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

2.1 million for a new IP is brilliant. Especially given that this game isn't some big open world game that took 300 people to develop. It was most likely profitable for Nintendo, so I'd say that's successful.



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TheMisterManGuy said:

You can.

Contradicting yourself.

"Franchises take time to build. You can't be a big franchise on your first try."



think-man said:
2.1 million for a new IP is brilliant. Especially given that this game isn't some big open world game that took 300 people to develop. It was most likely profitable for Nintendo, so I'd say that's successful.

It may have been profitable when only factoring in the cost to make the game. But 2.1 million was probably not profitable in the greater context of Nintendo when you include total expenses for the company if you divide the general burden equally across software released for the fiscal year.

I can't speak to what Nintendo's business goals were for the game, but I would glean that they likely had to do with establishing a major competitive gaming franchise, which ARMs failed to do. Nintendo often touts the successes of their new franchises and how they fit in with their business goals when they are successful.

In other words, if a much smaller company with no strategic goals made the game, it is a success. But this does not make it a success for Nintendo. For Nintendo, much more is not only expected, but required.



I describe myself as a little dose of toxic masculinity.

Lonely_Dolphin said:

Contradicting yourself.

"Franchises take time to build. You can't be a big franchise on your first try."

I should've said "Always" then. Still, a lot of franchises didn't get that big on their first try. They grew to be big overtime.



Jumpin said:

I can't speak to what Nintendo's business goals were for the game, but I would glean that they likely had to do with establishing a major competitive gaming franchise, which ARMs failed to do. Nintendo often touts the successes of their new franchises and how they fit in with their business goals when they are successful.

Which they did with ARMS. It's primary purpose was to demonstrate the capabilities of the Switch's Joy-Con with a unique take on the fighting game genre, and it did that rather well. Maybe the competitive aspect didn't have the longevity they wanted, but that should serve as an area to improve on with the sequel, not a reason to dismiss the entire game as a failure.



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We can actually calculate the real profitability of the game pretty easily. As a first party, they make around $35 on every physical sale, nearly $60 on every digital sale. If we assume it had a typical digital ratio for a Switch game at that time and ballpark profits per sale at around..$42 a sale for the period it was 60 - which it was for almost it's entire time that we were receiving numbers - and then assume that drops a bit for the latter part to, say, $35 even...I mean the game pulled in easily over 80 mil. Now we can't know the games total budget and cost to market, but I would be astounded and flabbergasted if it was half that.

So financially, absolutely not, it was definitely not a failure. It was honestly a resounding success for an unusual take on a niche genre. 3D fighters are already small time games before you start messing with the foundations. I mean, look at Pokken. That game caries the Pokemon license AND some of the Tekken pedigree and it didn't take off sales wise.

As for other goals, well Nintendo's conduct around the game shows that it was at least fairly successful in their eyes. It received post release content and support similar to the first Splatoon. But it hasn't gotten as much as some other franchises did on their first outing. As for whether or not it is franchise-starting levels of success...that depends on Nintendo's goals with it. If they were just looking for good numbers for what it was in terms of genre, then yeah, it's probably that successful. 3D Fighters are the definition of mid tier games, Arms fits that bill perfectly. If they were looking for a Smash kind of impact, a game that defies genre sales limitations to become a juggernaut, probably not. It's all relative and hard to tell. Pokken did pretty good for a 3D fighter despite it's quirks and limits and Nintendo has shown no interest in continuing with a sequel at all. Meanwhile Xenoblade didn't cross 1 mil and X barely crossed 900k if it did at all, and yet they pressed on to XC2 where the series finally found it's footing.

So we'll just have to wait and see. People dismissing it entirely are being very hasty and premature though. Nintendo has numerous times been willing to hammer away at a franchise or concept they believe in until it finds success. Nintendo also has shown interest in preserving franchises because of added variety. Already mentioned XC, but there's also Fire Emblem, which they gave second, third, and fourth chances before it became a bigger franchise. Pikmin has three entries going on four despite never being a juggernaut (and incidentally ARMS has outsold each Pikmin game). Shoot, they've kept Fatal Frame alive despite that IP most likely never having been profitable for anyone who has ever held it.



TheMisterManGuy said:
Lonely_Dolphin said:

Contradicting yourself.

"Franchises take time to build. You can't be a big franchise on your first try."

I should've said "Always" then. Still, a lot of franchises didn't get that big on their first try. They grew to be big overtime.

Finally! See it's not that hard.



Yes it is, for sure.
The game sold alright but an IP was not established.
A sequel would not sell well at all.
That game looks really bad.
We need a new Punch Out!!



Nevermind, this is kind-of a silly topic.

Last edited by thetonestarr - on 04 November 2019

 SW-5120-1900-6153

TheMisterManGuy said:
Jumpin said:

I can't speak to what Nintendo's business goals were for the game, but I would glean that they likely had to do with establishing a major competitive gaming franchise, which ARMs failed to do. Nintendo often touts the successes of their new franchises and how they fit in with their business goals when they are successful.

Which they did with ARMS. It's primary purpose was to demonstrate the capabilities of the Switch's Joy-Con with a unique take on the fighting game genre, and it did that rather well. Maybe the competitive aspect didn't have the longevity they wanted, but that should serve as an area to improve on with the sequel, not a reason to dismiss the entire game as a failure.

They’ve been touting it? I am not seeing this at all. The game has literally been forgotten since its massive marketing campaign concluded. I don’t think they even mentioned it after a sales footnote summer of last year. 

It’s goal was not to demonstrate the joycon, that was 1-2 Switch. If demonstrating the joycon was its goal, they did a very poor job of it since all the youtube channels covering it switched to playing it with button controls until they dropped the game completely not long after.

With ARMs they were attempting to bring alive some kind of massive competitive gaming scene, it was in all the marketing. And that didn’t happen. Like their other failures (e.g. Nintendo Land) there’s been zero follow-up, zero touting. It’s looking like a game that they consider failing to reach expectations.

I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy the game, I was probably its biggest fan on VG Chartz. I’m saying that Nintendo is not treating this game like a success. The reasons I believe this is the case are outlined in my posts.

Some are saying it’s a good show for a new game in a niche genre. Then why would Nintendo care about putting all these resources into some kind of niche genre before ignoring it completely? Clearly, they were looking for big success in a new ocean. That didn’t happen.

The other point I made before is that 2.1 million would be a major success for a smaller company with no grand strategic design and without the massive expenses of a machine the size of Nintendo. This isn’t the case with Nintendo. They have limited resources and those resources have important roles. In other words, what ARMs achieved is not particularly valuable to Nintendo in any form other than “we learned that we shouldn’t do this again.”



I describe myself as a little dose of toxic masculinity.