Less than what Pikmin 3 did in 2 days
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze opened up to an underwhelming 36,000 units in Japan for the week ending on Feb. 16, 2014, only managing to shift about 1,000 more Wii U systems. Of course, more information about the game’s performance always helps us to assess the situation and that’s exactly what Media Create (via NintendoEverything) has shared with us.
According to the Japanese research and analyst firm, that 36K only accounted for 35.28% of Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze’s initial shipment. In other words, about 66,321 copies are still sitting in stores. We noted this as well, but Media Create also mentions that that the series is experiencing a downward slope in sales, with the Donkey Kong Country Returns for Wii maintaining its best-selling status followed up by Returns 3D for Nintendo 3DS. Equally as concerning, while Donkey Kong is typically a popular franchise within Japan, Tropical Freeze still did not manage to beat out the debut of lesser-known Pikmin 3 of the Pikmin franchise, which sold through half of its shipment within 2 days.
There are many factors that could be attributed to Tropical Freeze’s mediocre debut, such as a significantly smaller user base, but Media Create specifically points out two factors. One, they feel consumers are not being enticed by the new layers within Tropical Freeze, and two, they feel the heavy snow in Japan last weekend (esp. Tohoku and Kanto) snowed a lot of residents in. To pile on, it’s also worth mentioning that Donkey Kong was competing against the launch of the already popular PlayStation 4.
Media Create isn’t predicting a bleak future for the game either, as it mentions the title’s evergreen status, giving it the ability to sell for long periods of time. Perhaps you have some theories of your own. Be sure to share them in the comments below.