News Article

Ubisoft Data Places Mario as the Second Highest Selling Franchise Since 2005

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Games with guns won

While Ubisoft's recent financial reports and briefing aren't exactly packed with delightful news for Nintendo gamers, there is some positivity to be found. It's all from a table designed to show off the success of the company's biggest brands, which demonstrates some impressive sales for Nintendo.

A table covering 2005 to 2013 outlines the biggest selling 'franchises' for that period. The number one is relatively obvious — just think guns and controversy — but in number 2 is 'Mario'; this likely covers anything with the plumber's name in the title. The Wii Fit franchise, impressively with just three releases in the period — including the likely low numbers of Wii Fit U in late 2013 — is sitting in 6th place. Both results testify to the sales success of the Wii and DS, particularly.

It'll certainly be interesting, considering the current fluctuations and changes in the game market, which franchises will be top in a similar table a decade from now. One thing's for sure, there's a huge number of Mario games out in the wild.

[via ubisoftgroup.com]

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User Comments (70)

MeWario

#1

MeWario said:

What a boring list of games! I like a lot of them but sheesh... I'm definitely a niche gamer. Oh, and go Mario! Woo! :D

Goginho

#3

Goginho said:

Interesting. It's sad, and also worrying to see the most popular game is one that simulates war and realistic violence :(

What's the definition of New Brands now? I thought Assassin's Creed would've been considered a Franchise, what with all the games it has released. Also, I'm surprised it's high up on the list. I mean, I knew it was popular, but as popular as to make it to number 4...hmmm. Well done. I, for one, was excited back in the day when the first one came out, as it looked revolutionary and cool, subsequently played the first two, and quickly lost interest in that kind of gameplay.

KeeperBvK

#4

KeeperBvK said:

@Goginho "New brands" obviously refers to thos franchises having premiered in 2005 or later, while those not marked as "new brands" are older than 2005.
And what's the definition of "simulating" and "realistic" here? Call of Duty is as absurdly over the top as only thre craziest action movies from the 80s and 90s have been. Cool down, man, there's hardly anything realistic about CoD. :D

Beetlejuice

#5

Beetlejuice said:

I'm actually surprised Mario isn't #1. He's likely appeared in 30+ more games than anything else on this list during this period.

Ichiban

#7

Ichiban said:

@Goginho They're more like Robocop simulators going by how many bullets you can soak up! Oops I've been shot in the face, I'd better have a cup of tea and a 30 second rest..............good as new!

Artwark

#10

Artwark said:

Still in terms of the units sold, Mario series as well as Pokemon are the highest.

originaljohn

#18

originaljohn said:

This is a good example if using statistics to your advantage. Don't include handheld console games, because that would just push their new IP's further down the list.
I'd also argue the '(value)' aspect of the list. Skylanders makes Activision more money that COD for instance.

Emblem

#19

Emblem said:

@Goginho Really? I think this mirrors Humanitys current state quite well, the dominate cultures thrive on violence, sex, comedy and sports. Whoever makes the first accessible and acceptable sex game will be a billionaire lol.

SanderEvers

#20

SanderEvers said:

Strange, I buy multiple Mario games but I have bought ONE Call of Duty game in my entire life (and regretted it)

LordGeovanni

#21

LordGeovanni said:

Surprised that Ubisoft would publish this. It doesn't exactly paint them in the best of light to only have two game series on that list. Unless you think that they are pointing out specific others as well... Then again, Nintendo could be "better" because it has two as well with them in better spots or they could be "equal". Only Activision and EA are higher and EA is on there 6 times because of all that "Golden" Shovelware they publish as "sports games".

Regardless of their intentions, they completely disregard everything before 2005 as well as ALL handheld games. (Look at the top of the chart. No Nintendo DS line, no PSP lines) It is FAR easier to say that you make more money than other Franchises when you specifically delete several games. That would include Several Mario Kart games, Several Mario Standard games, ALL the 3DS games that were released lately, Everyone KNOWS that Nintendo has its power in its Handhelds, Just seeing their name up there twice even with a majority of their base being excluded is quite the message... As long as people realize what the message is...

PvtOttobot

#22

PvtOttobot said:

For the record, none of this means anything. Ubisoft's OWN research could be skewed on SO many levels and this chart doesn't even include the most successful mario console, 3DS!

LordGeovanni

#23

LordGeovanni said:

Wait, didn't the Wii not even release until 2007? Doesn't that mean that Ubisoft is also Denying ALL Nintendo Games for over TWO FULL YEARS? Wow this data is flawed...

LordGeovanni

#25

LordGeovanni said:

@S-Miyahon

It says it in the chart. The chart only uses data from those game systems. Wii and Wii U, XBox360 and XBoxOne, PS3 and PS4, and PC. Pokemon is mostly on Handhelds so would not apply. Just like anything that is on the GameCube, even if it was made during this time specified. The chart is biased. Ubisoft wants to make themself look good...

