Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze Sells a Mere 36,000 Units in Japan

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze Sells a Mere 36,000 Units in Japan

dixie kong in donkey kong country tropical freeze

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze sold through only 35% of it's first-week shipment Japan.

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze may have only just released in the US, but Japanese gamers have been enjoying it for over a week now. Media Create, the Japanese company that gathers and analyzes data from the games industry, has now reported that that week has been a somewhat... disappointing one for DK's return, as the game only managed to sell through 35% of its initial shipment, at around 36,000 copies.

To put that into perspective for you, 2010's Donkey Kong Country Returns for the Wii sold 163,000 units in its first week while the 3DS port sold 104,000 units.

That's quite a downward trend, and Media Create has a few theories as to why this is the case. First up, the Wii U's considerably smaller install base is partly to blame, but it also speculates that people aren't being enticed by the incremental upgrades of Tropical Freeze, which is, as our own Jonathan Bolding put it, "the same thing [as Donkey Kong Country Returns] updated to 2014".

However, Media Create would like to caution people that heavy snowfall, in the Tohoku and Kanto regions of Japan, some of the heaviest it has seen in decades, may have also been a factor in the game's poor performance.

Media Create does point out that more Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze sales will probably come over a longer period of time due to its evergreen nature.

source: Nintendo Everything

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Heh. Snowfall preventing people from picking up a copy of Tropical Freeze. That's funny.
Anyway, the smaller install base makes sense. That, and I don't think Nintendo IPs like Donkey Kong have the influence or appeal they once did.

Steven Bogos:
However, Media Create would like to caution people that heavy snowfall, in the Tohoku and Kanto regions of Japan, some of the heaviest it has seen in decades, may have also been a factor in the game's poor performance.

I think that is the first time I have heard of the weather being used as an excuse for poor game sales. Also aren't WiiU games download only or am I misinformed? If they are digital, or at least available digitally, heavy snow doesn't seem like it would have this much of an impact unless it knocked out service for those regions.

CriticalMiss:

Steven Bogos:
However, Media Create would like to caution people that heavy snowfall, in the Tohoku and Kanto regions of Japan, some of the heaviest it has seen in decades, may have also been a factor in the game's poor performance.

I think that is the first time I have heard of the weather being used as an excuse for poor game sales. Also aren't WiiU games download only or am I misinformed? If they are digital, or at least available digitally, heavy snow doesn't seem like it would have this much of an impact unless it knocked out service for those regions.

The Wii U indeed still uses physical disks in addition to digital downloads.

HOWEVER, my area (Tochigi) as well as the neighboring prefectures of Gunma and Fukushima were hit with quite severe power failures following the storm, so quite a lot of people WERE actually without power.

But, I do believe Media Create was referring to physical copies being unable to be transported to individual shops due to roads being blocked. My local store, for example, did not have the game in stock until yesterday.

It looks like a really fun platformer. I'd buy it for PC.

Adam Jensen:
It looks like a really fun platformer. I'd buy it for PC.

It does indeed! Hell, I too would probably give it a go if it made it's way to the PS3.

I attached a two terabyte hard drive to my WiiU and download most of the games I buy for the system. Anytime I see numbers like this I assume a fair number of other people do the same since these reports almost never include digital sales.

Cool lack of sales and there being snowfall in Japan apparently doesn't contribute to bad sales, it obviously contributes to Nintendo going PC only!, is what I'm mainly expecting this thread to devolve into.

I was snowed in for a couple of days last week so I guess that's a pretty good reason to not rush out and grab a new DK games...a new DK game with an arctic motif...I think TF would be doing a bit better if DKCR wasn't re-released on the 3DS to be honest...I can just see a scenario in which people who bought both are burned out on the gameplay.

I remember the LAST time people went on about a Nintendo title underperforming with Super Mario 3D World. Turned out they jumped the gun and the game had legs which was something that has become lost in recent years. Let's face it, you can't judge Nintendo games by first week sales. They just don't operate on the same logic other games subscribe to

Aiddon:
I remember the LAST time people went on about a Nintendo title underperforming with Super Mario 3D World. Turned out they jumped the gun and the game had legs which was something that has become lost in recent years. Let's face it, you can't judge Nintendo games by first week sales. They just don't operate on the same logic other games subscribe to

True, but I'd say the main reason is still simply because the Wii U has not taken off. Even Nintendo admits that. Several great Nintendo games on a system that just isn't selling results in fewer sales.

A more accurate picture is this: The attach rate of console owners to game buyers.
12 million people owned a Wii when DK Returns hit in Japan. 163,310 bought it at launch. That's an attach rate of only 1.3%.
1.75 million people currently own a Wii U in Japan. Around 36,000 copies sold. That's an attach rate of 2.1%.

