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 Post subject: Galaxian/Galaga franchise sales figures
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2019 3:16 pm 


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This is a pretty obtuse subject for a topic, but I couldn't really think of anywhere else to put something like this. Has anybody seen any kind of total sales figures for the Galaxian/Galaga franchise? I've been scouring the web for this for the sake of research and pure curiosity, and I'm real surprised to see nothing there except sales for a few of the games in that series.
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 Post subject: Re: Galaxian/Galaga franchise sales figures
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2019 4:20 pm 


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You will be very hard pressed to find such figures from that era. Basically the only time that info gets out is if someone involved in the production (the producer or head programmer most likely) knows and says something.
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 Post subject: Re: Galaxian/Galaga franchise sales figures
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2019 6:21 pm 


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BN themselves are also rather secretive with these things too, which I think contributes to my unsuccessful attempts at finding these - they only seem to release actual figures for "high profile" series, like Pac-Man and Super Robot Wars, and not stuff like Galaga or even Ridge Racer.
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 Post subject: Re: Galaxian/Galaga franchise sales figures
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2019 9:56 pm 


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Galaxian is as high profile as Pac-Man (Galaga Legions/DX was made to complement Pac-Man Championship Edition/DX). Video game sales in general are very hard to come by, especially outside of Japan. What we do know is that Galaga was everywhere and that it might as well be worshipped as a video game god outside of Japan at least.
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 Post subject: Re: Galaxian/Galaga franchise sales figures
PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2019 1:31 am 


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I wouldn't be surprised if Galaga did better in the west than Japan. Just basing that on a hunch, from what I saw growing up and what I've seen in retro shops/arcades in Japan over the years.
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 Post subject: Re: Galaxian/Galaga franchise sales figures
PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2019 4:18 am 


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I dunno. Galaga was certainly popular here (popular enough for Gaplus to be renamed to Galaga 3 in an attempt to boost sales), but Japan got a lot more ports BITD.


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 Post subject: Re: Galaxian/Galaga franchise sales figures
PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2019 2:15 pm 


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Here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arcade_ga ... sing_games

Galaxian is firmly at #8 spot, and surely a bigger commercial success than Galaga. The only data though is a figure around 40000 cabinets sold. (US? Worldwide?)
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 Post subject: Re: Galaxian/Galaga franchise sales figures
PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 5:48 am 


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Turrican wrote:
Here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arcade_ga ... sing_games

Galaxian is firmly at #8 spot, and surely a bigger commercial success than Galaga. The only data though is a figure around 40000 cabinets sold. (US? Worldwide?)


That list doesn't seem to be in a specific order. Centipede is further down, but is listed as selling more. The original Galaga isn't even listed. I haven't seen a Galaxian cab, but Galaga used to be everywhere.


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 Post subject: Re: Galaxian/Galaga franchise sales figures
PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 7:36 am 



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BrianC wrote:
I haven't seen a Galaxian cab, but Galaga used to be everywhere.


I can second this. Literally never saw a Galaxian in my life, while Galaga is among a select few candidates for most-encountered all time.


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 Post subject: Re: Galaxian/Galaga franchise sales figures
PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 7:46 pm 


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Took my son to Dave & Busters this weekend. Played Galaga on a World's Biggest Pacman setup. Sucked. Really choppy video. I'm sure it was on the highest difficulty. It was better than all of the phone games on huge LCDs (WTF?!) but still. Arcades are dead. Fuck this hobby.
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 Post subject: Re: Galaxian/Galaga franchise sales figures
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2019 4:30 pm 



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Namco made a deal with North American arcade distributors/operators/owners to include a free Pac-Man arcade cabinet with a purchase of a Rally-X arcade game cabinet through Bally Midway Mfg Co. that got the exclusive rights to distribute and sell Pac-Man in the USA (to better promote the new Pac-Man gobbler game classic) back in October of 1980 during it's inital grand debut/roll-out in the American arcades. In doing so, this buy one, get one free arcade game promotional deal paid off in spades for both Namco and Bally Midway Mfg Co. with Pac-Man which would further lead to future Pac-Man arcade sequels in the following years (you might recall that the Super Pac-Man arcade cabs were released to U.S. arcades back in 1982 again through the Namco approved Bally Midway arcade licensee).

Of course, the Pac-Man arcade game hack known as "Crazy Otto" became the basis for Bally Midway's arcade game release of Ms. Pac-Man the following year in 1981. An uber-rare Crazy Otto prototype arcade cabinet was shown at the 2017 California Extreme show -- it was set on "Free Play" for all to try it out, indeed. Very cool Pac-Man hack nevertheless.

