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Street Fighter 2 on SNES sold 10x more copies than Street Fighter 4 on consoles in Japan - statistics showing decline of Japan fighting game sales

Posted by Steven 'Dreamking23' Chavez • October 9, 2013 at 3:08 p.m. PDT

A French site by the name of GameCharts.fr recently posted an article that exhibits sales numbers for console fighting games in Japan. Organized into several charts and graphs, we get a look out how each listed game sold, ranging from the Street Fighter 2 series on Super Nintendo, all the way through the Xbox 360 / PS3 generation, including mobile consoles.

Looking at the numbers, it is quite shocking to see that console fighting game sales have greatly dropped since the early Super Nintendo days.

According to the statistics, the very first iteration of Street Fighter 2 sold a whopping 2,880,00 copies, with the following two games in the series also selling in the millions. Jumping forward to 2009, Street Fighter 4 (Vanilla) only sold 210,641 copies on both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 collectively.

Hit the jump to read on.

The charts do not only cover Street Fighter, however, and show stats for gaming companies such as Namco Bandai, SNK, Arc System Works, and more.

We also see that another vastly popular fighting game franchise has suffered a decline in sales. Back in 1996, Namco Bandai's Tekken 2 acquired a total of 1,087,668 sales on PS1, yet, in 2009, Tekken 6 sold 239,278, with it's predecessor in 2012, Tekken Tag 2, only netting 114,130 copies.

There are a ton of numbers to check out here, represented in bold on the far right of each image. Click each chart below to see all the numbers.

Note: The following statistics only represent game sales in Japan. Other regions are not featured here.

Street Fighter 2 on Super Nintendo



Click image and those that follow for larger versions

PlayStation / Sega Saturn era


PlayStation 2 / Xbox / Gamecube era


PlayStation 3 / Xbox 360 / Wii era


Mobile console game sales


Source: Avoiding the Puddle.

Comments

Paradonyx said on October 9, 2013 at 3:11 p.m.

Blanka's face creeps me out so much...

#1
SadisticSamurai said on October 9, 2013 at 3:14 p.m.

Gotta believe that arcades really helped push fighting games back in those days (japan or otherwise). Now with most of the arcades dead.......

#2
zerojay said on October 9, 2013 at 3:18 p.m.

My bad.

#3
hanyuun said on October 9, 2013 at 3:19 p.m.

This article is for Japanese sales though.

#4
Oroku_Saki said on October 9, 2013 at 3:20 p.m.

Aside from the Vita ports and Continuum Shift II, I've got all those games. Ah, so many games, and that's not even the majority of all that I've played in my life.
Fun memories just from looking at the list.

#5
Dreamking23 said on October 9, 2013 at 3:22 p.m.

"According to the statistics, the very first iteration of Street Fighter 2 sold a whopping 2,880,00 copies, with the following two games in the series also selling in the millions. Jumping forward to 2009, Street Fighter 4 (Vanilla) only sold 210,641 copies on both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 collectively."

"Note: The following statistics only represent game sales in Japan. Other regions are not featured here."

#6
SummerUndercover said on October 9, 2013 at 3:25 p.m.

Blanka is freaking huge in that pic (pause). And he's rocking that Vegeta hairline. No wonder they had to tone him down after SF2.

#7
Dbarcelona said on October 9, 2013 at 3:26 p.m.

this and pretty much the arcade scene in japan

#8
DumbDLC said on October 9, 2013 at 3:34 p.m.

A capcom game without Dlc that's like seeing a unicorn now.

#9
LemmingKueste03 said on October 9, 2013 at 3:37 p.m.

IT'S THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT!

#10
ElijahiB88 said on October 9, 2013 at 3:41 p.m.

These Charts don't include Smash but they include both Powerstones? I don't even know what twitch code to use right now...

#11
FightDirty said on October 9, 2013 at 3:43 p.m.

And you get to look forward to all the DLC that will be in USF4 as well. I hope your body is ready because you will spend your soul on DLC. Oh yeah.

#12
mrdrofficer said on October 9, 2013 at 3:47 p.m.

As an ex-business journalist myself I have to point out a few things, but I don't want to be too critical here.

1. SFII on SNES is the top selling game Capcom has EVER put out. Literally, no other title has matched it in sales. It WAS the early 90's. Matching that would be somewhat impossible.

2. The lifespan of SNES SFII across all regions vs SFIV Vanilla's lifespan in just one country is very mis-leading and incomparable as one is going to have more countries, thus, higher numbers.

