How big will Super Smash Bros. Brawl be?


Massive, obviously. It is reviewing as being one of the best games ever. A major coup for Nintendo, following so close after Super Mario Galaxy (SMG) and preceding Mario Kart. This is like an AAA production line and will do much to give the Wii a far higher attatch rate than many (including me) were expecting.

So it has sold 840,000 in it’s launch week in Japan, getting to a million after eleven days. And with expectation at a fever pitch it will definitely launch at number one in America and Europe. But will it be one of the biggest games of 2008? No, and the reasons are obvious. They are the same reason that SMG, also one of the best reviewing games ever, was only number 30 in the UK sales chart for the whole of last year.

Basically Super Smash Bros, Brawl (SSBB) and SMG are gamer’s games. They are mainly bought by people for whom gaming is a hobby. And whilst many Wii owners are gamers, most of them aren’t. Most Wii owners are casual game players, and whilst some of these may well be interested in SSBB, most won’t be.

A major difference between gamers games and casual games is the profile of sales over time. Gamers games sell massively at launch but after just a few weeks they are selling very few. Casual games just sell steadily and keep on selling. Just look at how long Brain Age has been in the charts, for instance.

Another thing against SSBB is that there are a lot more HD consoles (Microsoft Xbox 360 and Sony Playstation PS3) in the world than there are Wiis. And most HD console owners are gamers. So gamers games brought out on both HD consoles have the potential to massively outsell SSBB, even if they are not as good as games. GTA IV will sell several times as many as SSBB. And by the end of the year there will be many HD titles that feature on the annual charts ahead of SSBB.

But it is not just the HD titles that will outsell SSBB. There are Wii titles that will.  The casual titles. Wii Fit for instance. Admittedly it took a few weeks to sell it’s first million in Japan, but this was because it was supply limited, they couldn’t make enough Balance Boards. They probably won’t be able to make enough to meet worldwide demand for some time. Meanwhile it will keep on selling. Week after week, month after month. After SSBB is long forgotten Fit will still be in the charts. So by the end of the year it will be well ahead. Maybe by a factor of two or even three.


Also, from Nintendo’s point of view, Fit is a lot more important than SSBB. Because Fit will be a system seller bringing the Wii to whole new demographics. Whilst SSBB will mainly sell to existing owners.


  1. Wii Fit will be big, but it’s targeting a different audience than Super Smash Bros. Brawl. I believe that Brawl will have huge sales on release and then taper off, selling consistently over the Wii’s lifetime. Wii Fit will start moderately large and increase over time as more casual gamers take note of it. It’s like Wii Sports in that it will spread through word of mouth over time. Brawl has a built-in audience just waiting for release.

  2. You are so wrong, most people are getting a Wii just for Smashbrawl……..go figure. HD or not this is a hot game.

  3. And whilst many Wii owners are gamers, most of them aren’t.

    Where is your proof to back this up? Of course, there’s a lot of casual gamers who bought this, but there was also a lot of casual gamers who bought a PS2, doesn’t mean that they were the majority.

  4. #2 is right. There is going to be a massive surge of Wiis sold after brawl is released. Most of the people I know that own 360s/PS3s have told me “ehh.. I’ll get a Wii after Brawl comes out”

  5. Quote: And whilst many Wii owners are gamers, most of them aren’t.

    Where is your proof to back this up? Of course, there’s a lot of casual gamers who bought this, but there was also a lot of casual gamers who bought a PS2, doesn’t mean that they were the majority.

  6. The problem with this article is the fact people have/are going to get wiis just for brawl. Also, you have no proof the majority of wii owners are not interested in SSBB.

  7. I think that if anything is going to hold back SSBB sales, it’s the fact that Wiis are still sold out in stores everywhere.

    I’ve no doubt that there is a much larger install base of Wiis amongst casual gamers, but SSBB is going to be the system seller of system sellers. The only problem is, once the gamers start looking for consoles so they can play Smash, they’re going to have a lot of searching to do.

    But SSBB is the kind of game that will keep on selling, just like SSBM for the GC. SSBM still sells for $30+ used at GameStop and is a rare find.

    The audience to put SSBB at the top of the charts is there, they just need Wiis to play it on.

  8. This does not explain the MASSIVE sales of Smash Bros Brawl in Japan
    Nor does it explain the excellent sales of Super Mario Galaxy in the US

  9. I am a living example of #2. I bought a Wii just for Smash.

  10. Are you serious. Brawl and Smg are the only games that target all gamers. DO you know how many casuals bought smg. I bet there were more casuals than cores who bought that. Also melee and ssb were games casuals bought. SO for what reason are these games only targeted to the cored

  11. Don´t forget how SSBB: Melee managed to be GameCube´s most sold game. It was released at system launch (today´s Wii user base is impressive) but gamers continued to buy the game after several months even years. Brawl has a respectable broad appeal for many users.

  12. “Another thing against SSBB is that there are a lot more HD consoles (Microsoft Xbox 360 and Sony Playstation PS3) in the world than there are Wiis.”
    This may not be true by the end of the year… just so you know..