That's a HIGHER attach rate than the Wii version had. Nearly double, in fact. A higher percentage of people with Wii U's bought Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze than the percent of Wii owners that bought DK Returns.

So, you know, perspective.

Is it really wise to start calling Doom and Gloom already? I mean Nintendo games have a history of being steady sellers over the course of a console cycle. And Donkey Kong Country has always been more of a western aimed series anyway.

heavy snowfall, in the Tohoku and Kanto regions of Japan, some of the heaviest it has seen in decades, may have also been a factor in the game's poor performance

So, irony, then? They're blaming irony on poor sales?

I bought it today since I burned the shit out of my feet and couldn't go to the convention I was going to attend. It's good, but like Super Mario 3D world I don't really feel it's worth $60.

Weaver:
I bought it today since I burned the shit out of my feet and couldn't go to the convention I was going to attend. It's good, but like Super Mario 3D world I don't really feel it's worth $60.

Any game worth 60$ nowadays? Cause everyone says that about almost every game. It seems the only games worth that much are games with a lot of emphasis in online, because it makes the game way longer.

Full Metal Bolshevik:

Weaver:
I bought it today since I burned the shit out of my feet and couldn't go to the convention I was going to attend. It's good, but like Super Mario 3D world I don't really feel it's worth $60.

Any game worth 60$ nowadays? Cause everyone says that about almost every game. It seems the only games worth that much are games with a lot of emphasis in online, because it makes the game way longer.

That's a fair point. Your game will be longer than an average FPS campaign.

I think the problem with is, I usually buy games < $10 after they've been out for awhile. Nintendo games never go cheaper and I'm just trying to desperately pretend I didn't waste a bunch of money on a WiiU :P

If a game doesn't immediately sell 50,000,000 units, it is a huge failure. Clearly.

MrMan999:
Is it really wise to start calling Doom and Gloom already? I mean Nintendo games have a history of being steady sellers over the course of a console cycle. And Donkey Kong Country has always been more of a western aimed series anyway.

While this is true I'd take into consideration that the most units that anything sells, whether it's a movie, album or video game, is on the first week.

Aiddon:
I remember the LAST time people went on about a Nintendo title underperforming with Super Mario 3D World. Turned out they jumped the gun and the game had legs which was something that has become lost in recent years. Let's face it, you can't judge Nintendo games by first week sales. They just don't operate on the same logic other games subscribe to

I agree with you to a point. With Mario and Legend of Zelda your statement is true. It hasn't been true however for not only the majority of WiiU exclusives (Zombie U, Wonderful 101), but other 1st party titles. DK hasn't been consistently popular for a while now. Donkey Kong Returns sold really well don't get me wrong, but Tropical freeze having a third of the first week sales as its predecessor is something that can't be ignored.

Well, with the Wii U sales being what they are, it's hard not to point a finger in that direction. I would love to play the game, but I haven't bought a Wii U yet, and I might not ever. But sticking it to a single console that has it's own sales troubles might be a good reason why this is happening. That and DKCR got some mixed reviews, at least in my circles. I liked it, but I can understand why fans of the SNES series wouldn't, and there were core bits that I didn't care for. It's a nice and colorful game, and I want to see it and Nintendo recover.

Clive Howlitzer:
If a game doesn't immediately sell 50,000,000 units, it is a huge failure. Clearly.

There's a difference between failing to achieve CoD's megasales figures and failing to meet an indie game sales figures.

But as Trishbot stated, the game had a much higher attach rate compared to it's previous installment.

So its less the game failing and more the platform itself failing to find any traction.

It is a reason (the game is) for more people to finally get a Wii U.
People want the games to buy a system so here is another great software titles to justify the Wii U. It needing to be on another platform is not a justification any more than saying "I don't want a PS3 as I have a PC ALREADY so Sony should put Gran Turismo on PC to suit me".

I really agree with the Call Of Duty comment above. Not everything has to sell CoD or GTA numbers to be a success. GTA V sold the most of any title in 2013 but they spent 100million making it and another 100million marketing it (that is the actual figure btw). DK did not get that spent on it by far.

Though 36,000 units, jeepers. People need to start buying the freaking Wii U rather than sitting on the fence. Heck I bought a PS4 with far less justification.

Time for my bigoted Metroid fan comment of the day: "Well, it's time Retro made a sequel to the Metroid Prime trilogy." But, in all seriousness, the Wii U doesn't have the install base of the Wii, and the snowstorms in Japan would affect sales and shipping of all goods. Even North American cities use to snow are getting hit hard this year.

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No, just No.

 

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