Mario Kart Wii sells 8.94M in 2008

Top Global Markets anoints power plumber's day at the races as best-selling international game of the year; Wii Fit logs 8.31M, GTAIV hits 7.29M.

Last year was a record-breaking one for the game industry. In the US alone, total industry sales of hardware, software, and accessories peaked at $21.3 billion, a substantial 19 percent uptick from 2007, according to the NPD Group. Although all tracked revenue streams saw double-digit growth on the year, software sales enjoyed the biggest gains in 2008, with game revenue amounting to $32 billion globally, according to Media Control GfK International.

Snaker...

Adding a shade more color to game software's banner 2008, Top Global Markets--a joint venture combining retail data from NPD, GfK, and Enterbrain--released its list of the top five best-selling games in the world for the year. Unsurprisingly to anyone who's kept apace of game-industry happenings, Nintendo's Wii-exclusive first-party games reigned supreme in Top Global Markets' cross-platform accounting of total sales.

Nintendo's Mario Kart Wii sped its way to the top slot in the 2008 global chart, logging total sales of 8.94 million units. The pint-sized plumber's go-kart outing barely had the edge on the Balance Board-equipped Wii Fit, which sold 8.31 million copies. Rounding out the top three, Take-Two and Rockstar Games' Grand Theft Auto IV, which launched for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 alongside Mario Kart Wii in late April, sold 7.29 million units globally.

Also an early-year Wii release, Nintendo's fantasy fighter Super Smash Bros. Brawl took fourth in Top Global Markets' list, shifting 6.32 million units. Though it was unable to repeat the success of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare's 7 million global units sold in 2007, Call of Duty: World at War placed a respectable fifth, selling 5.89 million units. The game's cross-region performance was undoubtedly hampered by the jarring goose egg that it logged in Japan, where it has not been released.

In all, Top Global Markets reports that global software sales grew 11 percent in 2008, leaping from 367.7 million units in 2007 to 409.9 million. Growth primarily came from the US and UK, which saw respective gains of 15 percent and 26 percent. However, Japan faired far worse, with the island nation seeing a 13 percent slip in 2008, thanks largely to a weakening in legacy software sales for platforms such as the PlayStation 2.

"UK console video game software units are more than double what was achieved in 2003, which just shows how fast the UK market has been growing," commented Dorian Bloch, business group director at GfK. "Because of this amazing growth and coupled with the [downturn] currently being experienced in Japan, the UK market has for the first time overtaken Japan as the No. 2 world market. Although still behind on revenue, the gap has narrowed considerably, and it will be interesting to see how things develop during 2009."

TOP GLOBAL MARKET'S 2008 GLOBAL SOFTWARE SALES
Game/Publisher/Total/US/Japan/UK
1) Mario Kart Wii / Nintendo / 8.94M / 5M / 2M / 1.94M
2) Wii Fit / Nintendo / 8.31M / 4.55M / 2.15M / 1.61M
3) Grand Theft Auto IV / Take-Two / 7.29M / 5.18M / 256K / 1.85M
4) Super Smash Bros. Brawl / Nintendo / 6.32M / 4.17M / 1.75M / 404K
5) Call of Duty: World at War / Activision Blizzard / 5.89M / 4.46M / 0 / 1.43M

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Discussion

200 comments
gameking5000
gameking5000

That's what happens in every new sequal to a game. But the general idea is still the same ( Trying to win every cup )

Pices
Pices

@ Great Ragnarok MK Wii is not slightly better than the n64 version. It has: More characters More tracks New vehicle (bikes) Online play (one of the best online games on Wii) More Items Harder tracks Better graphics 4 different control schemes

Inconnux
Inconnux

Mario kart certainly deserves the sales as it is probably one of the 'funnest' games I've played in a long time. Good for Nintendo, you chose fun over the generic shooter genre of the other consoles.

philp37
philp37

This list is really an indicator of how much weaker the software titles were in 2008 compared to 2007 and an indication of how far the Wii fad actually went. All these top Wii games are quite weak compared to the average xbox or playstation game (this generation and last). Our family has both an xbox 360 and a Wii. The Wii is great for getting more people involved, and although we all game, the reality is that we seldom game together. Overall at 269 or 279 dollars, I find the Wii as the poorest value for your dollar console out there when you consider only time played or available titles. However the gyro controller of the Wii has physical benefits that allow the Wii to be compared on another level. We look at ours as more as a fitness machine than a gaming system. And everyone knows what happens to 95% of fitness machines. Unfortunately they get pushed into a closet and forgotten about.

