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253 Comments

According to a Cake, Catherine Sold 200,000 Units its First Week

Atlus tweets out a shot of its celebratory cake, and gives up the opening week numbers in the process.

Whenever I have a conversation with someone about Atlus and the games the notoriously niche publisher puts out, the conversation always devolves into some permutation of, "Yeah, but how do they make money?" For as great as many of Atlus' titles are, the company almost exclusively deals in oddball Japanese role-playing nonsense that treads pretty far off the beaten (mostly beaten by Square Enix) path of games that American audiences acknowledge the existence of, let alone actively want to play.

The elucidating cake in question.

After reading today's news that Catherine, the Q*Bert-meets-anime/mumblecore (animumblecore?) game Atlus mostly recently brought to American audiences, sold 200,000 units in its first week of retail, I may have to stop asking that question. Now, to be fair, this information comes from Atlus' Twitter feed, and specifically from a picture of a cake. In celebration of the milestone, this cake had the sales numbers emblazoned in icing for all to see.

Unfortunately, as we all know, cakes are by far the most unreliable of all dessert treats, known for providing consistently apocryphal information and constantly double-dealing for the pursuit of their own nefarious gains. Perhaps if this information had come on some manner of pie, or spelled out in chocolate chip cookies, then we could rely upon it. But a cake? They're like the Robert Ford of desserts.

Seriously though, whatever you may have taken away from the experience of Catherine, it's always good to see games outside the mainstream norm of "shoot that guy" and "stab that dude" find success. Given the massive retail disappointments that were Child of Eden and Shadows of the Damned, this does at least give us some hope that Japanese weirdness can still succeed in America. Especially if there's marketing for it.

Alex Navarro on Google+
253 Comments
Posted by Vager

Great Headline or Greatest Headline?

Posted by DonutFever
@CrazyChris said:

Great for Atlus.

So...Persona 5?

So Persona 5.
Edited by aceofspudz

I wonder how many of those 200,000 people purchased it on the strength of Catherine disrobing on the box art.

My guess would be: not insignificant.

Well Atlus has learned their lesson. In P5 you will summon persona via unprotected sex with ghosts. No word yet on whether it is consensual.

Posted by Zabant

I don't care about the game itself at this point. Atlus getting dat western money is A VERY GOOD THING FOR VIDEO GAMES.

Posted by Axelhander
@Rolyatkcinmai said:

@Axelhander said:

Bothers me when games like this do well.

I was going to say you are a bad person, but then I looked at your profile and saw you've been playing a bunch of DW Gundam 3. So it turns out you just don't like games.

A cunning rebuttal from no doubt an equally cunning human being. Let's break it down just to confirm how cunning you are.
 
First, the part where you assert you *were* (past tense for dramatic effect; nice) going to call me a "bad person." For what, exactly? Not liking a game that insists it's about morality but is actually about a) tits and b) seeing how little a budget one can make this sort of game for? Damn, I didn't know these things made me a "bad person"; next you'll be calling me a monster because I think the Scott Pilgrim movie was wildly overrated (PROTIP: it totally was) and Bastion is infinitely superior to the majority of JRPGs released in the last 10 years. Ooga booga; I'm a beast.
 
Second, the part where you call me out for playing Dynasty Warriors Gundam 3. Oh snap! Good on you! I mean, when I want to win an argument on the internet, the first thing I do is look at profiles for dirt, instead of actually addressing the topic at hand (PROTIP: it's Catherine, smart guy). Though since you're bringing it into the discussion: yes, the Dynasty Warriors Gundam games are, despite some fun qualities, awful, awful games, but there's more actual gameplay in them than 10 copies of Catherine. Growl; I'm like three cheetahs taped together.
Posted by damswedon
Unfortunately, as we all know, cakes are by far the most unreliable of all dessert treats, known for providing consistently apocryphal information and constantly double-dealing for the pursuit of their own nefarious gains. Perhaps if this information had come on some manner of pie, or spelled out in chocolate chip cookies, then we could rely upon it. But a cake? They're like the Robert Ford of desserts.

