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Earthquake caused $88m damage to Japanese games market

Enterbrain blames disaster for poor 3DS sales as financial results likely to suffer

The Japanese games industry lost up to $88 million in potential sales as a result of the recent earthquake and tsunami, according to Enterbrain CEO Hirokazu Hamamura.

Market research firm Enterbrain, which also publishes magazines such as Famtisu and its own video games, estimates that up to ¥2.86 billion ($34.6 million) in hardware sales were lost as a result of the disaster, with potentially ¥4.47 billion ($54.2 million) in software sales.

Speaking at a seminar in Tokyo, as reported by website Andriasang, respected industry figure Hamamura said the primary problem had been the delay or cancellation of 31 titles, including 3DS games Steel Diver and Dead Or Alive Dimensions, as well as Sega's Yakuza Of The End.

He also blamed the disaster for the unexpectedly low 3DS sales since launch, which have already been overtaken by the PSP on a weekly basis. According to Hamamura Nintendo and third parties delayed promotional campaigns in the wake of the earthquake.

Despite these problems Hamamura suggested that the impact would only be temporary and that the market in Japan would quickly recover, with the next quarter now looking forward to a bumper crop of new releases following the delays.

However, as many of the titles were originally intended to be released just before the end of publisher's financial years, these may be adversely affected as results are released over the coming days.

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