Goginho

#26

Goginho said:

@KeeperBvK True, true. Seems logical.

lol what? I'm as cool as ice. I just don't know much about CoD (at least the later versions), but my impression is that it has realistic graphics, contains real-world guns, and the premise of it has you choosing realistically-depicted, nationalistic groups and organizations...hmmm. So the gameplay has you picking sides and killing the 'enemy' (because who's actually an enemy when playing online with others) with a repertoire of different weapons, to which kids learn a lot more about than necessary :P and not to mention, can spark aggression and hatred in them.

The difference between the movies you mention and games like these, is that games can easily serve as a source of education, where, like I said, there are all these different kinds of guns on display, with listed stats and attributes that they all learn and memorize and what not. Plus you first-handedly take the role of a character / represent a group. But a movie predominantly doesn't deal with such aspects. You watch the protagonists in action and presumably identify with them, and that's it. It'll always be the same (obviously lol). Whereas in a game you create different situations, get fully immersed, become uber-competitive, get better, even become obsessed in some cases. And besides, when movies deal with war (such as Platoon for example), they get the message across that it doesn't pay and that it's simply the horror (for most movies, I take it). Or it's a James Bond movie, a Western, or Terminator, which thematically deals with good vs. bad, justice & law, save the girl, save the world...etc., you know.

Yeah, so my main argument is the education part I talked about, and how games that contain real-world objects can teach us about them, not necessarily the gameplay. For example myself. In my pre-teens I loved racing games a lot, such as Need for Speed. I was interested in cars, and therefore I knew a lot about cars for my age (ah, good times playing NFS3 :P). Kids be comin' up to me these days saying, "you don't know what a MP40 is?!" :D lol

Now, I'm one that says video games are not responsible for violence, such as school shootings for example, but they do bring across a certain message and surely condone it in one way or another by making it "absurdly over the top" in its own manner. So some games may well play a role in that, and therefore my point that it's a bit sad seeing how popular a franchise like CoD has gotten, since it does deal with war themes, as I recall. But whatevs.

Goginho

#28

Goginho said:

@Emblem Well, I hope Nintendo doesn't take that route then :P
If so, then condone safe sex in some way, you know, to maintain a positive image :D but I guess soon with virtual reality and what not, anything can become possible.

But the war and violence part is still sad, and how CoD is the most popular on this list. Can't nobody tell me otherwise ;)

Cresartist

#29

Cresartist said:

I'm actually shocked that Guitar Hero is low on the list.

Even though the franchise died years ago.

ZenTurtle

#31

ZenTurtle said:

This list is an example of cherry-picking the data. It's done by everyone - government, big pharma, supermarkets, etc etc. Don't be surprised, and don't believe it.

Peach64

#33

Peach64 said:

Why does everything get taken as a personal attack? This is from a presentation to their investors. It's not PR, and not about spin. You have to he honest about finances to investors.

The list clearly says it's for consoles from 2005. Why are handhelds not included? Because that's not the focus of the business. Do you really think they put together their investor brief while thinking to themselves how they can upset Nintendo fans? For what it's worth, Pokemon has sold just under 73 million copies since 2005, and Assaasins Creed just over 73 million, so they're not trying to make themselves look better.

2Sang

#36

2Sang said:

Wow the only good series are Mario, Guitar Hero, Assassin's Creed, and Sonic.
Everything else is awful.

Takerkaneanite6

#37

Takerkaneanite6 said:

Yay, Mario is a better seller than Fifa, if Fifa had beaten Mario, then I would have lost faith in humanity...

UnseatingKDawg

#38

UnseatingKDawg said:

This doesn't actually surprise me. There's how many 12 year-olds who think CoD is the best game on the planet. They have the mindset of "if it's not rated M, then it sucks".

UnseatingKDawg

#39

UnseatingKDawg said:

@2Sang: I can agree with Mario, Sonic, and Guitar Hero (never played Assassin's Creed), but there are other great games out there - Valve and Wayforward make excellent games, like Portal, Left 4 Dead, Shantae, and the Mighty games. I suggest you give them a go.

GamecubeComplex

#41

GamecubeComplex said:

@Goginho
Exactly. I don't get the entertainment factor in genocide. Why is it that everyone complains about shootings and then buys their children Call of Duty? You're implanting it in them. That's one reason I'm glad I don't play it.

kensredemption

#43

kensredemption said:

Well gee, of cours Call of Duty's going to sell more than Mario if they keep releasing games EVERY FREAKING YEAR.