I'm not a fan of quoting whole blocks of text for the sake of it, but Alex you are a genius for writing this paragraph.

Edited by Sooty
@Axelhander said:

Bothers me when games like this do well.

Name one game that is anything like Catherine.
 
Good luck with that.
Posted by Mr_Skeleton

The cake isn't lying.

Posted by Vorbis

Great news.

Posted by ProfessorK

I am 1 of the 200,000. Feels good, even though my copy is still sitting in the shrink wrap it came in.

Posted by Trejik

I'm recently finding out that I really enjoy the way Alex writes. Really unique style of crazy. That Rage preview is excellent, and even this little bit of info is awesome to read.  What I'm trying to say is that I love Alex.
 
Call me...

Posted by xombi242
@mewarmo990: Imagine the sales of Shadows of the Damned if EA put a fraction of the marketing that they would have put in a "AAA" game.
Posted by SteamPunkJin
@Napalm said:
The fact it sold more than Shadows Of The Damned is a crying shame.
Because the game that deals with mature themes, treats the players like adults and presents something even vaguely original should clearly do worse than the Re4 clone that spends too much time making Dick Jokes for the sake of making dick jokes.  
Posted by Axelhander
@Ygg said:
@Axelhander said:

Bothers me when games like this do well.

Name one game that is anything like Catherine. Good luck with that.
Tell me why that even remotely matters. Good luck with that.
Posted by mutha3

HOLY FUCKING SHIT
 
 
THAT IS MORE THAN P4 DID IN ITS LIFETIME IN NA

Posted by lordofultima

@Axelhander said:

Bothers me when games like this do well.

That's pretty silly, but whatever man. GRR I HATE THINGS BEING SUCCESSFUL BECAUSE IT IS A DETRIMENT TO MY LIFE EVEN THOUGH IT ONLY KEEPS PEOPLES JOBS AND DOESN'T AFFECT ME WHATSOEVER. I mean regardless of your opinion on a game, being bothered by it being successful? Pretty dumb.

Posted by PeasantAbuse
@Axelhander said:
@Rolyatkcinmai said:

@Axelhander said:

Bothers me when games like this do well.

I was going to say you are a bad person, but then I looked at your profile and saw you've been playing a bunch of DW Gundam 3. So it turns out you just don't like games.

A cunning rebuttal from no doubt an equally cunning human being. Let's break it down just to confirm how cunning you are.  First, the part where you assert you *were* (past tense for dramatic effect; nice) going to call me a "bad person." For what, exactly? Not liking a game that insists it's about morality but is actually about a) tits and b) seeing how little a budget one can make this sort of game for? Damn, I didn't know these things made me a "bad person"; next you'll be calling me a monster because I think the Scott Pilgrim movie was wildly overrated (PROTIP: it totally was) and Bastion is infinitely superior to the majority of JRPGs released in the last 10 years. Ooga booga; I'm a beast.   Second, the part where you call me out for playing Dynasty Warriors Gundam 3. Oh snap! Good on you! I mean, when I want to win an argument on the internet, the first thing I do is look at profiles for dirt, instead of actually addressing the topic at hand (PROTIP: it's Catherine, smart guy). Though since you're bringing it into the discussion: yes, the Dynasty Warriors Gundam games are, despite some fun qualities, awful, awful games, but there's more actual gameplay in them than 10 copies of Catherine. Growl; I'm like three cheetahs taped together.
This guy is OK in my book.
Posted by mrangryface

BEWBZ sell!

That said, I like the game- not my goty but a very different experience.

Posted by Napalm
@Axelhander said:
@Ygg said:
@Axelhander said:

Bothers me when games like this do well.

Name one game that is anything like Catherine. Good luck with that.
Tell me why that even remotely matters. Good luck with that.
Followed.
Posted by DonutFever
@Axelhander said:
@Ygg said:
@Axelhander said:

Bothers me when games like this do well.

