News Article

Mario Kart 8 Still Competing in Nordic Region Charts, Tomodachi Life Never Has

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

What's gone wrong for the Mii-sim in the region?

In recent weeks we've been covering the UK charts with, thankfully, some positive results to share. Mario Kart 8 has done reasonably well for Wii U, while Tomodachi Life on 3DS has progressed from a modest start to show impressive momentum, gradually moving up in position. With the recent NPD results showing both performing pretty well in the US, too, we took a look at the most recent results just published for the Nordic region in Europe, to see how they compare.

Primarily covering Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, these results reflect a fairly large area of Europe, in terms of physical size if not market share. The top 20 all-format results for this week, below, show Nintendo's kart racer faithfully sticking around — results generated by ANGI/Gfk Entertainment.

1. Minecraft
2. FIFA 14
3. Watch Dogs
4. Battlefield 4
5. FIFA World Cup Brazil
6. Sniper Elite III
7. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
8. Grand Theft Auto IV
9. Call of Duty: Ghosts
10. The LEGO Movies Videogame
11. LEGO Marvel Super Heroes
12. Mario Kart 8
13. Skylanders: Swap Force
14. Skate 3
15. The Sims 3
16. Need for Speed: Rivals
17. Disney Infinity
18. Call of Duty: Black Ops II
19. Wolfenstein: The New Order
20. LEGO The Hobbit

Tomodachi Life is conspicuous in its absence, and checking back through the results since its launch it has never made it into this top 20, while Mario Kart 8 enjoyed top 5 spots in its early weeks — it got as high as number 2. It seems that while the 3DS title is showing impressive momentum in some territories such as the US and UK, and previously in Japan, the Nordic region has shown little interest in the Mii-sim.

If you're in the Nordic region and can share a perspective on why the title is struggling, please share in the comments below.

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User Comments (53)

Warbeard

#1

Warbeard said:

I am from Denmark, and Tomodachi doesn't interest me in the slightest - it just doesn't look like a game to me. I didn't particularly enjoy Animal Crossing either, but maybe I don't understand it - is there something else to do than collect fossils and bugs to get your house bigger and stuff it full of doodads?

back to Tomodachi - it doesn't look like there's anything to do in it, not enough to warrant a purchase at any rate. I guess I'm not really representative of the rest of the Nordic Region though - the only game I have from that list is Mario Kart, but I can say that I am the only one I know of who own a Wii U. Sadly the dudebro-ness the list seems to indicate is quite quite true

PvtOttobot

#3

PvtOttobot said:

I think the real question is, "What's wrong with America?" To be honest, I don't see why it sold so well.

Alucard83

#4

Alucard83 said:

@Warbeard I don't get the hype either for this game. Looks very boring to me. And this is an other proof how taste can be different. It's hard for a gamestudio to please everybody, but they're not selling me this game

Datasun_7

#5

Datasun_7 said:

@PvtOttobot its a strange one to be honest, but I do see why its popular in America and some parts of europe. Purely because its the sort of game that kids play on tablets, phones and stuff. So naturally it appeals I guess? I enjoyed it which is odd because there is pretty much nothing too it

KJ85

#6

KJ85 said:

I'm from Denmark as well, and spend a lot of time on the Danish Nintendo community, n-club.dk , but no one really has seemed to show interest in the game on that site.

Personally I don't see Tomodachi Life and Animal Crossing as games, as they have no real goals and just goes on forever, and I don't see the point in that. But that's just personal opinion.

The biggest problem, however, seems to be that most people in Denmark have no interest in Nintendo anymore. Mostly when visiting game stores, I do not see kids wanting Nintendo games - they want the newest shooter for their PS/Xbox systems and parents will let them have it, because that is what everyone else their age are playing as well.

Besides that, the marketing is just awful. We don't see any commercials at all for Nintendo products on prime television. Instead it's hidden on children shows channels and in weekly Disney magazines. There's no effort to target commercials at a broad audience, and hence they are losing most people that grew up on Nintendo - they simply don't know about their new systems.

TheWPCTraveler

#7

TheWPCTraveler said:

One thing I've noticed is that other than Nintendo sites, NintendoLife and Facebook, I've never seen a Tomodachi Life-related anything anywhere else.

Perhaps it's just too quirky?
(Don't get me wrong, I found it hilarious.)

