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Forums - Nintendo Discussion - Is ARMS a failure, or not?

You're trying to combine two separate arguments into one.

Is the ARMS software a success in terms of sales? Almost certainly.

Did ARMS perform well enough in the eyes of Nintendo for it to become a full-fledged franchise going forward? That remains to be seen.

Nintendo is obviously trying to diversify their lineup, especially with online multiplayer in mind. If ARMS gets another installment with full development and marketing support behind it, then that would most likely mean Nintendo is optimistic about its future. If it goes away quietly into the night ...



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pokoko said:
You're trying to combine two separate arguments into one.

Is the ARMS software a success in terms of sales? Almost certainly.

Did ARMS perform well enough in the eyes of Nintendo for it to become a full-fledged franchise going forward? That remains to be seen.

Nintendo is obviously trying to diversify their lineup, especially with online multiplayer in mind. If ARMS gets another installment with full development and marketing support behind it, then that would most likely mean Nintendo is optimistic about its future. If it goes away quietly into the night ...

I think it did. Animal Crossing sold roughly the same as ARMS in its first game, but it eventually blossomed into one of Nintendo's biggest IPs with later games.



Probably made more money for Nintendo then what some 5-8 million copies did for 2nd-3rd party games.



If it isn't turnbased it isn't worth playing   (mostly)

And shepherds we shall be,

For Thee, my Lord, for Thee. Power hath descended forth from Thy hand, That our feet may swiftly carry out Thy command. So we shall flow a river forth to Thee And teeming with souls shall it ever be. In Nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritūs Sancti. -----The Boondock Saints

Let me put it this way. Is Fire Emblem a failure because it doesn't sell as much as Zelda? Is Tomodachi Life a failure because it didn't sell as much as Animal Crossing? Are any of those 4 franchises I just named failures because none of them sell as much as Mario or Pokemon?
If ARMS was profitable for Nintendo and it's a concept they want to explore further and believe has enough potential to be its own, long-running franchise, then that's all it needs to be classified as a success. So, if in ARMS 2 is ever announced, there's your answer.



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Why do people keep bringing up whether Arms failed or not?? It this some weird meme?



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It's not a failure, but at the same time it didn't sell well enough to make a sequel a sure thing. It sits right there in the area where things can go either way with about equal chances.

Of course Nintendo doesn't make games thinking that they will turn into new longrunning series, but it's their goal. They know that not every game will pull it off, but they won't know for sure before trying.

Nintendo isn't aiming for games to sell well, rather they aim for games that sell well over a long period of time. Not only do such games bring in revenue and profits on a consistent basis, but they also remain in the consciousness of potential consumers and therefore can help to sell hardware which lifts the overall business. That's how Nintendo hardware is so successful in the absence of major AAA third party support, because the first party portfolio makes a Nintendo console a high value product.

Lastly, as a rule of thumb, if you have to ask if a game is a failure or not, then that's probably because you know that the game wasn't a success. There's a spectrum between success and failure, so it's not a binary matter. In other words, if someone tells you that ARMS wasn't a success, then it doesn't automatically mean that ARMS was a failure.



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RolStoppable said:
It's not a failure, but at the same time it didn't sell well enough to make a sequel a sure thing. It sits right there in the area where things can go either way with about equal chances.

That's fair enough. But as I said, Animal Crossing only started off with 2 million copies, but it gradually grew in popularity and sales with each entry. While it's not a sure thing ARMS will get a sequel, I do think it's on the table for Nintendo, as it has the potential to become another staple series.

Of course Nintendo doesn't make games thinking that they will turn into new longrunning series, but it's their goal. They know that not every game will pull it off, but they won't know for sure before trying.

Of course, they do hope that many of their IP can turn into a steady stream of new games. But as you mentioned, they know its not possible for every game. Either due to lack of developer interest, or diminishing returns for a series (F-Zero is an example for both).