Name one game that is anything like Catherine. Good luck with that.
Tell me why that even remotely matters. Good luck with that.
Because you said "Games like this". If there isn't anything like it, that category doesn't exist.
Posted by Mesoian

@Ygg said:

@Axelhander said:

Bothers me when games like this do well.

Name one game that is anything like Catherine. Good luck with that.

Q-bert.

Posted by InfiniteGeass

Congratulations for Atlus.

Posted by valrog
Posted by JoeyRavn

Good for them. I really like Atlus, always bringing quality titles to the US and EU... though I'll never see the appeal of this particular game.

Posted by pakattak

"Animumblecore". Gonna keep that one in the brain box. Thanks, Alex!

Posted by Napalm
@SteamPunkJin said:

mature themes 

lol. 

treats the players like adults  

lol.

vaguely original                                         

Trying to make the case as to why Catherine is more "mature", serious and less ridiculous as Shadows Of The Damned makes absolutely no sense, and you should probably play more videogames, or something.
Posted by RE_Player1

@DonutFever said:

@Axelhander said:
@Ygg said:
@Axelhander said:

Bothers me when games like this do well.

Name one game that is anything like Catherine. Good luck with that.
Tell me why that even remotely matters. Good luck with that.
Because you said "Games like this". If there isn't anything like it, that category doesn't exist.

Boom.

Posted by Axelhander
@lordofultima said:

@Axelhander said:

Bothers me when games like this do well.

That's pretty silly, but whatever man. GRR I HATE THINGS BEING SUCCESSFUL BECAUSE IT IS A DETRIMENT TO MY LIFE EVEN THOUGH IT ONLY KEEPS PEOPLES JOBS AND DOESN'T AFFECT ME WHATSOEVER. I mean regardless of your opinion on a game, being bothered by it being successful? Pretty dumb.

Try to follow along, however much it may hurt your tiny brain:
 
When poorly made games pandering to people who play games for animu boobs and poorly written narratives do well, more poorly made games get green lit. 
 
I'm not sure I can dumb it down any further than that.
 
@DonutFever said:
@Axelhander said:
Tell me why that even remotely matters. Good luck with that.
Because you said "Games like this". If there isn't anything like it, that category doesn't exist.
By "games like this" I meant "terrible games." Sorry; should have clarified. There, I just saved you hours of franger.
Posted by DonutFever
@mutha3 said:
HOLY FUCKING SHIT   THAT IS MORE THAN P4 DID IN ITS LIFETIME IN NA
Well, that's what happens when you release a game on 1: Current-Gen Consoles and 2: Two of them. I wonder if P5 will be multiplatform too.
Edited by mutha3
@Axelhander said:

Though since you're bringing it into the discussion: yes, the Dynasty Warriors Gundam games are, despite some fun qualities, awful, awful games, but there's more actual gameplay in them than 10 copies of Catherine. Growl; I'm like three cheetahs taped together.

There' s plenty of box-shoving in Catherine, and unlike "hit x a million times" it actually has depth.
Posted by Flappy
@Trejik said:
I'm recently finding out that I really enjoy the way Alex writes. Really unique style of crazy. That Rage preview is excellent, and even this little bit of info is awesome to read.  What I'm trying to say is that I love Alex.  Call me...
This, but with a little less creepiness.
Posted by BenderUnit22

Some of you people are retarded, this game isn't about tits at all.

Posted by DonutFever
@Axelhander said:
@lordofultima said:

@Axelhander said:

Bothers me when games like this do well.

That's pretty silly, but whatever man. GRR I HATE THINGS BEING SUCCESSFUL BECAUSE IT IS A DETRIMENT TO MY LIFE EVEN THOUGH IT ONLY KEEPS PEOPLES JOBS AND DOESN'T AFFECT ME WHATSOEVER. I mean regardless of your opinion on a game, being bothered by it being successful? Pretty dumb.

Try to follow along, however much it may hurt your tiny brain:
 
When poorly made games pandering to people who play games for animu boobs and poorly written narratives do well, more poorly made games get green lit. 
 
I'm not sure I can dumb it down any further than that.
 
