Smash Ultimate Has Sold Nearly 23 Million Copies Since Launch
Smash Ultimate has smashed through yet another impressive sales record, with the game consistently being among the top sellers on both the Nintendo eShop as well as other retailers like Amazon. According to Nintendo’s Q4 earnings report, Smash Ultimate is now approaching 23 million copies sold. This makes it one of the best selling games on the Switch, and the best selling fighting game of all time.
How Well Has Smash Ultimate Sold Compared to Other Games in the Series?
Smash Ultimate has sold extremely well when compared with its brethren on other consoles. Thanks in large part of the success of the Nintendo Switch, the series has sold a whopping 22.85 million copies in only two years on the market.
When you compare that to other games in the series, there’s no contest, as seen below:
- Super Smash Bros (N64): 5.55 million
- Super Smash Bros Melee (Gamecube): 7.09 million
- Super Smash Bros Brawl (Wii): 13.32 million
- Super Smash Bros for Nintendo 3DS: 9.59 million
- Super Smash Bros for Wii U: 5.35 million
Even Smash 4, which combined has about 15 million units sold, was not enough to keep up with Smash Ultimate, likely due to the low sales of the Wii U compared to the Switch. These sales numbers are also the best that a fighting game has ever seen, as you can see from the below:
- Smash Ultimate: 22.85 million
- Street Fighter II – 15.5 million
- Super Smash Bros. Brawl – 13.32 million
- Mortal Kombat X – 11 million
- Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS – 9.61 million
- Street Fighter IV – 9.1 million
- Tekken 3 – 8.3 million
- Mortal Kombat 11 – 8 million
- Super Smash Bros. Melee – 7.41 million
- Tekken 5 – 6 million
- Tekken 6 – 5.98 million
- Tekken 2 – 5.7 million
- Super Smash Bros. – 5.55 million
- Super Smash Bros. for Wii U – 5.38 million
- Street Fighter V – 5 million
As a franchise, Smash has outsold them all too, with an impressive 64.07 million copies sold, with Mortal Kombat and its over 11 games having sold just 54 million.
Despite Impressive Sales, Esports Support Is Basically Null From Nintendo
Super Smash Bros Ultimate has been one of the best-selling titles in Nintendo’s history, and certainly one of the best selling fighting games of all time. However, despite these impressive milestones, Big N has given the big middle finger to the Super Smash Bros community when it comes to supporting esports as a whole.
While Nintendo has partnered up with Battlefy to host online events, these tournaments have generally been seen as lackluster by the community, not being bolstered by the same kind of massive prize pools seen in other fighting games like Ubisoft’s Brawlhalla, or even the more modest ones in the Capcom Pro Tour and Mortal Kombat circuits.
Indeed, this support does not extend to grassroots tournaments beyond marketing efforts and occasional appearances from Nintendo booths or marketing and PR representatives. There have been rumors of a Smash circuit being started up by Twitch and other companies, but Nintendo for one reason or another has refused to give out licenses to do so.
Of course, when the community geared up to do it themselves through the Smash World Tour, the advent of the Coronavirus shuttered that effort before it even got off the ground.
Combine this with the fact that Nintendo has aggressively targetted the largest Slippi netplay tournaments for Super Smash Bros. Melee, and you have a scene that’s largely been suppressed by Nintendo, despite being one of their best selling titles.
While this will likely go unchanged at least for now, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s possible that the Smash World Tour could get back off the ground later this year. However, counting on Nintendo support for it, or indeed, hoping that they will not crush it under the full weight of their legal team, could be a pipe dream.