Final Fantasy XIII, the latest installment in Square Enix's seminal franchise, has sold over one million units in North America in its first five days -- the company says it's the biggest first-week performance in franchise history.
Final Fantasy XIII, notably released on Xbox 360 in addition to PlayStation 3 in Western markets, launched on March 9. The publisher said it sold-in five million units worldwide for initial shipment -- bringing global shipments of the Final Fantasy series as a whole up to 96 million units. By comparison, Square Enix's major Dragon Quest series has shipped only 53 million units worldwide.
In Japan, where the game is still PS3-exclusive, FFXIII launched December 17 and sold 1.8 million units by the end of 2009 -- 1.5 million of those in its first week alone. Despite releasing at the end of the year, it was the fifth top-selling game of 2009 in the country.
The Final Fantasy series debuted on the NES/Famicom in 1987, and through all its installments and spin-offs it's become one of the most recognizable RPG franchises -- certainly, the most recognizable Japanese RPG franchise -- in the West, enjoying a famously fervent fan base.
This may be why the release has achieved major sales numbers despite a tepid reception from critics, many of whom complained the game is too linear and lamented the lack of traditional series elements such as towns.