@DonutFever said:
@Axelhander said:
Tell me why that even remotely matters. Good luck with that.
Because you said "Games like this". If there isn't anything like it, that category doesn't exist.
By "games like this" I meant "terrible games." Sorry; should have clarified. There, I just saved you hours of franger.
When a game has gotten the critical response it has, there are clearly people who enjoy it, and therefore more games that people enjoy will be greenlit.
Edited by Omega
@Mesoian said:

@Ygg said:

@Axelhander said:

Bothers me when games like this do well.

Name one game that is anything like Catherine. Good luck with that.

Q-bert.

If I remember correctly Q-bert was about changing the colour of the all the blocks on the field, Catherine's gameplay is about getting to the top of a tower while moving blocks around to create paths. I'm pretty sure it isn't the same. You might as well have said Catherine was like Super Mario World because they both have square blocks. 
Posted by RawrDuy

Sex is not really all that successful for games. The amount of nudity in this game is comparable to Mass Effect. People are just misled by the cover and marketing, and think the game is catered toward, well, perverts. It's something completely new to the gaming market and the game itself provides a very mature topic and the theme is definitely common in everyday life. I don't recall another a Japanese title with suggestive covers ever selling well. If more than anything, Catherine sold well because of the Atlus fanbase, actual marketing (unlike EA), and reviews.

Posted by Axelhander
@mutha3 said:
@Axelhander said:
Though since you're bringing it into the discussion: yes, the Dynasty Warriors Gundam games are, despite some fun qualities, awful, awful games, but there's more actual gameplay in them than 10 copies of Catherine. Growl; I'm like three cheetahs taped together.
There' s plenty of box-shoving in Catherine, and unlike "hit x a million times" it actually has depth.
Hey, when attempting to get all "my game is better than yours" on people, spew BS about the other game. That'll show 'em.
 
Actually, again, while DWG games are horrible, there's way more actual game in them. And yes, they're deeper than just tapping one button, unless you like playing on Easy and/or losing every time. Yeah, they could (and should) have more depth, but that's not what I'm claiming here.
Posted by Napalm
@mutha3 said:
There' s plenty of box-shoving in Catherine, and unlike "hit x a million times" it actually has depth.
As deep as a glorified block-pushing flash game.
Posted by FluxWaveZ
@Napalm said: 
Trying to make the case as to why Catherine is more "mature", serious and less ridiculous as Shadows Of The Damned makes absolutely no sense, and you should probably play more videogames, or something.
You should probably play Catherine before claiming to know what it's about.
Posted by Axelhander
@DonutFever said:
@Axelhander said:
By "games like this" I meant "terrible games." Sorry; should have clarified. There, I just saved you hours of franger.
When a game has gotten the critical response it has, there are clearly people who enjoy it, and therefore more games that people enjoy will be greenlit.
Lots of people like Michael Bay movies. Anyone with a triple digit IQ, or at least in the upper nineties, will recognize that as an earth-shatteringly appropriate rebuttal.
Posted by mustachioeugene

From now on, I want all my video game news in dessert form.

Posted by Brodehouse

A cake once told me I was the World's #1 Dad and I'm not sure where it got its sources.

Posted by DonutFever
@Axelhander said:
@mutha3 said:
@Axelhander said:
Though since you're bringing it into the discussion: yes, the Dynasty Warriors Gundam games are, despite some fun qualities, awful, awful games, but there's more actual gameplay in them than 10 copies of Catherine. Growl; I'm like three cheetahs taped together.
There' s plenty of box-shoving in Catherine, and unlike "hit x a million times" it actually has depth.
Hey, when attempting to get all "my game is better than yours" on people, spew BS about the other game. That'll show 'em.
 
Actually, again, while DWG games are horrible, there's way more actual game in them. And yes, they're deeper than just tapping one button, unless you like playing on Easy and/or losing every time. Yeah, they could (and should) have more depth, but that's not what I'm claiming here.
What do you mean by "game"? Do you mean length? 
Posted by mutha3
*sigh*
 
interent smarmyness aside.....

