News Article

Reggie: Wii Games Must Sell a Million to Make a Profit

Posted by Eric O

That’s a lot of copies, how many have made the cut?

Unfortunately, not that many. In fact, most games typically sell less than 150,000 copies according to a New York Times article, where Nintendo of America’s head honcho Reggie Fils-Aime shared this interesting information. Fils-Aime said “[one million titles] was a lower threshold than for the other consoles,” and to make that number possible “[Nintendo] deliberately did not add high-definition capability to the Wii so games would be cheaper to make.”

According to NPD figures, only 16 titles have sold more than a million copies, and that’s from a list of nearly 500 titles. Of those 16, nine of them are first party, and if you follow the Nintendo Wii even slightly close, you can probably guess the majority of them - Wii Fit, Wii Play, Mario Kart Wii, Super Smash Bros Brawl, etc. The grand king of Wii games is Wii Sports which has sold more than 40 million copies to date worldwide, making it the best selling video game of all time (although it's worth noting that it's a pack-in title in every terriorty outside of Japan).

Wii games sell new for typically $50 USD or less, while PS3 and Xbox360 games are in the neighborhood of $60 USD or less.


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User Comments (7)



Damo said:

Ouch. That's a bit of a kick in the teeth for many Wii devs. Selling a million isn't easy!



antdickens said:

Not sure this is really very accurate, the development costs between say a first party Nintendo game and a basic 505 games will be no where near the same. It's all relative, it might be true that a "big" Wii game, Resident Evil, etc needs to shift a million though.



Olimar_91 said:

I too can't see how this is a completely accurate statement. The development costs vary quite a bit between different games. You can't tell me that Petz Monkeyz cost the same in development as Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

I have a feeling this statement was either taken out of context, or just misunderstood.



Damo said:

That's fair comment, but remember that many games DO have budgets which will rival the likes of Smash Bros, yet they still fail to shift units. The fact remains that the Wii marketplace is very crowded and that means that developers have to try harder to get themselves noticed and get their money back from sales.



Corbs said:

I guess this is why the WiiWare service has been so popular. Gives these smaller devs a chance to make some money and learn the ropes at the same time. And Damo your avatar is giving me nightmares. Scary stuff!



Olimar_91 said:


I can agree with that. And it's probably true that some games need to sell a million copy's to turn a profit, but certainly not all of them. That's why I figure this comment was taken out of context, it's an overly generalized statement.

Just a note, NYT corrected the statement:



Chunky_Droid said:

It's probably also worth noting that it beat Super Mario Bros. which was packed in with the NES in almost every country for quite a while too.

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