When you go back to the start of this generation (March 2011 for 3DS, November 2012 for Wii U) and consider the eShop stores and Nintendo's approach to DLC at those times, you see a company that's transformed its download offerings fairly rapidly. The actual store designs have only had relatively minor redesigns, but we've seen the growth of pre-download options with retail games, more download-only titles from 'Nindies' and a rapid increase in paid (and free) DLC for Nintendo games.
With all of that comes increased sales, of course, and company President Tatsumi Kimishima has highlighted the continual growth in revenue from download games and content. The graph below shows that sales for the first three quarters of this financial year aren't far off the total for the whole previous year, suggesting that by the end of March the company will have had its most successful year in download revenues.
The Americas have played a big part in this, with growth in the region meaning it accounts for around half of these total download sales.
The top five downloads, overall, continue to be DLC and first-party releases, with the presence of Smash Bros. DLC being a strong indication of why the Americas are contributing so much to these revenues.
- Super Smash Bros. for Wii U DLC
- Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS DLC
- Mario Kart 8 DLC
- Pokemon Rumble World
- StreetPass Mii Plaza DLC
It's pleasing to see growth in eShop sales, of course, and no doubt Nintendo will continue to push the online store and its own DLC for months and years to come.