Liquid_ice

#8

Liquid_ice said:

I'm not interested in Tomodachi Life at all. I suppose most of the other Nordic people think the same. According to what I've seen, it doesn't feel like an actual game. Advertising surely affects the sales as well; I haven't seen any adverts for Tomodachi Life here in Finland.

ollibald

#9

ollibald said:

i think a lot of it has to do with the major geographical distances between populations in most of scandinavia. Most 3ds owners are pretty isolated up here and so there is less interest in social games and multiplayer to begin with- i live in one of largest norwegian cities and i'm lucky if i get four streetpass hits per week. i have a small circle of friends who own a 3ds, but so far none of them have shown any interest in TL because they can't see it gaining traction.

i'm aware tomodachi life is a single player experience, but a lot of its appeal has to do with the interactions with other peoples' miis. those have to be primarily people you know IRL for you to find their antics entertaining, and unless you make them from scratch, i'm guessing that requires meeting people you know who have a 3ds (and preferably plays tomodachi life) so i think it's a case of the entry barrier being too high.

simply put, i think tomodachi life needs to have some early influencers/missionaries for it to spread and it simply didn't get that kind of word of mouth up here because there's less local interaction between gamers, and if there is they are probably less open to non-traditional games like TL.

nintimdo

#10

nintimdo said:

You just have to look at the top 5 or so to understand the mentality of the gamers from this region. Massive generalisation here but I always felt the kids/teens from these regions have very institutionalised personalities; I'm mostly talking about Norway, Sweden and Finland. You don't need to take offence if you're from there. It's a generalisation that does not reflect on each individual. I would say something similar to the kids/teens about where I'm from (Ireland)

xerneas

#12

xerneas said:

From Finland and I don't find Tomodachi Life very interesting, only the ability to make custom songs lol so didn't buy it. Animal Crossing is nice on the other hand although I'm quite bored with it too atm :(
(why are people still buying games like TS3 or GTA IV...)

anders190

#13

anders190 said:

I'm from Sweden myself and can say there has not been much interest in Tomodachi Life here. As fas I know it hasn't even been advertised either.

Many younger gamers (those who started in the Halo-generation) probably just play Xbox or Playstations anyway. And PC too of course. Nintendos position has weakened somewhat over the years. Kind of what the charts in the article also points to.

I'm not sure how Mario Kart 8 is selling but I think it's quite good actually. Haven't seen any numbers for it though.

EDIT: Got a digital version of Mario Kart 8 right after release myself. I won't be getting Tomodachi Life though, get the price down under 100 SEK/10 euro and I might think about it.

Liquid_ice

#14

Liquid_ice said:

@nintimdo I wouldn't say most of the people from Nordic countries have "institutionalised personalities". Some of us from Finland have relatively strong opinions. I think that's partly because of education that encourages to think about wide variety of things and argument about them. In Finnish High Schools making argumentative essays is really important. That said, I do not know very well how education differs in other countries.

Peach64

#15

Peach64 said:

I'm happy with Tomodachi's success because it shows Nintendo that new stuff can sell, but it's 71 rated metacritic game. Usually we'd all be moaning about such a badly reviewed game doing so well,

JSaario

#16

JSaario said:

Wow. The whole day yesterday and some of today already on pretty much every news site has been "SALES NUMBERS, SALES NUMBERS, SALES NUMBERS!".

TantXL

#17

TantXL said:

I'm from Sweden and i love this game, but when i talk to anyone at all about it they seem so bored, i dunno why.

sinalefa

#18

sinalefa said:

Weird list. 2 CoD, 2 FIFAs, 3 Lego games, only one Nintendo game and GTAIV instead of V?

kukabuksilaks

#19

kukabuksilaks said:

As with every thing that happens in the north with nintendo (or doesn't happen!) I blame Bergsala (ok maybe not the sales of tomodachi life).

1 example: I've been looking to get OOT3D and for the past month none of my local retailers has had it in stock, not because they haven't ordered it from bergsala but because bergsala won't ship more copies before the get a "large" order (whatever that means). Even most of the online retailers are out of stock (except the ones that have too high price tag, I'm not paying $10 more for a game I already have in 2 versions than I did for MK8!)

I really wish Ninty would stop working with Bergsala and just take over themselves... I'm almost positive that they would see better sales and more awareness of their products in the north if they did...

willgord

#20

willgord said:

And this is why I think comments like "we don't need EA" are horse radish. Having games like FIFA and NHL may not be system sellers, but not having those games as part of the library may very well be a deal breaker in this region. The Wii U needs EA Sports whether you like it or not.