3. In total, SFII on SNES is Capcom's top selling title, while SFIV Vanilla is Capcom's 9th. Which is all in all, not too bad considering III, Alpha and the rest don't even place. Calling SFIV a steady decline just isn't true considering its renaissance showing and that previous titles sold poorly in comparison.

4. In pure units, fighting games are doing better than they were in the late nineties onward until SFIV's 2009 release; looking at the data provided in this story. See below.

5. SFIV basically sold half of SFII's units. That is not a flop, no matter how you look at it.

Total sales, not counting GEN, 3DO or other systems for SFII, while SFIV does not count PC sales.
SFII on SNES
Release : 1992/6
Platform : Super NES
Units : 6,300 thousand units

SFIV
Release : 2009/2
Platform : PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Units : 3,200 thousand units

Closing note: From a purely personal point I see SFII as having prolonged the death of arcades in the 90's. While, SFIV rebirthed a new style of arcade in the aughts' with Arcade UFO and Next Level. Not equally comparable, but, again, not too shabby in its own regard.

#13
ridgezero said on October 9, 2013 at 3:54 p.m.

I think this is a little unfair to compare SNES to gens after that. SF2 pretty much had no competition when it came to fighting games on the SNES when it released. As a fighting game community whole if you add all the people from other fighting games I think it adds up to around/near how many people bought SF2. Maybe people from the SF2 community just migrated to other fighting games but as a whole I think most are still there.

#14
ridgezero said on October 9, 2013 at 3:56 p.m.

All what he said.

#15
sinnido said on October 9, 2013 at 4 p.m.

WHEN'S HYPER FIGHTING?

#16
Reality2k said on October 9, 2013 at 4:03 p.m.

Watch out, you might get banned posting stuff like that

#17
draw2 said on October 9, 2013 at 4:10 p.m.

Please nerf mrdrofficer...
...too stronk.

#18
Mac_Gargan said on October 9, 2013 at 4:11 p.m.


True...Plus, how would we factor in the sales of Ultra IV as part of the profits of this gen?

#19
HooliganComboFTW said on October 9, 2013 at 4:14 p.m.

Wow P4A did better then I thought in Japan. Glad Atlus/Arc Sys sees potential of continued collaboration with this fighting game series after an overwhelming 1st place for 2012 fighters in their domestic sales.

Thought TTT2 would have got much higher and seeing SCV numbers is depressing.

#20
Splack said on October 9, 2013 at 4:17 p.m.

Damn Walking Dead add made me $#17 myself.

#21
maxi2099 said on October 9, 2013 at 4:20 p.m.

What DoA Paradise is doing on that list?
And DC should be in that third "era".

#22
Dimensional said on October 9, 2013 at 4:21 p.m.

I dont think it really shows a decline Street Fighter 2 was absolutely massive few games can even compare to how much of an impact it had. Well obviously technically it does show a decline but I would argue SF2 is an anomaly rather than the norm its success was ridiculous and not something that comes about that often.

#23
frankiepalmeri said on October 9, 2013 at 4:29 p.m.

Yeah duh , its called a cell phone.

#24
Nader886 said on October 9, 2013 at 4:41 p.m.

i think its because other genres are just bringing more ppl in like shooters... fighting games are tough and don't reward you right away like shooting a bunch of ppl in cod without even trying. CS is the only shooter i like lol...

#25
JimmyLoves said on October 9, 2013 at 4:55 p.m.

Look at MVC3 to UMVC3 - only 25% UMVC3. Blazblue:CS sold almost double UMVC3. Even SFXT smoked Marvel.

I had read on other forums that Ultimate Marvel was a flop [in the US] but I doubt anyone knew it was this bad. From what i have read, there is also a huge disparity in the USA between the versions.

You know SF4 was an incredibly designed game when Super sells almost exactly the same number.

#26
mrdrofficer said on October 9, 2013 at 4:55 p.m.

Compare it to SSFIVIIT

#27
JustSTFU said on October 9, 2013 at 5:03 p.m.

It's all about Monster Hunter there now

#28
FlynnChop said on October 9, 2013 at 5:11 p.m.

SFII was a phenomenon. Its success almost assuredly will never be repeated with fighting games on consoles. There was a magic that came with it being the first insanely successful fighting game, the fact that arcade ports were still relatively new, and the fact that arcades were competitive enough to drive the sales of the home versions.

SF2 was, in essence, the Angry Birds of fighting games. Right time, right place, and scratched a public itch juuuust right.

#29
darkneji said on October 9, 2013 at 5:28 p.m.

I agree with above sentiments. It was a different era. Not only was there less competition, but SF2 was damn near revolutionary and the genre itself was young. Nary a thing (fighter) looked or played as well as SF2 and yeah, the arcades helped a bit too.