Nintendo isn't aiming for games to sell well, rather they aim for games that sell well over a long period of time. Not only do such games bring in revenue and profits on a consistent basis, but they also remain in the consciousness of potential consumers and therefore can help to sell hardware which lifts the overall business. That's how Nintendo hardware is so successful in the absence of major AAA third party support, because the first party portfolio makes a Nintendo console a high value product.

This is also true, but Nintendo knows that different games have different longevity. Some games last the entire generation, while others only a few years, and then there's games that are anywhere in between. ARMS still sold well even all the way through 2018, so there was still enough interest in the game left a year after release. It's sales have kind of maxed out at this point, so we'll likely get a sequel either sometime during the Switch, or for a successor.

The point I want to make is that Nintendo doesn't care if a New IP doesn't do Mario or Splatoon numbers on its first game. Sure, they'd be happy if a game can do that, but if it sells well for a good few months or even a year or two after release, then it's worth keeping around to grow. People forget that much of Splatoon's success was down to luck. It was a rare instance that a new IP that became a breakout hit on its first try, and that was on an unpopular console. But Rhythm Heaven, another Nintendo IP for example, only ever sold a few million copies with each entry, yet it's already got 4 games under its belt. Success should be measured on a game-by-game basis, as not all games are made equally.



TheMisterManGuy said:
RolStoppable said:
It's not a failure, but at the same time it didn't sell well enough to make a sequel a sure thing. It sits right there in the area where things can go either way with about equal chances.

That's fair enough. But as I said, Animal Crossing only started off with 2 million copies, but it gradually grew in popularity and sales with each entry. While it's not a sure thing ARMS will get a sequel, I do think it's on the table for Nintendo, as it has the potential to become another staple series.

Of course Nintendo doesn't make games thinking that they will turn into new longrunning series, but it's their goal. They know that not every game will pull it off, but they won't know for sure before trying.

Of course, they do hope that many of their IP can turn into a steady stream of new games. But as you mentioned, they know its not possible for every game. Either due to lack of developer interest, or diminishing returns for a series (F-Zero is an example for both).

Nintendo isn't aiming for games to sell well, rather they aim for games that sell well over a long period of time. Not only do such games bring in revenue and profits on a consistent basis, but they also remain in the consciousness of potential consumers and therefore can help to sell hardware which lifts the overall business. That's how Nintendo hardware is so successful in the absence of major AAA third party support, because the first party portfolio makes a Nintendo console a high value product.

This is also true, but Nintendo knows that different games have different longevity. Some games last the entire generation, while others only a few years, and then there's games that are anywhere in between. ARMS still sold well even all the way through 2018, so there was still enough interest in the game left a year after release. It's sales have kind of maxed out at this point, so we'll likely get a sequel either sometime during the Switch, or for a successor.

The point I want to make is that Nintendo doesn't care if a New IP doesn't do Mario or Splatoon numbers on its first game. Sure, they'd be happy if a game can do that, but if it sells well for a good few months or even a year or two after release, then it's worth keeping around to grow. People forget that much of Splatoon's success was down to luck. It was a rare instance that a new IP that became a breakout hit on its first try, and that was on an unpopular console. But Rhythm Heaven, another Nintendo IP for example, only ever sold a few million copies with each entry, yet it's already got 4 games under its belt. Success should be measured on a game-by-game basis, as not all games are made equally.

Animal Crossing doesn't work as a good example for your argument. The IP started on the Japan-exclusive N64 add-on 64DD (low sales by default) and was then ported to the GC where is sold approximately 3m copies on an unpopular console, so the ~2.5m of ARMS on Switch aren't particularly good. The second Animal Crossing game (Wild World for DS) sold 12m copies. That's absolutely not gradual growth, that's a megahit the first time a game was released on a popular console.

Splatoon succeeding against the odds doesn't make a good case for ARMS either.

