In its first week of sales, Final Fantasy XIII-2 sold only 1/3 as well as its predecessor.
Most game developers would jump on top of their servers and dance for joy if their game sold 500,000 copies within its first week. Square Enix is not one of those developers. Final Fantasy XIII-2, the follow-up to 2010's often-maligned Final Fantasy XIII, cleared the half-million sales mark in only four days. While these sales figures are not bad on their own, it's a decline of roughly 66% from Final Fantasy XIII's 1.5 million units sold within the same time frame.
There are a few possible reasons why Final Fantasy XIII-2's sales have not lived up to its predecessor's. Despite generally positive reviews, Final Fantasy XIII did not sit well with many fans due to its extremely linear level design, baffling story, and glacial pacing. Those who did not enjoy the game are unlikely to invest in its sequel. Furthermore, the disastrous launch and slow recovery of Final Fantasy XIV left the brand in a "greatly damaged" state, which could make new fans hesitant to buy anything bearing the words Final Fantasy.
While the behemoth-sized series does not appear to be in any real danger, these sales figures could spell a different fate for the Final Fantasy XIII sub-franchise. 500,000 units may well cover the cost of production, and XIII-2 will definitely sell more copies over the next few weeks, as well as in January and February, when the game hits Western shores. If Square Enix was expecting the sequel to perform on par with the original, however, it may be shy about pumping additional money into continuing the story of Cocoon and Gran Pulse.
Since the game has only been out for a few days, it's far too early to draw any meaningful conclusions from the data. If the sales figures are a sign of things to come, however, Square Enix may want to reevaluate that proposed yearly release schedule. It may not be as profitable as it looks.