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Mario 3DS games quickly overtook launch titles

Mario 3DS games quickly overtook launch titles

An analytical look at Nintendo’s 2011 sales numbers show Nintendo’s first-party titles cleaning up, especially when Mario is involved, but third parties still lagging behind.

Steve Watts

February 9, 2012 5:00 PM2

Nintendo recently released its financial figures, along with software charts that span the 2011 calendar year. Taking a closer look at the figures, an analyst points out that 3DS owners must have been starved for Mario, because games featuring the pudgy plumber surpassed all of the launch titles despite a much shorter sales window, creating yet another year of third-parties left in the dust.

Gamasutra reports that Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7 reached the #1 and #2 sales spots for the 3DS, respectively. This wouldn’t be too surprising, except for the fact that they were released in November and December, and still managed to topple all of the other 3DS titles. That includes even well-regarded first-party re-releases like Ocarina of Time 3D and Star Fox 64 3D. Those games had a several more months on the shelf.

Meanwhile, history seems to be repeating itself. Only three third-party titles reached into the 3DS top ten: Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition, Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars, and Asphalt 3D.

It’s early to judge this trend, since few third parties jumped on-board the 3DS immediately, seemingly waiting for hardware sales to pick up. Some third-party titles were pushed back, including big-name potential hits like MGS: Snake Eater. More third parties seem to be joining now, like Capcom with the recently-launched Resident Evil: Revelations. But at the end of the year, those games will have to contend with more Nintendo franchises, like Paper Mario, Kid Icarus, and maybe even another 2D Mario game.

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