Atlus USA seems to have made a good decision by bringing Demon's Souls to North America; it's a hit.
Due to overwhelming demand, Atlus has announced that it will be shipping out more copies of Demon's Souls to retailers this week. Even with the release of the PS3 blockbuster Uncharted 2 on October 13, Demon's Souls interest has not waned since its own release on October 6. The Demon's Souls Deluxe Edition, the only way to acquire the game's 160-page strategy guide, is completely sold out and has been discontinued, sure to raise the second-hand price of it on sites like eBay, other than for copies like mine which I accidentally stepped on. From Atlus's PR manager and generally awesome guy Aram Jabbari:
"We're thrilled at the level of interest and acclaim gamers are showing for Demon's Souls, one of the best reviewed games of the year and one of the highest-rated role-playing games of all time. We're working quickly to get more copies of the game out onto store shelves. We thank fans for supporting a daring, innovative product, and we ask interested gamers to be patient as stock is replenished."
Why is this the case for a videogame that was probably considered to be for a more hardcore audience and predicted to have slower sales? A bunch of reasons, actually. Demon's Souls has received very high marks with reviewers, including a few perfect scores (for those who believe in that sort of thing) from both hardcore and mainstream outlets. Reviews don't make a game, this has been proven, but Demon's Souls also doesn't suffer from the malady of being about a cel-shaded wolf, like Okami which received great reviews but sold poorly. Demon's Souls has a mature setting about various medieval warriors fighting giant demons in a cruel, dark world, where players can also steal the souls of other players online. People generally only need a small push in the direction of their local game store when a game has a setting like this.
So was it simply the reviews and its setting that made Demon's Souls sell? Nope. What makes Demon's Souls a success is the combination of reviews, setting, unique gameplay content, and timing. There is nothing like Demon's Souls on the PS3. There is nothing like Demon's Souls in the entire videogame landscape anymore. Demon's Souls will kill you over and over from the very first level onward, but you'll know exactly why you died, that it was all your fault, and you'll want to keep playing anyway. It's very challenging, but also very rewarding. PlayStation 3 owners have been yearning for a fun and challenging RPG since the system's release, and Demon's Souls just happens to have come out right before the videogame deluge of the holiday season when it is more of an easy purchase.
If you have bought Demon's Souls already and are having trouble, Atlus has pointed out that the game has an official wiki page, though I think if you use it you're really missing out on the experience of the game. Demon's Souls has already surprised me plenty of times, and I've only completed levels 1-1 and 1-2. Not to spoil anything, but the sight of the 1-2 boss was an experience like I've never had before in a videogame, and actually killing him with zero help was even better. Keep your spoilers away from me, folks. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go get killed a lot in Boletaria.