Minecraft reaches major sales milestones in Japan
While Minecraft has been a colossal hit in the west for years, it looks like Mojang’s world builder Minecraft has finally taken off in Japan. According to Japanese media outlet Famitsu, the game has passed one million copies sold in the region … just on PS Vita. Yep, as it turns out the most popular platform for Microsoft’s IP is the handheld Sony has abandoned.
As of May 1st, 2016, the physical version of Minecraft: PlayStation Vita Edition has sold 673,710 copies, with Famitsu digital estimates being at 336,567 units for a grand total of 1,010,277 units. Not only is Minecraft the first title on PS Vita to reach that milestone in Japan, it’s also the first single-SKU PlayStation release to do so since PSP’s Monster Hunter Portable 3rd in 2010.
That’s not the only comparison Minecraft has with Monster Hunter. Minecraft: PS Vita Edition has been a fixture of the Japanese top 20 since its March 19th, 2015 release. The game has now surpassed the 58 week record held by 2008’s Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G as the longest charting PlayStation release in Japan. Legs like these are seldom seen for non-Nintendo releases and Minecraft is showing no signs of slowing down.
The game’s physical release, which is published by Sony, has become the company’s best selling release in the country in years.
The most impressive part is how Minecraft has organically grown in Japan. There isn’t a television show, manga, hardware bundle or large advertising blitz powering Minecraft like they are other Japanese chart toppers. Instead, outside of the small Sony-sponsored Minecraft Club, it’s just word of mouth. Why Vita and not PS4, PS3 or Wii U? Well, the handheld has a pretty solid version of the game that you can play anywhere – and perhaps more importantly, it’s a version you can play with your friends everywhere. The success of IPs like Monster Hunter and Pokemon were birthed by portable play and it seems Minecraft has tapped into that same audience. It’s a shame Sony won’t do anything with this.