Geez, maybe I gave them too much credit to just be "the small vocal group that wants games few others do".
Yeah, it's not like the Final Fantasy fanbase where everyone has different opinions on which Final Fantasy is the best but almost everyone still gets the latest one regardless despite complaining all the time.
Anyway, Tales isn't doing so hot in Japan either from what I heard, thanks to Namco's recent habit of putting a Tales game on one system, then throwing it onto the PS3 with extras. Original Graces sold poorly, from what I can recall, and they seemed to have merged the two Tales teams due to financial problems.
To me Tales games have always been at the very least 'good' games. If I have the system to play it, I will buy it. They are worth the money they cost.
Why their sales are always terrible puzzles me every single time (especially considering that Square hasn't done anything great for a while and still sells games by the million)
Different demographics. They're trying to market Tales the same way they do it in Japan, without realizing inherent cultural differences and tastes. Like how DQ8 needed some retooling for the NA market, Namco doesn't seem to understand that what's working for them in Japan wouldn't in the U.S. They keep releasing these games as alternatives to big name titles ("You don't want Final Fantasy XII! Tales of Abyss is a much better game!" Yeah, right, keep dreaming.) instead of focusing on shifting the marketing demographic. Or having marketing at all; the best I've seen are one page ads in game magazines, and nothing else. Hell, advert it on adult swim or something, I don't know. There's a lot of hyperbole about how Namco is a bunch of morons when it comes to marketing Tales games, and they honestly do deserve some of the guff they're getting. Trying to make Tales into a Final Fantasy killer works about as well as trying to make any FPS a "Call of Duty" killer. You just don't put them in direct competition, you're going to lose every time.