#30
JimmyLoves said on October 9, 2013 at 5:28 p.m.

LMAO, wtf are you talking about? Arcade ports were around since the atari/coleco/commodore/amiga days... Ever hear of pacman / qbert / jungle hunt / etc...?

SF2 on NES came out the same time that champion edition did. Btw, Champion Edition was HUUUGE in the arcade. SF2 was already out a really long time by the time it was released on SNES. And comparing it to Angry Birds is absolutely ridiculous. Do you really think people would travel and pay just to play Angry Birds?

People traded in their Sega Genesis just to get SF2. The real reason was because it cost money to play this game at the arcade, so it was a lot cheaper to play at home / with friends / then take it to the arcade and test it out. Everyone was dreaming about this game coming out.

The only reason the arcades were still packed was because with the SNES version; you had to play on the crappy SNES pad, and the fact that there was already another version out.

#31
Daedae22 said on October 9, 2013 at 5:47 p.m.

Perfectly said. That being said I don't think that fighting games are in a decline. You can look at the fact that attendance at major tourneys like EVO and CEO are higher each year as an example. That's just one there are many more. Sure FGs don't sell like COD or GTA V but how could they? FGs are not immediately rewarding and easy to understand like other genres. In all honesty I wouldn't want them to be. I haven't touched COD in almost 3 years and I bet I could still hop on there and go on a kill streak. Would feel just as shallow now as it did then. I played GTA V and while its a lot of fun at first after and hour or two it fizzles cuz when you boil those games down its same s@!t different day. Main stream gamers will never understand why we love FGs and thats OK they're not meant to. So don't let articles like this discourage anyone. Let's just keep playing and supporting the games we all love!

#32
Daedae22 said on October 9, 2013 at 5:55 p.m.

I think the important part of Flynn's statement was that Capcom released SF2 on consoles at the "Right time, right place, and scratched a public itch juuuust right." Thus those kinda sales could never be reproduced. Like Angry birds GTA or League of Legends those kind of games manage to strike the iron while it is hot so to speak. Companies who try to cash in with similar products never see the same kinda numbers. Hell the companies who produced the gold can rarely make the same kinda magic happen again. I think your getting a little to hung up on semantics and missing the over all point here.

#33
CobraCommander said on October 9, 2013 at 5:57 p.m.

There is another thing to note there.

Over the years since SF2 was released on the SNES, there has been an increase in variety/choices for players (over-saturation of the market). With that being said it makes sense that sales numbers would naturally decrease.

Like back in the day FORD sold a truck ton of Model-T cars. Now their sales are not as good in comparison.

They should have also included a section on TOTAL amount of sales of the genre as well for each era section.

#34
RandomSelectMaster said on October 9, 2013 at 6:01 p.m.

This!

#35
RandomSelectMaster said on October 9, 2013 at 6:02 p.m.

And This!

#36
shoryuken78 said on October 9, 2013 at 6:18 p.m.

(This user was banned.)

#37
gammabolt17 said on October 9, 2013 at 6:31 p.m.

Most definitely. During the PSX era and so on, the visibility ain't the same, and nobody would really know about the fighters like that unless they were checking for them. When Capcom fighters were coming out with those "Fighter's Edge" cases and stuff, the marketing was not that hot. If I wasn't reading EGM back then, there's no way I would have known SFA3 even existed.

#38
Mufausa said on October 9, 2013 at 7:01 p.m.

Well that's not too surprising. Why the hell would people from Japan want to play Street Fighter IV on console when they can enjoy the perfect arcade version instead.

#39
Daedae22 said on October 9, 2013 at 7:37 p.m.

This

#40
gammabolt17 said on October 9, 2013 at 7:39 p.m.

...And we're done here.

#41
xandeR said on October 9, 2013 at 8:26 p.m.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_...

Super Famicom (SNES) November 21, 1990 17,170,000
PlayStation 3 November 11, 2006 6,341,950
Xbox 360 December 10, 2005 1,448,665

This is why it's such a big difference.

#42
NoizyChild said on October 9, 2013 at 8:27 p.m.

Because the console version had characters that the arcade version didn't.

#43
TorTorVega said on October 9, 2013 at 8:40 p.m.

My God. You mean ... A system that has sold more than double the amount of both current systems combined over it's couple decade long life has sold more copies of an iconic game than the current gen consoles have sold of it's sequel? Shocking.

Not to mention that we're talking about Japan where they have SF4 arcade machines which are quite popular. And also yeah, fighting games are kind of a niche market now after having that whole period of time where no decent fighting games were released.

