Metroid: A Sales History - News

by William D'Angelo, posted on 27 June 2012 / 40,822 Views

Welcome to this week’s edition of “A Sales History.” This week we will be taking a look at the sales history of the Metroid franchise, which was requested by user Mensrea last week. Sales for the home consoles and handhelds are included.

Last week we looked at sales history of The Legend of Zelda and the week before that Super Smash Bros. If there is a particular franchise (no matter how obscure) you want to see the sales history for, requests are always welcome.

History of the Game

The Metroid franchise is a series science fiction action-adventure games developed by Nintendo, with one game, Metroid: Other M, developed by Team Ninja. The protagonist is the bounty hunter Samus Aran who protects the galaxy from space pirates. The franchise has had a game released on every platform except for the Nintendo 64, Virtual Boy and 3DS.

The gameplay elements vary from a shooter, platformer, as well as adventure. The series has changed from a 2d side scroller, until the Metroid Prime series in which the game takes place in a first person perspective.

The original game, Metroid, was released on August 6, 1986 in Japan. It was later released in North America in August 1987 and January 1988 in Europe. It was developed by two of Nintendo’s studios, Research and Development 1 and Intelligent Systems. Samus Aran is on the planet Zebes in which she attempts to retrieve the Metroids which were stolen by space pirates.

Sales Overview

Metroid Sales History

In the chart above, the Metroid franchise for consoles has sold 16.69 million units. Looking at the release dates the majority of the games were released in the 2000’s, eight. With one released in the 1980’s, two in the 1990’s. There is one game on the NES, one on the SNES, two on the GameCube and three on the Wii. There are also one Game Boy, two Game Boy Advance and one DS games.

The Metroid Prime series of games has sold a combined 7.15 million units, or 46.4 percent of the total sales for the franchise. The one NES game sold 2.73 million units, the one SNES game 1.42 million, the two GameCube games 4.15 million and the three Wii games 3.39 million units. The two GameCube games averaged 2.08 million units sold, while the three Wii games averaged 1.13 million units. The two Game Boy Advance games sold a combined 2.52, with average sales of 1.26 million each.

Metroid Sales History

Looking at the bar graph above sales for the Metroid franchise on home consoles isn’t dependent on how well the console it is on sold. Metroid Prime the bestselling game in the franchise is on the worst selling Nintendo console. While Metroid Prime 3: Corruption is on the bestselling Nintendo console only sold 57.8 percent. Five years separate the releases of Metroid and Super Metroid, while 5 years separate the three Metroid Prime games.

Metroid Sales History

Looking at the bar graph above sales for the Metroid franchise on handhelds has decreased in each successive release. Metroid II: Return of Samus for the Game Boy is the second game in the franchise and the first released on a handheld. The next handheld game in the franchise, Metroid Fusion, wouldn’t be released for another 11 years, but despite the gap it would only sell 80,000 units less.

Metroid: Zero Mission was only released a couple years later towards the end of the Game Boy Advance life cycle and sales reflect that. Metroid Prime Hunters despite being on Nintendo’s bestselling platform of all time would only sell 720,000, making it the second worst selling in the franchise.

Weekly Sales

Metroid Sales History

Looking at the weekly sales of the three Metroid games released on the Wii, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption showed the strongest legs. Other M had the best opening week with sales of 284,526; however sales would quickly drop selling 849,943 units after one year on the market. That is an increase of three times.

Metroid Prime Trilogy sold 115,487 in its opening week and went on to sell 527,918 in its first year. That is an increase of nearly five times. As a note it isn’t an original game, but features the three games in the Metroid Prime trilogy.

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption would open with 241,649 in sales and would end up passing the one million mark in 18 weeks. The game would end up selling 1,382,705 units in its first year on the market.

Predictions for Future Releases

There is nothing definite about future releases in the series, since there was nothing shown at E3 2012. However if the past is an indicator Samus will be making an appearance on the Wii U and 3DS. While the game is not as popular as other Nintendo franchises like Mario or The Legend of Zelda the series has solidified itself among the hardcore Nintendo fans.

The Wii U game should sell at a minimum of one million units with sales possibly topping out at three million. How well the Wii U sells shouldn’t be an indicator to how well the game will sell. Expect the game to sell anywhere from 1.5 million to 2.5 million units. The 3DS game should sell at a minimum of 500,000 units and if it’s hyped enough could reach two million to be the bestselling Metroid game on a handheld. However sales will most likely be in the 0.75 million to 1.25 million unit range.

Contact VGChartz at wdangelo@vgchartz.com


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24 Comments

TheKingofRedLions (on 27 June 2012)

You could do Fire Emblem next


cusman (on 28 June 2012)

I think Metroid and Fire Emblem are two of Nintendo's least appreciated high quality game franchises missed out by the ignorant masses.