Great_Ragnarok
Great_Ragnarok

Mario Kart? a slightly better version of N64 sold the most! wow that's depressing for game industry. basically it says once you find a popular series use it again and again... if the fish are biting no need to change the bait. but jeez never imagined an arcade driver would come no1. at least if it was galaxy I would be slightly happy.

robx360
robx360

I think Nintendo is dominant because there is no competition. The Wii is on another level. Both systems reside on my entertainment shelf. The 360 is my system of choice. I have respect for nintendo. Read up on your history. We wouldn't be here posting without them. The Wii is for all gamers. Mario and Zelda are always a most buy for me. I am 28 and will continue to support nintendo.

prioritymail
prioritymail

Nintendo seems to be a little too dominant for my tastes...

gameking5000
gameking5000

Such a misleading name is nintendokid for someone who is against Nintendo. Don't think that it's people under 12 who play it. I can bet that a lot of people don't go on these forums and buy it. Nintendo specializes in FAMILY FRIENDLY games. Violent game are it's style.

Retro_Guru
Retro_Guru

Hopefully the UK will fare better in release scheduals in the future.

xdeiri
xdeiri

JackHoleFace00 super mario galaxy is better than all games you mentioned

danielreader22
danielreader22

Lmao there's no sales in Japan for COD5! It's a wonder, isn't it?

hatieshorrer
hatieshorrer

@nintendoKid Give it a rest Im tired of your misrepresentation of the Nintendo consoles. Everyone knows PS-X won the console war but Mario 64 sold more copies then the best saling PS-X game FinalFantasy7. Before Halo the game to sale the most copies at launch was starfox64. Goldeneye was also said to have made the biggest profit in that generation. Resident Evil 2 on the N64 rated higher then the PS-X version of Resident Evil 2 as did every other multi-platform game. I could go on but Ill just say that gametrailers said the N64 has the highest percentage of triple A titles. The gamecube was the only home console in its generation sold above production cost. You try to make it sound like Nintendo is struggling and about to go out of business but Nintendo was never close to doing that.

msudude211
msudude211

I'm actually surprised it sold so much.

puppiemaster
puppiemaster

Personally I dont play casual games as a rule, but even I own 20+ Wii games and only 3 screens worth of VC games, So there must be something for the hardcore gamer on the Wii. I've even got more Wii games than PS3 ones, as I'd rather buy multi system games for the 360, which I think is a better console. But thats my personal opinion.

Padrepride
Padrepride

wow, gtaIV didn't even reach 300K in Japan

Mawfawka
Mawfawka

Wow, i had no idea mario kart wii sold so well. I personally thought the game was entirely too easy. So easy that it basically plays itself. I got bored pretty quickly. Without power sliding it just doesnt feel like mario kart, but i guess someone likes it.

abelav78
abelav78

Its the Wii really that good? or are they incredible at selling a useless console that entertains kids and leaves parents to go and do adult stuff? I saw a nephew play his Wii the other day and I got completly bored, He was having a lot of fun just making a mii or miim or whatever i felt asleep.