#44
DrDucker said on October 9, 2013 at 9:44 p.m.

You, sir

Should write many many more comments. +10

#45
NinthPixel said on October 9, 2013 at 9:46 p.m.

Tekken Revolution pulled 2 million downloads world wide. Most coming from USA with Japan a close second. I'd say Namco is doing well to keep it alive. The health of the fighting genre does not depend on Capcom.

#46
AkiraHeart said on October 10, 2013 at 12:13 a.m.

BUSHIDO BLADE <3

#47
lukecage83 said on October 10, 2013 at 1:36 a.m.

lol

#48
acku said on October 10, 2013 at 3:57 a.m.

(This user was banned.)

#49
Guybrush20X6 said on October 10, 2013 at 3:59 a.m.

I wonder how American sales are looking.

And where are the Skullgirls numbers? Last I checked, it was a fighting game. Might have been made into a platformer in the most recent patch while I wasn't looking but...

#50
Torrie_De_Goddess said on October 10, 2013 at 5:36 a.m.

So, basically, 3D fighters are more popular in Japan? Tekken and Virtua Fighter seem to sell a ton there.

#51
xRainmakerRSx said on October 10, 2013 at 6:10 a.m.

want more players enjoying street fighter? very simple ... you should be able to select a 'beginner mode' at character selection!
hard punch double tap = heavy punch followed by a hadouken ... just as there is in the series marvel!
this will bring all those people who think street fighter cool but who find it difficult to play for!
just my opinion, based on my friends who prefer games more accessible! Manually talking.

#52
sebmaq said on October 10, 2013 at 8:17 a.m.

If fighting games want to be at the top of the charts and sales figures they need to develope deeper. SF4 is not that far off from SF2, look how far FPS have come, because new ideas are constantly being pushed. In fighting games there's no push to make it more than just a 1v1. I'd like to see some kind of MMO style mixed with fighting games.

#53
Wedge said on October 10, 2013 at 8:32 a.m.

Um, duh? SF II was the biggest thing going at the time, and consoles have been a niche market in Japan for years now.

#54
cikame said on October 10, 2013 at 8:39 a.m.

What other games were there, fighting games were so different to many of the other games available at the time, plus SF2 kicked off into pop culture meaning people who don't care now picked up SF2 anyway.

Now there is such a huge variety of games that everything sells less, unless you're popular right now.

#55
synce said on October 10, 2013 at 8:50 a.m.

Back when SF2 came out you couldn't trade in or easily pirate games, an there wasn't a lot of competition from other companies yet.

So nothing's dying. It's kind of a dumb comparison frankly.

#56
xShonuffx said on October 10, 2013 at 10:33 a.m.

Day one sales of the consoles? Well I think it has to do with the fact that Video Games even back in the 90's was still a young phenomenon and unlike today it was marketed heavily towards kids back in the day. It was viewed far more like a toy then a all purpose entertainment system even though that's what its sur name was called.

I would also add that Nintendo, Their name, the one company that helped bring gaming back from the brink of destruction with the NES helped them a bit too.

#57
XDIEX said on October 10, 2013 at 10:38 a.m.

Those were the days. The days when you didnt have to pay for dlc

#58
jelaninoel said on October 10, 2013 at 11:46 a.m.

the numbers are really all over the place. there is NO consistency at all wow. its like you made a fighter and just threw it out there and prayed. Tekken seems to always get good sales though

#59
TheTHCGamer said on October 10, 2013 at 12:14 p.m.

Why would anyone be surprised SF2 was a once in a life time phenomenon and CAPCOM knew this which is why they sold the SNES version of SF2 for 79.99 thirty dollars more than your average SNES game. Game was sold out everywhere and I was lucky to find an early copy. Everybody was playing SF2 back in the day and it was bigger then just fighting games.

SF2 literally changed the landscape of arcades miss those days.

#60
Super_Honda said on October 10, 2013 at 1:45 p.m.

SF2: the game that changed fighting games forever and it inspired many companies to make fighting games, such as: Netherrealm, Namco, Rare, Sega and many more. Comparing SF2 to SF4 or any other modern fighting game is kinda irrelevant because they're from different eras. Yes, SF4 series hasn't sold as much as SF2 series, but fighting games do not cater to wider audience.

#61
TheTHCGamer said on October 10, 2013 at 9:42 p.m.

Yea you just had to pay full price for every updated version of the same game.

#62
TagAnarchy said on October 11, 2013 at 2:55 a.m.

I was about to hit the comment section and rant but then I read your comment and it actually made sense. You have a very valid point. Thank you for killing the pointless rant before it was unleashed.

#63


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