Dedicated handhelds aside, Nintendo consoles have largely been the place where third-party software has gone to die ever since 1996’s Nintendo 64. For at least one quarter for at least one major game publisher, however, that trend seems to have turned around.
In an earnings call yesterday, Ubisoft revealed that 19 percent of its second-quarter software sales for the company’s fiscal year 2017-2018 fiscal year were on Nintendo Switch. That was four percentage points higher than PC games’ 15 percent share and just one point lower than Xbox One software’s 20 percent share. PlayStation 4 software unsurprisingly led the way with 31 percent of Ubisoft’s software sales for the quarter.
At a time when some console holders are facing criticisms over a lack of exclusive software, Switch-exclusive Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle seems to have gone a long way toward bolstering Ubisoft software sales on Nintendo’s console. Ubisoft listed Kingdom Battle as the first game that drove the company’s growth during the first half of its current fiscal year. The publisher also cited Kingdom Battle’s Metacritic score of 85 in an accompanying slideshow in which the game was listed as having outperformed expectations.
This should come as no surprise to anyone paying attention to Switch game sales. The NPD Group reported in September that Kingdom Battle, released on August 29, had become Switch’s top-selling third-party game since the console’s March launch.
And although the borrowed Nintendo franchise game may have done the bulk of the heavy lifting for Ubisoft on Switch, the publisher has also released Monopoly, Uno, and Just Dance 2018 on Nintendo’s hybrid home-portable console.