After a dismal downturn in popularity over the last couple of years, it looks like Nintendo is getting back on track. The gaming giant had suffered heavily after the release of the Wii U, with the home console dwindling in the sales race against competitors (Nintendo did so poorly that the company posted a loss for the fiscal year of 2013). However, Nintendo has seen an upturn of late.
The release of a number of highly anticipated titles led to a dramatic turnaround in sales, including the success of Mario Kart 8 and the latest Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS, to the point that Nintendo now even claims to have “more great games” than Xbox or PlayStation. The Wii U itself hit the 7 million sales mark, helping Nintendo to turn a profit for the second quarter of the year.
One of the biggest successes, however, has been an entirely new strategy for: combining a number of its most famous characters and IPs into the new Amiibo gaming peripheral. Nintendo’s answer to Skylanders and Disney Infinity has been a resounding success, with certain fans even customizing their models and hunting down Amiibos with production errors. Now, there are even more solid sales figures to show the success of Amiibo.
According to a report from Consulgamer, Amiibo was as successful as Disney Infinity over the holiday season, and was even able to beat Skylanders in terms of sales figures. That data comes from Best Buy’s online sales, and looking at the big box retailer’s top 20 best-selling figures, Amiibo and Infinity are tied with 10 apiece. Expanding that to the top 50, and the two are again tied (Infinity and Amiibo both held 18 on the list, with Skylanders trailing at 14).
Those figures translate into a whopping 710,000 Amiibo models sold over just three weeks – through Best Buy alone. That works out to approximately one model for every copy of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U sold. It’s an impressive feat by Nintendo, particularly given the stranglehold on the market that Skylanders and Infinity seemed to hold before the Amiibos’ introduction. Given the collectibility of the Amiibo figures and the strength of Nintendo’s fan base, they seem likely to keep selling and selling – particularly when Nintendo plays on the scarcity of certain figurines to build up hype.
What does the future hold for Nintendo? Will the publisher be able to build upon the successes of the end of this year? It’s looking likely. Next year sees the return of a number of much-loved characters, with the Wii U iterations of Star Fox and The Legend of Zelda being released. With the success of Amiibo so far, expect a push in that regard, and the number of figures available to increase.
Shigeru Miyamoto has also revealed that Nintendo is working on its next home console, so Nintendo’s future is looking brighter than ever.