Zelda Breath of the Wild Needs to Sell 2 Million Copies to be Profitable

With the new Zelda game having such a large world and so many different mechanics included in it, it’s pretty clear the budget for the game was rather high.

It’s the price of admission for a triple A game. Spend a lot of money, hopefully make it all back somewhere down the line.

But there’s a cost. Namely, the more a game costs to make, the more it has to sell to keep the series a viable business offering. After all, remember what happened to that
Tomb Raider game? Square Enix claimed it selling 3.4 million copies was ‘not hitting expectations’. More money you put in, the more money you need to get out to succeed.

So the Breath of the Wild needs to sell enough units to make up for its dev costs. But what is the amount required here? How many copies does Zelda need to sell to be profitable for Nintendo?

2 million copies. In Miyamoto’s own words (from an investor meeting):

Breath of the Wild has over 100 staff, and over 300 people in the credits, spending over 5 years. Our current efforts will be helpful in the next production. The costs will be recovered by selling in large volumes, passing 2 million sales. A game is a hit in the domestic market if it reaches 300k sales, but we’re targeting worldwide sales. Reviews on the Internet get around. Details get pointed out, so our staff is working more than is required.

Fortunately, this is a really reasonable sales goal for a Zelda game. Throughout the entire series, only three games have failed to sell 2 million copies.
The Minish Cap, Four Swords Adventures and Tri Force Heroes.

The Legend Of Zelda Tri Force Heroes Box

Above: This will not outsell Breath of the Wild

And out of those, only one of them was a traditional Zelda game. Four Swords Adventures and Tri Force Heroes were heavily multiplayer focused titles which were a lot less interesting to go through on your own. Minish Cap wasn’t like this, but it was a handheld game that was clearly overshadowed by its home console counterparts of the era.

So unless Breath of the Wild fails on the same level as Star Fox Zero, it’s going to be profitable for Nintendo. There’s no two ways about it.


The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Needs to Sell 2 Million Copies to Make a Profit – Gamnesia

Wii U Sells Over 3 Million Units in Japan

It’s not the most impressive number in the world, but in a region where handheld games have basically dominated the industry for the last few years or so, it’s perhaps not as bad as it could be.  Either way, seems like the console was most popular in North America and (maybe) parts of Europe, based on the 10 or so million sales the system has racked up in general.

Here are the actual sales figures for the week showing this, via Media Create:

System This Week Last Week Last Year YTD Last YTD LTD
Wii U 53,547 92,801 30,031 877,082 30,031 3,020,662

So what do you think? Are these sales okay for the console? Or would you consider them disappointing for a Nintendo console being sold in Japan?


Wii U Hits 3 Million Sold in Japan – GoNintendo

Microsoft Stops Reporting Xbox Sales

Want to know how well the Xbox One is selling?  How many Xbox consoles have been shipped to various stores each quarter?

Well if so, it seems like you’re out of luck.  Because as of today, Microsoft have announced that they’ll stop reporting the console shipment counts every quarter, and will instead focus on Xbox Live usership as its main statistic.  For example, the company said that Xbox Live active users were up 28 percent year on year yesterday (for a total of 39 million of them).


Above: Xbox One sales are not going to be released on a quarterly basis any more.

So that’s certainly something.  It’s not technically the end of all sales reports for the system (the active users count acts as a very loose proxy, and hardware sales figures might be released every now and again (maybe yearly or biyearly), but we won’t be seeing Microsoft releasing actual sales figures for the system on a regular basis from here on out.

What do you think?  Are you happy that Microsoft has stopped actually reporting sales for their consoles?  And is this whole ‘active Xbox Live users’ thing a good replacement or not?


Microsoft Stops Reporting Console Sales – GamesIndustry.biz

Of Course Nintendo Has Sold More Amiibo than Wii Us…

And that’s the problem.  You see, I just read on another gaming site, that Nintendo has apparently sold more Amiibo than Wii U consoles.

Nintendo Has sold more Amiibo than Wii Us – Hardcore Gamer

But while the author of that article seems very adamant that this shows that these Amiibo figurines are more popular than the Wii U and that this is a bad thing for the system, I think it might actually be the opposite.

You see, while Nintendo has sold 10.5 million Amiibo in comparison to 9.5 million Wii U systems, that’s actually not really that great of a number.


amiibo sales

Above: Wii U sales vs Amiibo sales.

In fact, for a gimmick that works much like Skylanders or Disney Infinity, that’s a pretty terrible number.

Think about it, cause it’s pretty much true.  For games that involve you buying figurines to use in game, the point is that you buy multiple figurines.  For example, if you’re playing Skylanders, you don’t just buy one character and say that’s it, you start a collection of them.

You buy lots of different characters to get to use lots of different unique abilities and set ups in game.  That’s the whole point.

And Nintendo’s Amiibo system encourages that even more.  Mario Party 10?  You can’t even play Amiibo Party with less than two or three Amiibo.

763px-MP10_Mario_Board_art 763px-MP10_Bowser_Board_art 763px-MP10_Luigi_Board_art

Above: These boards can’t even be played without their respective Amiibo…

So look at those numbers again.  They have sold just half a million more figurines than they have Wii U systems.  That’s a really quite low number when you think about it.

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Super Smash Bros for 3DS Sells More than 2.8 Million Copies

Worldwide, as of less than a month after the game’s release date.  So in other words, the game is selling out fast even BEFORE the holiday season begins.  Which is pretty impressive given the series and system.  I mean, Super Smash Bros for 3DS is merely the ‘lesser’ copy of Super Smash Bros 4, the toned down 3DS version meant to get people used to the characters and stuff before the real version hits.  And what’s more, it’s a rate of sales that’s nearly at Pokemon levels (2 million copies in 2 days for Black and White and their sequels), something which is extremely rare among standard Nintendo titles.

Here’s a quote from Nintendo summarising this level of sales success:

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS is already in the hands of more than 2.8 million people worldwide, and the road ahead looks great. Nintendo’s holiday software lineup is more than impressive, and our amiibo figures start a new chapter in the world of Nintendo interactive entertainment. With so many great experiences available, this holiday season is going to be an amazing time to be a Nintendo fan.

Above: Quote by Scott Moffit, Nintendo of America Vice President of Sales and Marketing

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