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 Post subject: Re: Galaxian/Galaga franchise sales figures
PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2019 3:03 am 


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I have actually seen a couple Galaxian cabs out in the wild. Far back in time when it was relevant.

Galaga, I think, is the perfect example of how much being first at something matters. You can't add or remove anything from that game to make it "better", it's a fully realized ideal unto itself.

But I'm also the guy who doesn't think vidya games will have anything new to offer until we have AI that can pass the Turing Test. Simulated worlds and all that, even if just in plain text to start.


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 Post subject: Re: Galaxian/Galaga franchise sales figures
PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2019 3:10 am 


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BryanM wrote:
Galaga, I think, is the perfect example of how much being first at something matters. You can't add or remove anything from that game to make it "better", it's a fully realized ideal unto itself.


bigbadboaz wrote:
I can second this. Literally never saw a Galaxian in my life, while Galaga is among a select few candidates for most-encountered all time.


I think these two quotes support relate each other; that is, that being Galaga surely perceived early as a "fully realized" type of landmark, it is easy to imagine that its cabinets were quick to replace older shmups, and then they weren't easily replaced by something else, because owners rightly got the idea that this was a benchmark of this particular gameplay. Hence, a longer staying power in arcades, which doesn't immediately translate into having got more units total overall.

edit: on an unrelated note, not sure why this thread is in the off topic board, since it discusses sales of two undisputedly shmups titles.
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 Post subject: Re: Galaxian/Galaga franchise sales figures
PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:35 pm 


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Yes, this clearly should be in Shmups Chat.

The problem is that the idea of Galaga being a benchmark isn't based on merit. Galaga is a cool game for 1981, but it doesn't have as much staying power as its peers. This is why Gaplus was created. Far as I know, Japan correctly perceived it as the logical followup to Galaga, as it was intended to be. I don't know why Americans got so fussy about the higher difficulty for this particular game. Ms. Pac-Man is significantly harder than Pac-Man and Americans generally think it's a better game for it.

The thing is that Gaplus, not Galaga, is the Super Mario Bros. 3 of its series. People say otherwise because of the historical narrative, not because of the games themselves. The historical narrative also gives them a free pass to be ignorant even when you explain the situation to them.
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 Post subject: Re: Galaxian/Galaga franchise sales figures
PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:03 am 


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bigbadboaz wrote:
BrianC wrote:
I haven't seen a Galaxian cab, but Galaga used to be everywhere.


I can second this. Literally never saw a Galaxian in my life, while Galaga is among a select few candidates for most-encountered all time.


I never saw a Galaga but we had load of Galaxian in the UK. Another interesting statistic is original Galaxian PCBs vastly outnumber Galaga ones.
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 Post subject: Re: Galaxian/Galaga franchise sales figures
PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:46 am 


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Despatche wrote:
Yes, this clearly should be in Shmups Chat.

The problem is that the idea of Galaga being a benchmark isn't based on merit. Galaga is a cool game for 1981, but it doesn't have as much staying power as its peers. This is why Gaplus was created. Far as I know, Japan correctly perceived it as the logical followup to Galaga, as it was intended to be. I don't know why Americans got so fussy about the higher difficulty for this particular game. Ms. Pac-Man is significantly harder than Pac-Man and Americans generally think it's a better game for it.

The thing is that Gaplus, not Galaga, is the Super Mario Bros. 3 of its series. People say otherwise because of the historical narrative, not because of the games themselves. The historical narrative also gives them a free pass to be ignorant even when you explain the situation to them.


I like Gaplus quite a bit, but I'm not so sure most of the complaints regarding the game are about the difficulty. The bonus rounds are very different from Galaga's (and involve juggling enemies and are less varied) and the game adds 8-way movement (which doesn't seem to add to the game). Most of the cabinets I have seen have been renamed to "Galaga 3".


Last edited by BrianC on Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Galaxian/Galaga franchise sales figures
PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:15 pm 


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I saw them both, but Galaga far outweighed it. Saw 2-3 cabs in a row in a few places.
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 Post subject: Re: Galaxian/Galaga franchise sales figures
PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 3:50 am 


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BrianC wrote:
Despatche wrote:
Yes, this clearly should be in Shmups Chat.