  13. I can’t argue against your “gamer’s games” bit, but remember: the last Smash Bros. was the best-selling Gamecube game for the duration of its life cycle.

    Granted, the Wii has a lot more casual games on it, but Smash will be even bigger than last time.

    Furthermore, “After SSBB is long forgotten Fit will still be in the charts.”
    I assume you mean sales-wise?
    I’m not sure — some games that are “gamer’s games”, like New Super Mario Bros., also appeal to less hardcore gamers and continue to sell well.

    Also, Brawl isn’t going to be “forgotten” any time soon with the longevity behind it. It will likely be played regularly years from now, just as Melee still was/is on many Gamecubes.

    Saleswise, though, I think you will be right.
    It’ll be like Halo 3, for the most part — sell a whole bunch all at once, then die down. I think it’ll sell better than you may be expecting, though.

  14. Wii Sports was the Wii game to get the system into casual players’ homes. Smash Brawl will be the game to get it into hardcore gamers’ homes.

    Remember that Melee was the #1 selling Gamecube game, and it still sells at $30 in stores. If Brawl just equals its success it’ll be great.

  15. Wow it’s great that there are so many comments. Thanks guys.
    In fact there were a few more than you see here. But I deleted all the ones with insults in them.
    If you can’t debate rationally you don’t deserve to be heard.

  16. As so many have said before me, Melee was the #1 selling Gamecube game and it still sells well. There’s no way Brawl doesn’t sell more than the gamecube game just due to larger install base. It will sell huge, we’ll see a moderate bump in system sales if they’re available (else ebay prices will soar) and then will taper down to a respectable rate of sales that will leave total sales in 5, maybe even 10 years up their with any of these HD titles (assuming this does pan out to be the final brawl).

  17. This is such an old and tired argument… Give it up already. Brawl is Wii’s fastest million-seller. It sells much better than casual games like Wii Fit.

  18. I’m baffled as to how you think SMG sold “below expectations” in any regard. It’s already sold over 2.5 million in the U.S and almost a million in japan, so it’s sold over 3.5 million copies in those territories alone. Sure, halo has record breaking sales, but besides halo, gears of war and madden, the 360 does not have games that reach as high as galaxy or even brawl will. The thing with nintendo is that many of their games will reach that selling point, but it takes longer. For instance, you say that brawl does not have legs, but melee for the gamecube had arguably the longest legs of any title last generation. It was consistently priced at $30, even when it sold millions of copies. To be honest with you, SMG is selling much better than Sunshine, and Brawl will sell better than melee. Only time will tell, but I guarantee you that, although you have some valid points, you underestimate the mass appeal of a game like brawl.

  19. “They are the same reason that SMG, also one of the best reviewing games ever, was only number 30 in the UK sales chart for the whole of last year.”

    Nice cherry picking there. SMG was released in November, also, many of the games which are above it were released on many platforms.

    A yearly chart is cool to look at, but only if you know how to analyze it.

  20. I bought my Wii on launch day just for this game.

  21. So wrong, check your stats the HD systems have sold way less than Wii
    Check this for the ps3 stats
    and the xbox 360 stats

    Check any consumer reports or for that fact anywhere its all over the net (unbiased sources i might add) the Wii is the best selling system out there hands down period. Ok that being said there is some validity to your statement about SSBB being a gamer game that will sell high numbers at release and then taper off but does this sound familiar can we say Halo 3! hardly on the shelves anymore not from lack of stock but because everyone who wanted it has it but it is one of the best selling titles due to the initial boom. This is not an uncommon occurrence. Nintendo sold 1.08 million units of its “Super Smash Bros. Brawl” software in 11 days since its January 31 launch in Japan, reaching the 1 million mark faster than any other Wii game. The Wii’s two most popular game titles, “Wii Fit” and “Wii Sports” took 7 and 11 weeks respectively to sell 1 million units in Japan. This being said the numbers at which they sell will even out large numbers at release going to a steady trickle vs’ steady sale of a game, from a numbers standpoint they even out. My point is that Brawl will out sell if not match any of the current Wii games out including fit. Thank you good night.

  22. i agree this game is going to sale well beyond casual games on wii in general, wii play sales are slowly tampering down while when brawl comes sales will superman jump! but will come to a steady but high sale listing for years to come because of the new gamers introduced to wii (aka) the clones of us hardcore gamers (those who play thier 1st game age 8-10 and absolutely love gaming like us back then) will pick up brawl later in 1 year and add to the core audience.

  23. What Bruce is forgetting is that Super Mario Galaxy is already about to outsell (it may have already done so this month) Gamecube’s Super Mario Sunshine and has sales 5 times higher than those of R&C: ToD on the PS3.

    Another thing Bruce is forgetting is that game like Super Mario Galaxy have legs and will continue to sell throughout the console’s life span. By the end of the Wii’s life cycle Mario Galaxy will likely have amassed sales of near 10 million units.

    What Bruce is also forgetting is that Super Smash Bros Brawl is the fastest welling Wii game of all time in Japan.

