According to data from the NPD Group (as reported by PS3 Fanboy), the game has moved a paltry 33,000 copies in the U.S. since its release in early November. That ain't a lot. It's not for poor critical reception; the game currently sports a totally respectable score of 86 on Metacritic. And anecdotally, I've heard nothing but good things about its unique mix of quasi-turn-based strategy, watercolor-anime visual design, and quirky alternate-history back story.
Valkyria is a member of that rarest breed, the third-party PS3 exclusive, and I wondered before its release if that limited availability wouldn't hurt awareness about it, to say nothing of sales figures. It's a brand new and somewhat esoteric IP; shouldn't you put it out on every available platform, get it in front of as many people as possible?
Anyway, all this is my way of saying "will play and return with thoughts." We've got a copy of the game here, and in light of this depressing mixture of critical praise and commercial malaise, I feel extra compelled to put it through some paces and report back when I have a meaningful opinion. It's hard not to root for the underdog in a case like this.
Plus, any game that pulls in playable characters from Skies of Arcadia likely deserves more than just a passing turn of the head.
For those of you who have played Valkyria: Do you consider its poor sales performance a tragedy? Would you chalk it up to PS3 exclusivity? A lack of accessibility to casual gamers? Something else entirely?
UPDATE: I asked Sega why Valkyria ended up being exclusive to the PlayStation 3. This response came from producer Christopher Kaminski.
The PS3 presented unique development capabilities for the CANVAS engine, taking advantage of the hardware’s processing power thus pushing the graphical quality of the game. The PS3 also lends well to the new battle system that the team created for Valkyria Chronicles. Nonaka-san and his team did their best and pushed the console as far as they could, offering a new style, new atmosphere and a new battle system that hopefully players will enjoy.
Doesn't shed much light on the technical or business aspects of the exclusivity, but I wonder if the game's programming is too PS3-centric to make a 360 port a worthwhile endeavor in the face of these low sales.