JackHoleFace00
JackHoleFace00

@kavadias1981 Couldn't have said it better. Those are supposed to be the top 3rd party games and most are average at best (Manhunt 2 and MK Armageddon? I'll pass. And NiGHTS was such a disappointment). Not to mention better versions of games like COD (and the upcoming RE: 5) exist on other systems. In other words, some hardcore Wii games exist, but the most of the small number that do aren't any good. I'm not hating on Wii. I just think they should stick to what they know best--easy to pick-up and play, wide appeal games with familiar characters (like SSBB and Mario Kart). What I hope DOESN'T happen is that with their success, other companies don't follow in their footsteps and ultimately kill games like MGS, GoW, Fallout, Final Fantasy, etc., in favor of simpler games like Wario Olympics.

R7_3
R7_3

wow CoD5 really banked on the success of CoD4

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

The Wii does have some hardcore games; this is very true. The problem that gamers have is that there aren't enough of them being released to satisfy them. I'll make some suggestions though that are not first party games: Okami, No More Heroes, COD: World at War Resident Evil 4, Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles Bully:Scholarship Edition The Godfather: Blackhand Edition NiGHTS Journey of Dreams Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Mortal Kombat Armageddon Manhunt 2 These are all games scoring above 7.0 and should satisfy your average gamer. Hmm... thing is, even though I own 5 of them, it isn't a particularly exciting list and these are supposed to be the top 11 3rd party games. I can kind of see why Nintendo's 1st party offerings are selling better since there isn't really any competition for them.

rattamierda
rattamierda

Mario Rules, si no creen de que estoy hablando ese juego se vende mejor en mi mercado, so please dont think that mario sucks, o xbox or ps3 rocks, i have a 360 too, and it is asome, but money talks, and i like better gtaIV and halo, but mario kart its cool and i think the driving mode is cooler than any other console

nintendokid
nintendokid

@capitalthoughts Struggling? Oh you mean like how N64 was struggling and survived only because of Mario 64 and Zelda 64? You mean like how GameCube was struggling and barely managed to outsell the new-kid-on-the-block, inexperienced, American-made XBOX?

capitalthoughts
capitalthoughts

New day...new accolade for Nintendo...X360/PS3 fanboys trashing the Wii and making poor excuses for their struggling systems. Nothing new here.

Hayden10Noah
Hayden10Noah

nintendo did a good job this year, especially w/ smash bros, cod 5, and mario kart.

djsiddiqi
djsiddiqi

the only cod5 sold so many waz due to cod4 bein so gud... otherwise it wouldnt hav been close to that many

Sins-of-Mosin
Sins-of-Mosin

Wow, I wonder why CoD5 sold so many. I'd have to think that a lot of people were thinking it would be like CoD4. Haha, I love it that there are no sales in Japan.

JustWiicredible
JustWiicredible

@liquid snake Apparently i just did. Oh and yes total sales should indicate the goty anything else comes down to a matter of someones taste. Wii is the best console at the mo and mario kart wii is game of the year.

zaku101
zaku101

With the number of Wii systems out there these sales seem very average to me.

JackHoleFace00
JackHoleFace00

xdeiri-- They're playing PS3 or 360! Do you honestly think Wii has "to [sic] many hardcore games" compared to the likes of MGS4, Halo 3, GTA4, Fallout 3, Killzone 2, etc. (I could go on) when it comes to core gaming?? Give me a break. I'm personally not a fan of the Wii (I think it's an overpriced fad), but obviously this is a business, and you have to tip your hat to Nintendo for striking a chord with many, many mainstream consumers by acceling at wide appealing games like Mario Kart and Wii fit. But please, don't try to say that it's even close to the same level when it comes to high quality core games with deep gameplay, excellent graphics, etc.

fredwv
fredwv

if only the Wii was gonna have RE5... *sigh*

Proman84
Proman84

"Obviously, there are 3.5 million people that like Mario Kart over Call of Duty. So what?" That's not necessarily the best way to analyze this. There are complicated social, economic and console specific factors you are not taking into account in your EXACT empirical estimate of popularity. That said, Mario Kart is more popular period. "Its not a competition." You just turned it into one.