    I also put it to Bruce that Super Smash Bros Brawl will EASILY outsell most of the games released this year and infact it’s likely only the combined sales of the PS3/360 versions of GTAIV will outsell it.

  24. Thanks for the continued interest in this.
    Looking at the comments above it is obvious that several people have not read the article before commenting.

  25. I think the title of the article is a little bland.

    How ‘big’ something is, in my mind, is how influential it is. If we’re talking sales, then either Brawl or Mario Kart will be the biggies over the course of the whole year, unless a huge title is released in September-ish for the holidays.

    As for the other consoles, GTA4, Metal Gear, RE5, Force Unleashed or MAYBE Fallout3 are the only ones that I can think even have a chance. All of these will sell extremely well. Why? They are spread across multiple platforms.

    The PC side will see Spore sell really well, but over time, just like The Sims. And Starcraft 2. Over time.

    Will any of these games outsell SSBB? Across all systems? Perhaps, one or more will.

    There is a huge competition this year. Brawl happens to have the early lead coming out earlier than others. Its only downfall is that it’s on ONE system, where its competition scales across many systems. The Wii, however, has a huge userbase.

    This argument can go back and forth.

  26. Best selling games of this gen so far:

    1. Wii Sports (17.85 Million)
    2. Wii Play (9.23 Million)
    3. Halo 3 (8.1 Million)
    4. Super Mario Galaxy (Roughly 6 Million)

    Let’s not forget that Wii Play owes many of it’s sales to the remote with which it comes packaged with and that Wii Sports isn’t packaged with the Wii in Japan.

    Best PS3 game is Motorstorm at 3 Million with ‘core’ Wii games like Red Steel (a FPS), Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (adventure) and Resident Evil 4 (action horror) easily outselling most of the PS3 line up.

    The Wii is proving people wrong on an almost daily basis and the fact is that if a ‘core’ game is released on the system it will sell no matter how many casuals own it.

    Expect Smash Bros Brawl to be a top 3 seller this year behind GTA IV and Wii FIT.

  27. hello my point will be straight foward and clear. SSBB is the wii’s biggest game at this current moment. if you didnt know, wii is the least expensive system now and it will become the leading # sold. America is in debt and is forced to buy something inexpensive and the wii is the best choice. since wii will be most so here is my equation. Brawl (greatest game on the wii) X wii (to becme most selling system) = brawl is the best selling. With online features and a stage builder this will be nintendo’s tsunami and blow away the competition

  28. Super Smash Bros. Brawl is going to take over the game industry market. Super Smash Bros. Melee price never went below $ 30 and people are still buying it and that was the first game on gamecube. I have been waiting for years for this game to come out. I know that this game is going to break records before it come out. This game is a evolution that will be best seller of the year.

  29. Please ……. If you can’t back up your arguement then don’t try. It’s a waste that you don’t understand. Usig estimation I beleive that SSBB has a high chance of even outselling Halo 3.

  30. I’m sorry, but Bruce, it is evident you have no idea what you’re talking about when it comes to a game such as this.

    Do you know how popular melee is still even today? The game even catches the attention of people who normally don’t even play VGs a whole lot, I’ve seen it.

    If melee is still not “long forgotton”, who knows when Brawl will even be remotely close.

  31. Ok I’ve read your article, I must say I find it to be a bit negative towards SSBB but that is just my opinion. Anyways SSBB most likely will attract a “casual” fan base because of its ease to just “pick up and play” unlike Zelda: Twilight Princess where you must go through cut scence after cut scene and such. SSBB can easily entertain a casual gamer who has an hour of free time on his/her hands.

    On the other flipside of the coin SSBB will almost definately appeal to serious gamers because of the vast amount of characters to master. Also I’ve seen many points above on how SSBB will influence the sales of the Wii console and I find this to be a completely valid point due to the affordability of the actual console, it doesn’t seem to farfetched. Thank you for reading my comment and I hope it has opened your eyes a little bit.

  32. Will Super Smash Bros. Brawl ever come out for Xbox 360?

  33. i have a wii and if you ask anyone i know, they will say i’m not a casual gamer lol so… yeah, what about metroid prime 3? it wasn’t as huge a game as smg but it was excellent and it uses the wii remote and nunchuck amazingly and you get to kill aliens (huge plus) and that is definitely not a casual game!

  34. the things you say have some validity but umm, there is probably more of a majority of the united states gamers who would rather do a game like smg or ssbb than get in shape and do exercises, personally wii fit is just a novelty item or a piece of exercise equipment, IF i get it i may try it every once in a while and may keep me entertained for half an hour but gets old after a bit and then i’ll move on and never play it again, ssbb and smg have replay value that wii fit doesn’t really have

  35. I hate how theres only a few great games on the Wii, it’s gay because I really want to get a Wii for maybe only 3 or 4 games. Hate life

  36. Well, I was right.
    Not that all the people who were rude and abusive about this will admit it.
    SSBB only managed to come 36th on the UK top 50 all formats chart for 2008.

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