But yes, not all games are made equally. That's why Skyward Sword was a failure with its 3.5m copies sold; it was Nintendo's most expensive game at the time. Of course that didn't end the series because Zelda is such a longrunning IP; Nintendo took the appropriate course of action and strongly reconsidered their approach. Rhythm Heaven is a very cheap to make IP because the most expensive part of game development (graphics) is purposefully kept low; the focus is on the music, so the series brought in good profits without having to be a megaseller.

I get it that you really like ARMS, but don't count on a sequel. Its sales and future prospects don't look better with the examples you bring up.



Legend11 correctly predicted that GTA IV (360+PS3) would outsell SSBB. I was wrong.

A Biased Review Reloaded / Open Your Eyes / Switch Gamers Club

RolStoppable said:

Animal Crossing doesn't work as a good example for your argument. The IP started on the Japan-exclusive N64 add-on 64DD (low sales by default) and was then ported to the GC where is sold approximately 3m copies on an unpopular console, so the ~2.5m of ARMS on Switch aren't particularly good. The second Animal Crossing game (Wild World for DS) sold 12m copies. That's absolutely not gradual growth, that's a megahit the first time a game was released on a popular console.

For a new IP released on a recently released console with a small user-base at the time, I'd say it is good. Wild World was also released during the DS' peak in sales and popularity, so most of its success came from the DS' best years. A console's user-base and age are an important variable in a game's sales.

Splatoon succeeding against the odds doesn't make a good case for ARMS either.

Splatoon also was released towards the end of the Wii U's life as well, so the fact that it did that well on a failed console on its way out was a rare feat of accomplishment. While ARMS was released quite early in the Switch's life, so it benefited from a smaller lineup and less competitive environment since there weren't a lot of fighters on the Switch yet.

But yes, not all games are made equally. That's why Skyward Sword was a failure with its 3.5m copies sold; it was Nintendo's most expensive game at the time. Of course that didn't end the series because Zelda is such a longrunning IP; Nintendo took the appropriate course of action and strongly reconsidered their approach. Rhythm Heaven is a very cheap to make IP because the most expensive part of game development (graphics) is purposefully kept low; the focus is on the music, so the series brought in good profits without having to be a megaseller.

I wouldn't say Skyward Sword was a failure necessarily, Majora's Mask sold roughly the same (granted, Majora's Mask was more of an experiment than the next big Zelda game). But its sales were disappointing by the standards of the Zelda series. But again, we have to remember the timeframe. It came out at the end of the Wii's life, required a peripheral not everybody had or wanted, and was going up against Skyrim, which released around the same time. On top of that, Skyward Sword was following a formula that at that point, was starting to wear thin for a lot of people, on top of heavy tutorializaion and slow pace. All of these factors contributed to its under-performance. You're right that Nintendo took the feedback from the game into strong consideration when making Breath of the Wild, which was designed to re-invent Zelda for a modern audience.

And that's why I think ARMS will continue. It did well, but it's not quite at the level where it can be a long-running series just yet. I do think the team will take the complaints of the first game into account when making the sequel, that way it can potentially do even better than the original.

Rhythm Heaven is cheap to make, true. But the development costs for ARMS, or even Splatoon weren't that high either (though they were higher than Rhythm Heaven obviously). Plus, didn't Nintendo say that BotW only needed to sell 2 million to break even? Even their most expensive game, only needed a few million copies to turn a profit.

I get it that you really like ARMS, but don't count on a sequel. Its sales and future prospects don't look better with the examples you bring up.

I do think ARMS has the potential to be another reliable series for Nintendo in the future. That's why I think a sequel is likely, to build on the IP and eventually get it to the levels of Splatoon or Mario, or Animal Crossing. With Splatoon, it was clear from the first game's sales that it was going to be Nintendo's next big franchise. With ARMS, the potential is there, but it needs more time and games under its belt to get to that point. 

Last edited by TheMisterManGuy - on 02 November 2019

Why is this a question?