Lucidmike78
Lucidmike78

Its not like Mario jumped off his kart and sniped your favorite guy on COD. Its not a competition. Lets stop the hating on games because you are a fan of another console. If you don't like it, don't play it. Obviously, there are 3.5 million people that like Mario Kart over Call of Duty. So what?

xdeiri
xdeiri

funny you hardcore gamers with all do respect are hypocrite, why? cause wii has to many hardcore games and yet they are not selling well, i wonder why ? where the hell are you hardcore gamers why you are not buying them ?

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

@xdeiri - I own a Wii, DS, SNES, PC, Dreamcast, Saturn, PS1, PS3 and a PSP and love them all. If that makes me a fanboy in your eyes then you seriously need them checking. I own 4 of the 5 games in this report by the way. Just thought I would mention that.

Rect_Pola
Rect_Pola

Mario Kart has a special place in an industry packed with spin-offs. Not just because it was the first to thrive, but because it has it's own DNA. Also, pecking order is debated, but it's never really gone astray.

Liquid_Snake
Liquid_Snake

if total sales meant anything, we would have crowned the WII the best system out there. Just like those who are buying the console(ALOT OF RANDOM PEOPLE), the same people are buying the few good WII games. oh and JustWiicredible Posted Feb 3, 2009 7:46 am PT Ah the REAL game of the year is announced. It's a solid game with decent controls and good multiplayer. Kudos Ninty. did you really just use the words 'decent' and 'good' to describe GOTY?

JustWiicredible
JustWiicredible

Ah the REAL game of the year is announced. It's a solid game with decent controls and good multiplayer. Kudos Ninty.

dkjjabs
dkjjabs

The Nintendo Wii could be sold with just mario kart and nothing else. There is no game that could have lasted through the years, from it's previous incarnations on the SNES, N64 and Gamecube. Now with the Wii, online. We can all enjoy with friends and the worldwide community, pure unadulterated fun again and again.

sieg6529
sieg6529

Congrats to Nintendo on making 3 of the top 5 international games. The company that mostly defined my youth is still going strong!

xatman911
xatman911

When you only have one good racing game on a large hardware base - it is obvious that it is going to sell well. Now if Wii was strong enough to have Burnout Paradise on it - I would doubt whether Mario Kart would have made the same numbers. Wii Fit - sold purely for hardware... Similar thing can be said about Smash Brother- if only Soul Calibur 4 was released on Wii as well. No doubt these games are good but they are doing this well because none of their competition comes close and the ones that are better/close are on different platform. If these Wii games were ever released as multiplatform, I wonder how well they might do on PS3/360 where they can face some real competition.

xgalacticax
xgalacticax

So lemme get this straight. Mario Kart sold more in a year than GTA 4...which sold like hot cakes and on 3 platforms combined. I totally expected GTA 4 to be on top. Gosh! Well I remember when I was playing GTA 4...I had a serious staright face on me the whole time while 4 of my siblings...both older and younger were in the next room playing Mario Kart and all I heard was laughter. Nice one Nintendo

wolverine08
wolverine08

OH WOW THREE NINTENDO GAMES? and they say the wii doesn't hav software sales

enix165
enix165

@Chico_Azteca:It makes you wonder, doesn't it? XD Nearly all my friends who have(or had, two or three of them sold theirs recently for 360s, not exactly a bad move either if you ask me...=/) Wiis had Brawl, and I've yet to see ANYONE with Wii Fit...and I fail to see who'd be stupid enough to spend $80 on yoga, even though apparently there are 8310000 of them...XD

ranman1990
ranman1990

thats intense.. i wonder what 2009 will be like ... i think resident evil 5 will do some damage to these standings.

nicolasia
nicolasia

apparently is because nintendo is different, neither better nor worse .. only different

wahyudil
wahyudil

MGS4 is only for PS3 .... if they make it multiplatform, maybe they can compete with GTA IV

jadefury27
jadefury27

it really feels like te only top tier games on the wii are made by nintendo. i haven't played anything by any other developer that uses the hardware as well as they do. i end up using my gamecube controllers for almost every game.