So, apparently this little game called New Super Mario Bros. Wii is the ultimate slow burning hit. Five years to the week after its initial launch on Nov. 15, 2009, the game has jumped into seven digits as it has sold 10 million copies in just the U.S. alone. Nintendo confirms the story on its Twitter page with a huge and happy Mario.
Although it is just hitting 10 million in the states, worldwide sales hit 10 million within three months in January 2010, and the most recent sales figures from Q1 2014 have pointed to it as selling a grand total of over 28 million. This puts it in fourth behind Wii Sports, Mario Kart Wii, and Wii Sports Resorts as the Wii’s best selling games.
The Wii U’s follow-up, New Super Mario Bros. U currently stands at about 4 million, and who knows how long it will take for that to take-off with the Wii U’s slow but steady invasion into American homes.
Despite its success, Nintendo finds itself in a bit of a precarious situation with the New Super Mario Bros. games. The sub-series started out as a throwback to the really old pre-Super Mario Bros. 3 days of the classic franchise back when there was only the original NES hit, and it sold far better than anybody could have hoped for.
Nintendo replicated this success with one New Super Mario Bros. game on each of its main platforms since: New Super Mario Bros. Wii on the Wii, New Super Mario Bros. 2 on the Nintendo 3DS, and New Super Mario Bros. U on the Wii U.
All have been financial hits, selling better than other main line Mario games on their respective systems, but many Nintendo fans have lashed out at their general uninspired approach. None of these games exactly evolves from release to release, something odd and not befitting of Nintendo’s image of reinventing Mario with each major release.
Critics too have also not responded as well with each passing release dropping in aggregate score, especially when compared to the likes of Super Mario Galaxy, Super Mario 3D Land, and Super Mario 3D World.
This news of the slow-burning success could point to Nintendo only needing a single New Super Mario. Bros on each console, not needing to rely on multiple releases to fund future and better projects. New Super Mario Bros. 2 and New Super Mario Bros. U also both took Nintendo into the world of DLC for the first time, meaning more money from the slow burning success.
My guess is we won’t see another New Super Mario Bros. until Nintendo unveils a new platform.