Barring FIFA, GTA V, and to an extent, Call of Duty, it’s rare to see games on the PS4 and Xbox One sell out in India. Especially if they’re niche titles based on franchises that traditionally don’t do too well.
However this has happened with Yakuza 0. Don’t let the name fool you, it’s a prequel to the long-running Japanese crime drama series and it’s the first that’s sold out in India. Several gamers and retailers speaking to Gadgets 360 have confirmed its unavailability just two weeks after release.
“I didn’t pre-order the game, and now it’s sold out which doesn’t ever happen. Even Flipkart cancelled my order,” says Kotamsetty Jamadagni, a Hyderabad-based gamer. He further explained that the seller on Flipkart’s marketplace cancelled due to not knowing when it would be back in stock.
“When I ordered, the description said it was up for pre-order. But the seller did not have any date on restocking so it was cancelled,” he told us. Internationally, it seemed to be a different situation.
“It was restocked on Amazon US and GameStop after first shipment went out of stock. Looks like Sega shipped a total of seven copies worldwide,” said CarbonCore on popular gaming forum IndianVideoGamer.
“So anybody selling their game yet?” asks another forumgoer Archit after trying buying a new copy of the game multiple times, hoping to at least obtain it used.
What’s even more interesting is that retailers or its distributors don’t know exactly why either.
“I asked for 30 copies from the distributor, I only got two. All they told me was it’s sold out,” said a buyer for a consumer electronics chain store. “The Yakuza games never sell out. I thought there would be more stock to go around.”
Others have been more fortunate.
“Sales of the game have been brisk,” a store manager for an independent game retailer explained. “In fact, it’s done better for us than Resident Evil 7. We haven’t got stock for two weeks now, and there’s no sign of it coming in any time soon either.”
Given that India is a price sensitive market, the Rs. 2,499 price seemed to have worked wonders. More so with the digital variant of the game costing almost double at Rs. 4,995.
But, it is also possible that the game has been re-exported to other countries where it doesn’t have a price advantage. After all, the game retails for $60 (Rs. 4,000) internationally.
“Smaller stores have, in the past, rounded up copies from other outlets to sell them outside the country to take advantage of the price difference,” a sub-distributor revealed. “I don’t think this is the case with Yakuza 0, as the quantities seem too low.”
Several industry sources peg the initial import quantity of Yakuza 0 in India at not more than 300 units. With over 1,00,000 PS4s in India, the number is essentially a drop in the ocean, ensuring a quicker than usual sell through. However games with similar quantities such as Valkyria Chronicles Remastered took a whole lot longer to sell out of their initial quantity, that too at a lower price point. The game's distributor E-Xpress refused to comment on how many copies actually made it into the country.
Despite Games The Shop — the retail arm for Yakuza 0 distributor E-Xpress stating that the game is back in stock, this is far from the case. As of now, it’s near impossible to find a copy in the country. Even the usual suspects, Amazon and Flipkart, are sold out.
For its part, E-Xpress has said it will be back shortly.
“Yakuza 0 will be back in stock soon. Also, we cannot comment on orders placed on Amazon and Flipkart,” a spokesperson for E-Xpress told Gadgets 360 via email. The vague timeframe of ‘soon’ and the absence of any reason for its unavailability doesn’t exactly inspire confidence for many a gamer looking for their fix of 1980s Japan.
So unless you’re willing to shell out double of what it actually costs, you’re better off waiting, or asking someone to pick up the game for you if it goes on sale in other countries like the US and UK.