Caryslan

#44

Caryslan said:

Lots of Call of Duty hate on here. Its a pretty good series, that has pretty good single-player, multiplayer, and some other cool modes. I don't think the series is the best FPS series on the market, but I think its sales are due to more than dude-bro gamers and 12-year olds gobbling the game up. At the end of the day, Call of Duty has a great pick and play mentality that is missing from many modern FPS games.

Not going to lie, I'll be picking up Advanced Warfare on the PS3 when it drops this year.

Blue-Thunder

#46

Blue-Thunder said:

FIFA in third spot. Sad.... FIFA to me is like a game that when Christmas comes round your girlfriend thinks 'I'll get him FIFA he loved that last year'. Is it casuals that play FIFA? or do gamers actually play this rubbish?

Nintendo have released a lot of Mario games in this time frame and Mario kart Wii sold over 70 million copies. Well done Nintendo.

XCWarrior

#47

XCWarrior said:

All of the games that get yearly or semi-yearly installments are in the top 20, with the exception being Wii Fit.

Shocker.

Morph

#49

Morph said:

People seem to be overlooking the fact that mario and wii fit are the only single platform games in the top 10, thats quite an achievement.

Midayle

#50

Midayle said:

I am surprised that there is no debate over the means of measuring the success of these franchises. This is not in terms of units sold, but total revenue. Before anyone takes this list at face value, we should know who they handled inflation and game rentals.

The chart of Wikipedia is by Units sold and not Revenue, so it is less subject to bias. It has Super Mario Series at 262 million alone, which is greater than Call of Duties 120 million.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_video_game_franchises

Pod

#51

Pod said:

Perhaps only the second highest grossing, but quite possibly the most profitable.

unrandomsam

#53

unrandomsam said:

So now we know how Ubisoft sees things (And why they never make anything good just pointless mediocre sequels).

Tlink7

#54

Tlink7 said:

They only included platforms that Ubisoft actually releases on, so this is incredibly useless.

2Sang

#55

2Sang said:

@UnseatingKDawg I was referring to the games listed. There's tons of good series out there that aren't on the list, but rehashes and brogames are the only things that sell anymore. Closest to hardcore/awesome game series that sell well would be Zelda, and Zelda only sells well because of its brand name, not its quality (despite the quality being so good). I guess Smash bros. kinda fits hardcore and sells well too, but like I said, mostly only rehashes and shoot-em-ups sell.

Lobster

#56

Lobster said:

@2Sang What's wrong with Sims or Lego? I don't think you should hate on all the games listed up there just because they're not the type of games you play.

Agent721

#57

Agent721 said:

I love Mario, COD, FIFA & GTA. some of your are truly missing out by not playing "gun games", in the same way the COD obsessed miss it out on not playing "Nintendo Kiddie Games". It really is pathetic seeing videogame fans continuously rag on each other's preferences. GTAV Rocks! As does Mario 3D World. As does 2014 FIFA World Cup. This constant hate on other consoles, from everyone, is over the top IMMATURE.

Lobster

#58

Lobster said:

@Agent721 Agreed. It takes all kinds of gamers to keep the industry afloat and nobody is better than another. As long as the game is functional and someone enjoys it, why hate on it so much?

BearHunger

#59

BearHunger said:

Ooh, good to see one of my favorite series has sold well over the years. Seventeenth is not a bad place at all in a chart like this.

Zobocop

#60

Zobocop said:

This clearly doesn't cover every Mario game. Considering Mario Kart Wii sold nearly as many copies as all of the Wii Fit installments combined, it's obvious that "all" Mario games, collectively, would pass Call of Duty in sales.

FilmerNgameR

#62

FilmerNgameR said:

Furk Yeah! It's awesome to see Sonic at least be in 17th place. IMO I think Sonic is one of the best platforming, action, adventure franchise ever I've enjoyed every Sonic game that I've played and screw what the haters are gonna say there is at least a bit of enjoyment found in any of Sonic's worst games you just need to get used to the controls and then from there any level would be a super fast paced adventure that can't never be found in any other franchise! Mostly Sonic stages though. LOL

Zobocop

#65

Zobocop said:

It's been bugging me so I had to look this up myself. Since 2005.....

Call of Duty (every game) = 182 million units
Mario (every game) = 244 million units

Anyone can look this up, really.

Obito_Tennyson

#66

Obito_Tennyson said:

What the heck? FIFA has been the 3rd best selling franchise on heldhelds since the release of the Wii? I honestly don't know a single person who has one of those games. In fact, the only persons to whom that I know even know what FIFA is are hispanics. No joke, I didn't even know that FIFA is supposed to be pronounced as a word, rather than letters much like other sport organizations. (MBA... I'm sure that they are more, I just can't think of any)

Savino

#69

Savino said:

How someone cant love the over the top action from call of duty? It is hilarious!! Mindless fun with explosions and things fallen apart!!

I bet a lot of those bashing CoD runs to the movies to see the next marvel movie or even transformers!

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