Hiroshi Seno, Sega’s team manager of console sales, confirmed in an interview in Singapore that Valkyria Chronicles III will not be released in the U.S. or Europe. He cited the PSP’s lack of popularity in those regions and insufficient sales of the second game to justify localization costs as reasons for the decision. Regarding making the game available as a download on the Vita, he said that that decision would be made the next time Sega meets with Sony.
Valkyria Chronicles III was released on January 27, 2011 in Japan on the PSP. It sold 100,000 copies in its first week and received anime and manga adaptations.
Analysis: While this was not entirely unexpected, it’s rather disappointing given that the first game also suffered from sagging sales until a price drop. I’d been holding out some hope that a release date for the U.S. would eventually be announced. I played both games and reviewed the second one and loved both of them. The move from the PS3 to the PSP might’ve contributed to the lack of sales due to the PSP’s relative unpopularity outside of Japan and downgraded presentation.
It’s understandable why the move was done—lower development costs on a popular platform and thus better profit margins—but it still served to split the fanbase between those wanting a console sequel and those who were willing to buy the game despite or because of the change in platform. While I personally didn’t find it too big a deterrent, even if I preferred the original’s over all feel, the shift to school anime clichés probably also turned some off as well. However, the second game still captured the gameplay of the original in portable form and made some improvements, and it looked like the third game went further with those while also cutting down on the school anime clichés. I almost want to say there is a tiny glimmer of hope that it may make it here anyway should the economy make an upturn and it does become available as a download for the Vita, but I wouldn’t hold my breath on that. Either way, it’s sad to see that this could be Valkyria Chronicles‘s knell in the U.S. and Europe, and this emphasizes the importance of putting your money where your mouth is in regards to games you want to see come over here.