The problem is that the idea of Galaga being a benchmark isn't based on merit. Galaga is a cool game for 1981, but it doesn't have as much staying power as its peers. This is why Gaplus was created. Far as I know, Japan correctly perceived it as the logical followup to Galaga, as it was intended to be. I don't know why Americans got so fussy about the higher difficulty for this particular game. Ms. Pac-Man is significantly harder than Pac-Man and Americans generally think it's a better game for it.

The thing is that Gaplus, not Galaga, is the Super Mario Bros. 3 of its series. People say otherwise because of the historical narrative, not because of the games themselves. The historical narrative also gives them a free pass to be ignorant even when you explain the situation to them.


I like Gaplus quite a bit, but I'm not so sure most of the complaints regarding the game are about the difficulty. The bonus rounds are very different from Galaga's (and involve juggling enemies and are less varied) and the game adds 8-way movement (which doesn't seem to add to the game). Most of the cabinets I have seen have been renamed to "Galaga 3".


Gaplus is highly underrated, I think it's a lot of fun.
btw "Galaga 3" was just a conversion kit Midway produced to try and sell more units - even though a "Galaga 2" doesn't exist.
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 Post subject: Re: Galaxian/Galaga franchise sales figures
PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:33 am 


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I'm aware that Galaga 3 was a conversion kit. I was saying that most of the cabs I have seen were the Galaga 3 version.


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 Post subject: Re: Galaxian/Galaga franchise sales figures
PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:18 am 


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Despatche wrote:
The problem is that the idea of Galaga being a benchmark isn't based on merit.


I politely disagree...

Despatche wrote:
Galaga is a cool game for 1981, but it doesn't have as much staying power as its peers.


Sure. Like Sgt. Pepper is a cool album for 1967. Come on.

Despatche wrote:
This is why Gaplus was created. Far as I know, Japan correctly perceived it as the logical followup to Galaga, as it was intended to be. I don't know why Americans got so fussy about the higher difficulty for this particular game. Ms. Pac-Man is significantly harder than Pac-Man and Americans generally think it's a better game for it. The thing is that Gaplus, not Galaga, is the Super Mario Bros. 3 of its series.


The Japanese correctly envisioned the logical followup to Super Mario Bros, and that is the extremely rewarding and challenging Super Mario Bros 2 (J). Gaplus is totally, totally *NOT* a Super Mario Bros 3 case: it's not made to broaden the audience, it won't eclipse its predecessor in sales, it can't achieve a (mainstream if you will) status of timeless classic. In fact, Gaplus is great, but exactly on the terms SMB2(J) is: more challenge for the initiated.

Despatche wrote:
People say otherwise because of the historical narrative, not because of the games themselves. The historical narrative also gives them a free pass to be ignorant even when you explain the situation to them.


let's be cautious not to reverse the issue though; correct reevaluation of a game based on actual gameplay merits is absolutely fine (and certainly it's a shame that we got in decades a port of Galaga everywhere, and maybe two or three collections with Gaplus), but ignorance of history would be as much as dangerous. Correct historical perspective also mandates that Galaga's achievements in 1981 are a landmark; by 1984 Ga"plus" (even the name helps to put it in context) was a very, very late exercise in refinement, totally geared towards aficionado.

Ms. Pac-Man is much more timely in riding the wave. It's harder, better, bigger, and crucially is the second game in the series, released as early as Feb 1982. American Pac-Man is November 1980, so it's a little more than one year gap.
Gaplus is at the earliest a Japanese april '84 cabinet following a December 1981 hit. It's two years and half / almost three years gap, the whole world had changed in between.
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Last edited by Turrican on Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Galaxian/Galaga franchise sales figures
PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:08 am 


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They say that greatness is sweeping away that which came before you, and everything that comes after bears your mark. Space Invaders and Galaga are bookends of a specific kind of game. The year that followed Gaplus, brought us Gradius, and a new era.

Nothing especially special about Gradius - just that people were really sick of formation shooting games that take place in an empty black void. Where you shoot up. Five years is a long time to be into one very specific kind of thing - other trends have a similar kind of lifespan.

(While on this topic, are there any SHMUPs where you exclusively shoot downward?)


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 Post subject: Re: Galaxian/Galaga franchise sales figures
PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:29 pm 


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BryanM wrote:
(While on this topic, are there any SHMUPs where you exclusively shoot downward?)


Battle Cruiser M-12 and The Deep come to mind.
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 Post subject: Re: Galaxian/Galaga franchise sales figures
PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 7:13 pm 


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For what it's worth. Atari Games distributed 136 dedicated cabinets of Galaga '88 in North America and 850 conversion kits.


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