franchise—it marked a high point of public interest in the series and got a LOT more eyes on it than previous games ever did. In that sense, KH3 was a resounding success. For fans of the series, you might be able to make the argument that 3 underperformed, but that argument would be entirely based on conjecture related to how much fans expected it to make, which is always going to be skewed really high because fans of anything always expect (or rather, hope) that their franchise will be recognized to the greatest extent possible. But KH was rarely talked about in the same breath as the top selling gaming series like Mario, Call of Duty, Smash, Zelda, etc. It just never occupied the same league. So, the fact that KH3 resulted in all this massive surge in attention and interest from such a broader population, in my book is an absolute win, and proof positive that if anything KH3 might have overperformed. In terms of pure sales projections, I have no idea exactly how much money SE expected to make vs. what they actually got, but again, they seem quite satisfied with it.
 

Chaser

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Like AR said, KH3 was in the top 10 selling games of 2019. It sold over 5 million on two consoles very quickly and should have sold over 6 million, if not 7 by now what with all the sales and the PC port. Square Enix hasn't updated the fine print text in their press releases for a while but I can't see it selling under a million in the last three years. Also not sure where the 1 million number in your OP came from?

Since the launch of KINGDOM HEARTS III in 2019, the critically acclaimed RPG has shipped more than five million units globally, both physically and digitally, making it the fastest selling game in the history of the series.

The game was also in the All-In-One physical bundle or whatever its call so I'm not sure if SE counted those numbers as official KH3 sales or not and that's why the 5 million hasn't been updated, maybe?

In fact, comparing the data between the two most recent KH3 press releases (March 2021 and October 2021), the series as a whole has sold an additional 2 million copies both physically and digitally (from 33 million to 35 million.)

On the note of press releases, Square Enix even had one boasting the 5 million sales and it being the fastest selling Kingdom Hearts game and it launching to critical acclaim. You don't really do that unless you're happy with it. The press release went up on February 4th 2019, 10 days after release in Japan on January 25th and 6 days after release worldwide.

In fact, that press release about the 5 million sales say that the series as a whole had only sold 25 million copies worldwide. Between February 2019 and October 2021, the series sold 10 million copies. Whether that's individual new games such as KH3 and MoM, or older games such as the 1.5 + 2.5 and 2.8 collections and the All-in-One collection, I think the series is soaring at the moment.

I'm not Square Enix and don't have proper insight into anything, all of this is just based on the data I can find but based on that data I think they should be happy with it. Happy enough that they greenlit a minimum of two console games (MoM and whatever Osaka is working on next) and whatever that mysterious third team is working on.
 

AegisXIII

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I have always been curious about pc sales. it's really difficult to get those numbers.
Anyway, it is around the success of KH1 as I remember the total sales was around 8 millions around 2010 or so.
 

Chaser

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I have always been curious about pc sales. it's really difficult to get those numbers.
Anyway, it is around the success of KH1 as I remember the total sales was around 8 millions around 2010 or so.
It is. If it was on Steam, don't people use concurrent users or something?

Also it was on Gamespass on Xbox too so sales there is muddy as well.
 

MATGSY

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I have always been curious about pc sales. it's really difficult to get those numbers.
Anyway, it is around the success of KH1 as I remember the total sales was around 8 millions around 2010 or so.

It is. If it was on Steam, don't people use concurrent users or something?

Also it was on Gamespass on Xbox too so sales there is muddy as well.

In those cases, the sales don't matter quite as much as how much Microsoft & Epic paid for them on their services, which other devs have hinted is enough to make back most of the development costs.
 

Chaser

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In those cases, the sales don't matter quite as much as how much Microsoft & Epic paid for them on their services, which other devs have hinted is enough to make back most of the development costs.
100%, just spitballing ideas about maybe why SE never gave a proper update beyond 5 mill despite the series as a whole selling millions more.

Still confused about where KH3 selling one mill came from though
 

Face My Fears

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Like AR said, KH3 was in the top 10 selling games of 2019. It sold over 5 million on two consoles very quickly and should have sold over 6 million, if not 7 by now what with all the sales and the PC port. Square Enix hasn't updated the fine print text in their press releases for a while but I can't see it selling under a million in the last three years. Also not sure where the 1 million number in your OP came from?



The game was also in the All-In-One physical bundle or whatever its call so I'm not sure if SE counted those numbers as official KH3 sales or not and that's why the 5 million hasn't been updated, maybe?

In fact, comparing the data between the two most recent KH3 press releases (March 2021 and October 2021), the series as a whole has sold an additional 2 million copies both physically and digitally (from 33 million to 35 million.)

On the note of press releases, Square Enix even had one boasting the 5 million sales and it being the fastest selling Kingdom Hearts game and it launching to critical acclaim. You don't really do that unless you're happy with it. The press release went up on February 4th 2019, 10 days after release in Japan on January 25th and 6 days after release worldwide.

