Sales

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#1 by barfboy
2018-12-08 at 20:56
Is there tracking for total sales for visual novels or are developers in Japan tight lipped about it? I would be curious (but likely not surprised) to see what the top sellers are and where my favorite games lie on the list ... if they even make the list.
#2 by shiny
2018-12-08 at 21:38
No, not really. It's not a industry that's open about that sort of stuff and there's not much to go by except for hearsay, speculation based on various rankings and some numbers occasionally dropped by insiders.

Old as it is, Canned Dogs had some articles of interest.
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Then there's always the Tech Gian rankings, as mentioned in that last post; Tech Gian is an eroge-oriented monthly magazine that publishes a sales ranking of games for the previous month. You can find some articles about the archived rankings in Japanese here:
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The thing is, the magazine does not publish exact numbers, but a ranking based on "points". The multiplier for these points was more or less inferred to be circa 18~23 copies sold per point, but around early 2017 (can't remember well) the numbers started getting all wonky and inflated (probably trying to cover up the fact that overall sales numbers for eroge are dropping), so you can't really compare any newer games with historic data. (Also the ranking does not take into account some retailers like Amazon, Sofmap or direct company sales).

I think there were also some numbers published by Sofrin, the entity for age-rating eroge, but I'll dig that one later.
#3 by tomtheerogeman
2018-12-09 at 21:32
This article isn't a list of top selling games or anything, but it gives you a sense of what sales figures and company expenses look like. It's still sort of outdated (2013), but at least it's more recent than the Canned Dogs articles.

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