Posted on July 30 2014 by Nathanial Rumphol-Janc
Nintendo has reported a loss for it’s first quarter of 2014. The loss isn’t overly large, but still worth mentioning. However I don’t really want to focus on those figures, as they won’t have any impact on the future of Nintendo as currently constructed, let alone the future of the Zelda franchise. Rather, I wanted to chat a bit about the Wii U sales figures and Mario Kart 8‘s impact on those sales.
First the best news of the day: Mario Kart 8 has sold 2.82 million copies in one month. While that figure on its own isn’t impressive, it equals out to just over 40% of the current install base for the console it was released upon. Essentially, it is likely going to be the highest attach rate Wii U game the console ever sees. The other positive note is that the Wii U increased its sales over last year in the same period, moving 510,000 units.
These are really solid numbers (for those curious, the 3DS moved 820,000 units, which is down from last year. The lack of major releases probably is the leading cause for a sales decrease). Despite being solid, Mario Kart 8‘s overall impact on sales for new Wii U owners wasn’t inherently as big as many thought it would be. Much of the sales for the game were to current Wii U owners. This may change over time, and Mario Kart games have a proven track record of long tail sales. Still, is there a possibility that the two Zelda titles coming out in the next year and half will actually move more Wii U units than Mario Kart 8?
I feel Hyrule Warriors is going to really help move units in Japan, while Zelda U could move a lot of units in the West next year. I am not suggesting the games themselves will outsell Mario Kart 8, but could they possibly sell more overall Wii U units to new owners? Time will tell.
For those who want to know the loss (and thus, talk about it), it was ¥9.47bn ($92.6m/£54.7m). They are still predicting an overall net profit for the fiscal year around 40 billion yen. They likely feel Q3 is going to do really well for them with Smash and Amiibo launching during that period (oh, there is that Pokémon game everyone is looking forward too as well. Duh).