- “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” was Nintendo’s biggest game of 2018 by a long shot.
- With “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate,” Nintendo took a big risk on a single game – and it paid off tremendously.
- Despite arriving only on December 7, “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” is the fifth best-selling game of 2018.
Nintendo took a huge risk in 2018 by releasing a single marquee game, rather than several – and it paid off handsomely.
On December 7, Nintendo launched “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” for the Nintendo Switch. In the final three weeks of 2018, Nintendo managed to outsell huge blockbusters like “Assassin’s Creed Odyssey,” “Far Cry 5,” “Battlefield V,” and even “FIFA 2019” – all games that launched on multiple consoles, whereas “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” is available only for the Switch.
That’s according to The NPD Group, a firm that tracks video game sales data and issued its 2018 video game sales report this week.
Here’s what the top 20 looks like for 2018, ranked by dollar sales:
“Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” came in at No. 5 of 20, beating out huge PlayStation 4 exclusives like “God of War” and “Marvel’s Spider-Man.” Unsurprisingly, it was also the best-selling game of December.
In fact, it set a sales record: “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” is the best-selling platform exclusive in its launch month in the history of NPD’s data. “Halo: Reach” from 2010 was the previous record holder.
Wilder still: The data from NPD doesn’t include digital sales of the game through Nintendo’s eShop. That means its fifth-place spot on the top 20 best-sellers list was secured through physical sales alone.
As the NPD Group video games industry analyst Mat Piscatella told Business Insider in an email, securing such a high sales spot for the year without including digital sales “makes the feat all the more impressive.”
“Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” will no doubt continue to sell as the months go on.
The series is known for having legs, which means it’s expected to maintain a steady beat of sales for years to come as more Switch consoles are sold and owners go looking for games to play. It certainly doesn’t hurt that a variety of new fighters are being added to the game in the coming months, and Nintendo recently announced a North American tournament.
For the time being, it’s off to a killer start.
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