Lastar

#21

Lastar said:

From Denmark. Not many heard about the game because someone forgot to market the game.

SkywardLink98

#22

SkywardLink98 said:

@KJ85 We have the same TV ads here in the US you described. I think the pass-along demo helped a lot. Their consumers did all the advertising for them.

KJ85

#23

KJ85 said:

@SkywardLink98 Ok, I just thought that the ads were shown on more TV channels in the US.

But I still can't remember the last time i saw a Nintendo ad in Denmark, which kind of says it all. Targeting only kids with their marketing seems wrong, when the typical console gamer is actually 20 to 30 years old.

Playstation is by far the most popular in Denmark, and I see why. They are sponsoring the Champions League football tournament and is putting an effort into marketing towards an older audience. And you know kids want to play what their older brothers and sisters (or maybe even their parents) are playing - and for most that is definitely not Nintendo, because "they only make kiddy games", as every non-Nintendo gamer would say it.

Us playing the games know otherwise, because fact is that many Nintendo games are actually more challenging than those generic shooters put on the competing systems.

Galenmereth

#24

Galenmereth said:

I'm probably the only Norwegian that enjoys Tomodachi Life. That's probably not true, but it feels like it.

Then again, the game wouldn't have been fun at all if it wasn't for the fact that I made an irc community into characters in it, and other people find it hilarious to watch what develops. If I had been playing it alone, I don't think I'd enjoy it at all.

KJ85

#28

KJ85 said:

Just to make you all aware of the situation, there are far better Nintendo games released this year that also never sold enough to make it to the chart.

The only two Nintendo games that made the cut are Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze and Mario Kart 8.

Tropical Freeze debuted at 8, fell to 16 the next week and then disappeared.

Mario Kart 8 is doing a lot better; debuting at 2, falling to 3 the next week, and still holding 12th place in its 7th week on the market.

That only two Nintendo games has been able to chart is disappointing, but it also demonstrates that handheld gaming has primarily moved on to phones and tablets in our region.

Sean_Aaron

#29

Sean_Aaron said:

I can't buy "it's not really a game" argument given Minecraft is on top - what's the goal of that, exactly outside of making YouTube videos and pretty imaginary landscapes?

Silent_Sentinel

#31

Silent_Sentinel said:

I'm from Finland, and the last Nintendo ad i've seen was about 3D World. Bergsala really sucks at marketing Nintendo.

whodatninja

#33

whodatninja said:

Nintendo? In Scandinavia!? LOL! Apart from the MK8 "free game" thing (still waiting on that download code...) Nintendo's barely acknowledged our existence!

On-Topic: that Top 10 is pretty sad.

Hy8ogen

#34

Hy8ogen said:

@andrea987 I laughed way too hard on your comment. Kudos to you bro.

I personally find the game okay. It's not superb, but not bad either. It has it's certain charm to it and my wife loves it so much she neglected her Animal Crossing and Disney Magical World for a while now. So yeah the game certainly has its ways on certain demographic.

To people who are like, "I don't get this hype", "This game has nothing to do and no content except writing songs", "How is this even a game" etc, you folks have no idea what you're talking about. This game has ALOT to do and things to unlock. The Streetpass feature is also pretty neat. It is certainly a game that is worth the price tag. You kinda have to play the game to appreciate it.

I'm not a big Sim person (I only play Harvest Moon for sims), but I find this game pretty fun.

SethNintendo

#39

SethNintendo said:

What a terrible list of games. Sure there are good games there but I see a lot of shooters and EA games. I'm almost ashamed of having Norwegian blood with a list that bad.

Extremist

#40

Extremist said:

In the Nordic countries we got a terrible Nintendo-agency in Bergsala AB. There's practically zero Nintendo-presence compared to Sony and Microsoft. Add to this we haven't even got Club Nintendo. They blame this on the fact that the physical Club Nintendo magazine was to expensive to produce in the 80s!!! Don't know why Nintendo haven't replaced this zero-effort company decades ago!

blodermoder

#41

blodermoder said:

As many others have said: bad marketing from Bergsala AB.
I'm swedish and I've never been interested in Tomodachi Life, it looks like a less fun, less charming Animal Crossing. I've seen some mainstream media portray Nintendo negatively, and they took their chance with Tomodachi Life's gay marriage-controversy.

