Sales charts from 4Gamer show that Nintendo’s Splatoon outsold The Witcher 3 in Japan making it the number one game in the country during its first week on sale. The hard data on the chart shows a total of 144,818 copies of Splatoon sold during its first week on sale topping Hatsune Miku and Future Stars: Project Mirai by over 100,000 units. The Witcher 3 bowed at a low third place with 22,454 units sold on the PlayStation 4.
Forbes made the accurate observation that this is an odd turn of events for Nintendo in terms of sales. The Wii U has been written off as a dead platform by nearly every major publication and publisher. Wii U sales have enjoyed a very modest boost in sales with recent titles such as Super Smash Bros., but it has not been enough to turn around the fortunes of the console. Nintendo has never been one to rely too strongly on third party support to sell its hardware, and while the company is finally seeing a return to profit, it has a long way to go.
Splatoon outselling The Witcher 3 is proof that Nintendo is doing something right. The game does not have the legacy of franchises such as Mario, Metroid or Zelda behind it. Splatoon is the newest intellectual property from Nintendo, a developer well known for its powerhouse franchises.
Another facet to the sales of Splatoon is that shooters and fast-paced games do not traditionally do well in the country. Microsoft learned this lesson the hard way as the “core gamer” console never found a foothold in the country despite an attempt during the Xbox 360 days of publishing exclusive RPG titles such as Lost Odyssey and Blue Dragon. The “screen sickness” associated with fast moving titles such as Splatoon often times can spell disaster for a game’s sales in Japan but that doesn’t seem to be a problem.
The Witcher 3 itself enjoyed its first week on sale in Japan as the top dog with 67,385 units sold on the PlayStation 4 selling through over 90percent of its stock, according to Japanese sales tracker Media Create. Compared to the Witcher 2, it is a big change in numbers as it sold only 5,000 copies during its first week on shelves.
Splatoon outselling The Witcher 3 by such a large number can be attributed to the difference in launch windows, but the sheer number of units moved in its first week tells us that Nintendo may have another franchise on its hands that we might see further down the road.
[Image Source | Nintendo]