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Nintendo had a handful of new game launches during its last fiscal quarter, but the publisher’s older hits were just as important to its bottom line. The company sold 2.07 million copies of New Pokémon Snap, 1.34 million copies of Mario Golf: Super Rush, and 1.04 million copies of Miitopia. But during the same period, it also sold 1.69 million copies of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and 1.26 million copies of Animal Crossing: New Horizons. In total, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Animal Crossing are at 37 million and 34 million copies sold, respectively.

It’s these big sales numbers that set Nintendo apart from Microsoft and Sony. While Xbox and PlayStation certainly have hits, they rely more heavily on the initial pop from blockbuster releases. Nintendo’s audience, however, tends to pick up a Mario Kart or Animal Crossing alongside the purchase a Switch even if those games are years old.

To that point, Mario Kart 8 was the No. 7 best-selling game in the United States in June. And that does not include any digital sales for that game.

This is what leads to situations where Mario Kart 8 Deluxe continues to outsell new games games. And it’s also what has led to the Switch having at least seven games that have surpassed 15-million copies sold.


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Here is that list:

  • Mario Kart 7 Deluxe — 37.08 million
  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons — 33.89 million
  • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate — 24.77 million
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild — 23.2 million
  • Pokémon Sword/Shield — 21.85 million
  • Super Mario Odyssey — 21.4 million
  • Super Mario Party — 15.72 million

So even when Nintendo has a bad year-over-year comparison, like it did for this most recent Q1, its long-term numbers are still healthy. And that indicates that when something like the Switch OLED launches, customers will show up for new releases, but they’ll also likely continue dropping money on Nintendo’s back catalog as well.


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