Welcome to this week’s edition of “A Sales History.” This week we will be taking a look at the sales history of the Metroid franchise, which was requested by user Mensrea last week. Sales for the home consoles and handhelds are included.
Last week we looked at sales history of The Legend of Zelda and the week before that Super Smash Bros. If there is a particular franchise (no matter how obscure) you want to see the sales history for, requests are always welcome.
History of the Game
The Metroid franchise is a series science fiction action-adventure games developed by Nintendo, with one game, Metroid: Other M, developed by Team Ninja. The protagonist is the bounty hunter Samus Aran who protects the galaxy from space pirates. The franchise has had a game released on every platform except for the Nintendo 64, Virtual Boy and 3DS.
The gameplay elements vary from a shooter, platformer, as well as adventure. The series has changed from a 2d side scroller, until the Metroid Prime series in which the game takes place in a first person perspective.
The original game, Metroid, was released on August 6, 1986 in Japan. It was later released in North America in August 1987 and January 1988 in Europe. It was developed by two of Nintendo’s studios, Research and Development 1 and Intelligent Systems. Samus Aran is on the planet Zebes in which she attempts to retrieve the Metroids which were stolen by space pirates.
In the chart above, the Metroid franchise for consoles has sold 16.69 million units. Looking at the release dates the majority of the games were released in the 2000’s, eight. With one released in the 1980’s, two in the 1990’s. There is one game on the NES, one on the SNES, two on the GameCube and three on the Wii. There are also one Game Boy, two Game Boy Advance and one DS games.
The Metroid Prime series of games has sold a combined 7.15 million units, or 46.4 percent of the total sales for the franchise. The one NES game sold 2.73 million units, the one SNES game 1.42 million, the two GameCube games 4.15 million and the three Wii games 3.39 million units. The two GameCube games averaged 2.08 million units sold, while the three Wii games averaged 1.13 million units. The two Game Boy Advance games sold a combined 2.52, with average sales of 1.26 million each.
Looking at the bar graph above sales for the Metroid franchise on home consoles isn’t dependent on how well the console it is on sold. Metroid Prime the bestselling game in the franchise is on the worst selling Nintendo console. While Metroid Prime 3: Corruption is on the bestselling Nintendo console only sold 57.8 percent. Five years separate the releases of Metroid and Super Metroid, while 5 years separate the three Metroid Prime games.
Looking at the bar graph above sales for the Metroid franchise on handhelds has decreased in each successive release. Metroid II: Return of Samus for the Game Boy is the second game in the franchise and the first released on a handheld. The next handheld game in the franchise, Metroid Fusion, wouldn’t be released for another 11 years, but despite the gap it would only sell 80,000 units less.
Metroid: Zero Mission was only released a couple years later towards the end of the Game Boy Advance life cycle and sales reflect that. Metroid Prime Hunters despite being on Nintendo’s bestselling platform of all time would only sell 720,000, making it the second worst selling in the franchise.
Looking at the weekly sales of the three Metroid games released on the Wii, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption showed the strongest legs. Other M had the best opening week with sales of 284,526; however sales would quickly drop selling 849,943 units after one year on the market. That is an increase of three times.
Metroid Prime Trilogy sold 115,487 in its opening week and went on to sell 527,918 in its first year. That is an increase of nearly five times. As a note it isn’t an original game, but features the three games in the Metroid Prime trilogy.
Metroid Prime 3: Corruption would open with 241,649 in sales and would end up passing the one million mark in 18 weeks. The game would end up selling 1,382,705 units in its first year on the market.
Predictions for Future Releases
There is nothing definite about future releases in the series, since there was nothing shown at E3 2012. However if the past is an indicator Samus will be making an appearance on the Wii U and 3DS. While the game is not as popular as other Nintendo franchises like Mario or The Legend of Zelda the series has solidified itself among the hardcore Nintendo fans.
The Wii U game should sell at a minimum of one million units with sales possibly topping out at three million. How well the Wii U sells shouldn’t be an indicator to how well the game will sell. Expect the game to sell anywhere from 1.5 million to 2.5 million units. The 3DS game should sell at a minimum of 500,000 units and if it’s hyped enough could reach two million to be the bestselling Metroid game on a handheld. However sales will most likely be in the 0.75 million to 1.25 million unit range.
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