In fact, that press release about the 5 million sales say that the series as a whole had only sold 25 million copies worldwide. Between February 2019 and October 2021, the series sold 10 million copies. Whether that's individual new games such as KH3 and MoM, or older games such as the 1.5 + 2.5 and 2.8 collections and the All-in-One collection, I think the series is soaring at the moment.

I'm not Square Enix and don't have proper insight into anything, all of this is just based on the data I can find but based on that data I think they should be happy with it. Happy enough that they greenlit a minimum of two console games (MoM and whatever Osaka is working on next) and whatever that mysterious third team is working on.
This page has it at the bottom with only 1 million units sold. I can't believe it sold 25 million copies worldwide. That's great!

I saw one million and thought that KH3 was a complete failure in terms of sales.
 

Chaser

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This page has it at the bottom with only 1 million units sold. I can't believe it sold 25 million copies worldwide. That's great!

I saw one million and thought that KH3 was a complete failure in terms of sales.
The source for that statistic lead to this website - https://www.gematsu.com/2019/12/playstation-awards-2019-winners-announced

Kingdom Hearts 3 is noted as being an award for

Platinum Prize

Software titles with an accumulated shipment quantity (including download quantity) of over one million copies.

Key word: over. IDK why someone put that onto Wikipedia as KH3 only selling one million on PS4 when that is far from the truth. There's also a note that the numbers were for sales in Japan until mid-2019.

Also just want to make sure you read me right, the KH series as a whole had sold 25+ million units (so from Kingdom Hearts 1 in 2002 until February 2019), not KH3 itself selling 25 million.
 

Face My Fears

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The source for that statistic lead to this website - https://www.gematsu.com/2019/12/playstation-awards-2019-winners-announced

Kingdom Hearts 3 is noted as being an award for



Key word: over. IDK why someone put that onto Wikipedia as KH3 only selling one million on PS4 when that is far from the truth.

Also just want to make sure you read me right, the KH series as a whole had sold 25+ million units (so from Kingdom Hearts 1 in 2002 until February 2019), not KH3 itself selling 25 million.
Oh, I thought KH3 sold 25 million. I guess 5 million is good enough. Is there any reliable source to find out the rankings of which PS4 game sold the most?
 

Henryp

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Oh, I thought KH3 sold 25 million. I guess 5 million is good enough. Is there any reliable source to find out the rankings of which PS4 game sold the most?
The 5 million were only in its first two weeks. We don't know how many more have been sold in almost 3 years, but a couple more millions are upthere for sure.

And I wouldn't compare KH3 sales with other games in general, but rather with its own series. and how PS4 titles were selling at the time. We may never know if it met all SE expectation, but being both the highest and fastest selling KH game in history, top 10 best selling PS4 games of the year of release, KH games in general are selling more since KH3 and that SE put 4 different teams in the development of future KH games (including MoMs and UX), I would say KH3 was pretty succesful.
 
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If we're talking about effective sales tactics, then yes, I think 5 million is good enough.

If we're talking about, the game is a failure because it didn't sell well, and it MUST be a commercial success for a long period of time in order to be good, then it can please join the corner with Live A Live and Secret of Mana, both of which, I am nearly at the point at, donating my left arm to Square-Enix to re-create into full-fledged and effective Remakes (Yes, despite SOM already having at least one Remake.) because they are THAT GOOD.
 
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i didnt buy it and i was one of the people who was gonna buy a PS4 just for this game. It lacked the Wow factor for me, it felt underwhelming and unattractive as a game. 0.2 despite being a demo had more character and felt like a more down to earth transistion from KH2. 3 felt vapid, shallow, focusing too much on trivial things but lacking in main content.

Im 26, i have been waiting for this game since 2007. You cannot fathom how many things i imagined about it, scenarios, plot twists, theories even before birth by sleep came out. I was watiing for a PS3 game, but it became apparent tha it wasnt gonna happen. Ofc, at the same time, the versus 13 tragedy happened, so i missed the PS3 era.

It got so hyed over the years, secret endings, secret games, remixes, movies, trailers. But when i saw the final game, it wasnt what i dreamed of. Weird combat mechanics that i couldnt digest, lack of orginal worlds, lack of orginal characters, lots of things remain unexmplained, too much sequel baiting, bad writting, too many characters that dont do anything, reusing PS2 cutscenes instead of recreating them. the quality felt low, the game felt like it lacked a heart, i get a feeling nomura himself didnt like it much. I could feel his energy in the prvious games but 3 feels like he was going throg witht the motions
 

Elysium

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I have always been curious about pc sales. it's really difficult to get those numbers.
Anyway, it is around the success of KH1 as I remember the total sales was around 8 millions around 2010 or so.
Yes, it was pretty surprising to find out it was the first game to hit KH1's level since. The power of Frozen. 💙
 

Alpha Baymax

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If Kingdom Hearts III underperformed, it would have been the last entry in the Kingdom Hearts franchise.
 
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