By Dakota ‘DarkHorse’ Hills
And we may never see something like this again
Fighting games (and video games in general) are pretty much always expected to see their sales drop off long before support for a title is finished, but that’s certainly not the case over at Nintendo.
Despite Super Smash Bros. Ultimate not receiving any new content since Kingdom Hearts’ Sora released over a year ago, the game is still managing to outsell every other fighter on the market by a wide margin.
Nintendo recently updated their quarterly investor information, which revealed that Smash Ultimate has reached a whopping 29.53 million copies sold worldwide as of September 30, 2022.
This means the platform fighter that’s nearing its 4th birthday managed to push an additional 710,000 units in just 3 months time and 3.82 million copies over the past year.
Most fighting game developers would kill to have those numbers in their launch year meanwhile Smash is doing so by merely existing.
This is further backed up by Smash Ultimate consistently ranking among the top-selling games in the United States almost every month since it released, and the game stayed in rating for October 2022 although it did slip from 14th to 20th overall — and it’s still the 18th top selling game of the year.
US NPD PREMIUM GAMES – October 2022 Top 20 Sellers pic.twitter.com/50X5a09uIa
— Mat Piscatella (@MatPiscatella) November 14, 2022
That’s not even to say other fighters haven’t been selling well either.
Tekken 7, Mortal Kombat 11 and Street Fighter 5 (technically) are all now the best selling entries in their respective franchises, and fighting game sales numbers appear to be generally increased this past generation to the point where it may be surpassing the boom of the ’90s.
If you combine those Tekken, MK and Street Fighter numbers together, however, they just barely beat out what Smash Ultimate has accomplished in generally less time.
Masahiro Sakurai’s push of “Everyone is Here” and the inclusion of many new characters who were considered impossible dreams really paid off, and the rest of the game’s content created a fighter that almost anyone can enjoy — while featuring at least 1 character they care about.
It’s a bit tired to say that other fighters don’t need to be Smash (because they don’t), but at this point, there may not even be another fighter that could match this success — at least not for a long time.
Unless the next Smash Bros. game includes everything Ultimate had and then some, which it in all likelihood won’t, it may struggle to capture this same lightning in a bottle again.
There are big releases on the horizon that are all likely to be massive hits in their own right with Street Fighter 6, Tekken 8 and Project L, but only Riot Games’ project has the current potential to be downloaded more than 30 million times — but it’s also a free to play game.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is now in the realm of being a once in a generation or once in a lifetime experience that gave us Ryu, Terry Bogard, and Kazuya Mishima in the same game as Mario, Sora and Simon Belmont on the same battlefield.
Street Fighter 2 was a cultural phenomenon that held its best-selling fighter record for almost 30 years, and now Smash Ultimate is poised to carry that torch into the future.
Source: Event Hubs