Aftonbladet, one of Swedens largest newspapers headlined their review of Tomodachi Life with "Memorable - for the wrong reasons. Intolerance overshadows the charms of Tomodachi Life"

ToxieDogg

#43

ToxieDogg said:

@Sean_Aaron Minecraft is much more involving....you can manipulate the entire world around you and create almost anything you like (plus it's really easy to share your creations on social media), constantly have to gather resources to survive and it does have a kind of point to it (ultimately to find and defeat the Ender Dragon). It can be quite challenging on higher difficulties.

Tomodachi Life on the other hand appears to just be create some Miis (or use some of your existing ones), put them into the already existing gameworld and watch them do their own thing with little to no control over it.

I can see why Minecraft would be much more appealing to most people than Tomodachi Life.

ToniK

#44

ToniK said:

Finland is a Playstation zone, that's why. As a person in my late twenties I'm the only one I know who has a 3DS and the U. Kids are probably busy playing with tablets and teenagers and adults exclusively play NHL, GTA, CoD, Gran Turismo and some other random "mature" themed games. Well, you can see the list, it's pretty accurate.

Personally, I was never interested in Tomodachi Life. It seems like a social game and being a Nintendo gamer in Finland is not a social thing. It's quite lonely.

OldWeeDog

#45

OldWeeDog said:

I'm living in Finland (originally from Scotland) and I have to say that the Ninty advertising here is non- existent. I haven't seen any tv advertising or such. As for TL, I haven't seen it in any stores either. I also can't remember the last time I had a street pass hit. Other than that, I think that Ninty should push advertising more.

Omenapoika

#46

Omenapoika said:

@OldWeeDog I concur, from Finland as well. I bet Tomodachi life is one of those oddities that can sell itself through with enough exposure.
I've looked into the game and it looks fun, although I thoroughly understand people's suspicions about it. I would be ideal audience for it, but personally, there's just so many games on the market right now that picking games when they cost 10€ used or old is seriously my call instead of paying 40 or 50€ on launch. Mario kart 8 is the only game I've bought in launch this year, yet I dont have time to play all the great games I find for 5-10€.

Omenapoika

#47

Omenapoika said:

Ps. Unless you play Fifa on the playstation, finland is a pc zone. Finnish gamers in general are very tech savvy and consoles are seens as the toys they are, you know, for fun.

Rubyace

#49

Rubyace said:

Another guy from Finland here. Just wanted to offer some insight to some games on the top lists. BF4 have been heavily discounted recently in multiple places (20€) which must have increased the sales. Same goes with Asscreed 4 and to some extent GTA 4 (thought it is still pretty weird).

When it comes to Nintendo and their games, you have to actually be interested in Nintendo to even know they have this console called Wii U out in the stores. The games are hard to buy from stores as they sell just few different games and you pretty much have to rely on ordering online.

As an example of games being hard to find, there was no store in my city which sold Kirby Triple Deluxe, I checked multiple places and no one had it on their shelves on release date (and they still don't).

When it comes to Tomodachi life, the game itself is rather weird (does not explain itself very well), there is hardly any exposure (I've only read about it on NL and twitter) and as with majority of Nintendo games, hardly any stores are selling it (once again you have to rely on buying online).
For me personally it feels like a time-waster where you check in once a day for few minutes and then you are done for the day. Also I've got an impression that it's poor mans Animal Crossing: New Leaf but with the same price tag as AC:NL.

Klimbatize

#50

Klimbatize said:

@Mus1cLov3r Yes, I downloaded it. I've spent about 10 hours on it, mostly because my kid likes seeing his Mii doing stuff. I had a couple of laughs but it got boring very fast.

DarkJamD

#51

DarkJamD said:

One big reason why Tomodochi Life doesn't sell here is a language barrier. There is no Finnish translation for 99% of Nintendo/Xbox games. Mario games usually sell well in here because they don't usually need translation.

Cengoku

#52

Cengoku said:

Not cool. It takes all kinds of people to make the world go 'round, so let's not resort to insults please — TBD

Phle

#53

Phle said:

Well, I can tell you why it doesn't sell in Norway. I personally own the game, downloaded from the eShop. Yeah that's right: Stores doesn't sell it here, why does anyone think poeople will buy it when they can't? If you buy the game online, you might be able to get a physical copy, otherwise forget it. Maybe in a few months, Kid Icarus never was in stores for the launch, but like 5 months later it turned up in high quantity for some reason. Norway tend to skip everything not Mario or Pokémon when it comes to Nintendo games. Pikmin 3? What is that? is what they will ask you in a Norwegian game store.

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