@Axelhander said:
.
 
Actually, again, while DWG games are horrible, there's way more actual game in them. And yes, they're deeper than just tapping one button, unless you like playing on Easy and/or losing every time. Yeah, they could (and should) have more depth, but that's not what I'm claiming here.

I disagree. In Catherine, they introduce a core set of simple mechanics and keep building on them with each consecutive stage. Dynasty warriors loses out to....well, pretty much every action game I've ever played. Haven't played one in years though, the VA got too decent for me to enjoy them ironically.
 
I'm not sure whether you've even played Catherine, or are just bullshitting here.
@Napalm said:
@mutha3 said:
There' s plenty of box-shoving in Catherine, and unlike "hit x a million times" it actually has depth.
As deep as a glorified block-pushing flash game.

nah.
Posted by Napalm
@FluxWaveZ said:
@Napalm said: 
Trying to make the case as to why Catherine is more "mature", serious and less ridiculous as Shadows Of The Damned makes absolutely no sense, and you should probably play more videogames, or something.
You should probably play Catherine before claiming to know what it's about.
Or I can just read the fucking wiki and save my hard-earned twenty hours on something far more compelling.
Posted by Marokai
@BenderUnit22 said:
Some of you people are retarded, this game isn't about tits at all.
^ What this person said.
 
I'm proud to have been one of the people that bought it. Supporting unusual games is one of the most important things people can do in today's video game market, which is consistently dominated by the same old FPS hits and safe brands. Catherine is a great game, and Atlus deserves the success.
Posted by metalsnakezero

Good to hear news like this but where is my slice of cake!?

Posted by DonutFever
@Napalm said:
@FluxWaveZ said:
@Napalm said: 
Trying to make the case as to why Catherine is more "mature", serious and less ridiculous as Shadows Of The Damned makes absolutely no sense, and you should probably play more videogames, or something.
You should probably play Catherine before claiming to know what it's about.
Or I can just read the fucking wiki and save my hard-earned twenty hours on something far more compelling.
That's right, reading about a game and playing it are pretty much the same.
Posted by FluxWaveZ
@Napalm said:
@FluxWaveZ said:
@Napalm said: 
Trying to make the case as to why Catherine is more "mature", serious and less ridiculous as Shadows Of The Damned makes absolutely no sense, and you should probably play more videogames, or something.
You should probably play Catherine before claiming to know what it's about.
Or I can just read the fucking wiki and save my hard-earned twenty hours on something far more compelling.
Sure. But don't claim you know how the thematics are addressed or how the gameplay progresses, like you've been doing, just by reading the wiki.
Edited by Marokai
@Axelhander said:

@mutha3 said:

@Axelhander said:
Though since you're bringing it into the discussion: yes, the Dynasty Warriors Gundam games are, despite some fun qualities, awful, awful games, but there's more actual gameplay in them than 10 copies of Catherine. Growl; I'm like three cheetahs taped together.
There' s plenty of box-shoving in Catherine, and unlike "hit x a million times" it actually has depth.
Hey, when attempting to get all "my game is better than yours" on people, spew BS about the other game. That'll show 'em.
 
Actually, again, while DWG games are horrible, there's way more actual game in them. And yes, they're deeper than just tapping one button, unless you like playing on Easy and/or losing every time. Yeah, they could (and should) have more depth, but that's not what I'm claiming here.
Dude, I've played and enjoyed DWG games. I'm pretty sure there's more gameplay depth to Catherine.
Posted by mutha3
@Napalm said:
@FluxWaveZ said:
@Napalm said: 
Trying to make the case as to why Catherine is more "mature", serious and less ridiculous as Shadows Of The Damned makes absolutely no sense, and you should probably play more videogames, or something.
You should probably play Catherine before claiming to know what it's about.
Or I can just read the fucking wiki and save my hard-earned twenty hours on something far more compelling.
Don't see how that makes you qualified to comment on how it handles its themes or how much depth the gameplay has, though......