  • +1
MDMAlliance (on 29 June 2012)

It is sad because I only played two metroid games (I didn't even own them) and never played Fire Emblem. The main reason for this is that I didn't actually have a system of my own so I couldn't really pick the games I played until just 2 years ago.


  • 0
Mandalore76 (on 02 July 2012)

The first Fire Emblem game I ever got was Shadow Dragon on DS. And this was not until I got 3DS for Christmas and found myself massively increasing my DS library of games because of the backwards compatibility, and FE SD was on sale at K-Mart. I immediately became enthralled with the series and have committed to adding all available titles to my collection. I've already gotten and begun playing Gameboy Advance Fire Emblem from eBay. It really is a terrific series that doesn't get the attention it deserves.


  • 0
shakarak (on 27 June 2012)

The Metroid prime games are three games I can play over and over.


cusman (on 28 June 2012)

Hopefully you picked up the limited release Metroid Trilogy which came with the metal case and can play each of those with the Wii Pointer + Nunchuk controls and enjoy some of the other extras they added as well.


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Mensrea (on 27 June 2012)

Thanks a bunch! I didn't think you guys would actually do it. Metroid prime 2 is my favorite. It deserved better sales. Kind of a dark horse, but still awesome. I will buy a wii u if and when a metroid games is released, no sooner or later.


Stefan.De.Machtige (on 27 June 2012)

Might take a while. There is a big change Nintendo stuffed Metroid in the frezer.


  • 0
trunkswd (on 27 June 2012)

No problem! It had a bunch of thumb ups, so it made sense to do it.


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jamesmarkus87 (on 27 June 2012)

Poor Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. It was a great game that was completely overlooked during a holiday season that saw new releases for Halo, Metal Gear Solid, Grand Theft Auto, and Final Fantasy.


haxxiy (on 27 June 2012)

Yeah. And I heard Nintendo actually rushed it to get a holiday title for the GC so it could have been even better. It just goes to show how a bad hardware environment affects even great games =/


  • 0
spemanig (on 23 March 2014)

On the bright side, a potential 600K extra people got to play it because of Trilogy, me being one of them. No regrets.


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homer (on 27 June 2012)

Does anyone else remember the metroid prime hunter's demo game that came with the original gray ds?


TheKingofRedLions (on 27 June 2012)

I still have it


  • 0
IIIIITHE1IIIII (on 28 June 2012)

Yup. Played the shit out of it before I got an actual game (other than GBA games) for the system.


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swii26 (on 27 June 2012)

Too bad the Trilogy was a limited release. Its by far the best valued game for Wii


Fusioncode (on 27 June 2012)

You guys forgot about the pinball game on DS.


cusman (on 28 June 2012)

Maybe it didn't make the top 10? I would hope Metroid Trilogy sold more than that Pinball game.


  • 0
Salnax (on 27 June 2012)

In retrospect, Other M was not that big a flop. Metroid just isn't that big.


cusman (on 28 June 2012)

Metroid is talked about more than it is played.


  • +1
Lollipopanon (on 27 June 2012)

Love me some Metroid.


sly777 (on 28 June 2012)

Metroid is by far my favorite series. Prime trilogy is my best game of all time. Other M is near behind (I really love that game...) I wish they just release a compilation with the olds versions.


Pavolink (on 28 June 2012)

Did Nintendo confirmed Other M as a million seller?


Virus_Of_Life (on 27 June 2012)

Glad the Metroid Prime Trilogy at least made it into the top 10. It's by far my favourite wii game.


thekitchensink (on 27 June 2012)

Um... it's number 11 :P


  • +1
crissindahouse (on 27 June 2012)

i believe, even without a wii, that sales would deserve to be much higher for wii.


darkgemini (on 03 July 2012)

Silent Hill Sales History would be great ;-) I´m happy that Other M reached 1 Mio, maybe it will pass Echoes in lifetime sales... Prime , SM and Other M are my favorites.... Hope the next metroid for the wii U comes soon.....


riders42 (on 01 July 2012)

Put Super Metroid on the 3DS as a downloadable game. Would LOVE that.


riders42 (on 01 July 2012)

Super Metroid and Other M are awesome games.


retroking1981 (on 01 July 2012)

Please do the handheld Zelda games


spurgeonryan (on 30 June 2012)

I had no idea Other M crossed the million sold mark yet! Very nice.


Mad55 (on 30 June 2012)

Do the Tales series.


Tridrakious (on 27 June 2012)

Can we get an archive on VGChartz for the Sales History articles. To help in making sure there are not multiple requests for game franchises that might have been covered already. I'm not sure if any of these have already been covered, but I would like to see: Final Fantasy Star Ocean Ratchet and Clank Jak and Daxter Grand Theft Auto


Bman54 (on 27 June 2012)

How could you miss the greatest game of all, Metroid Prime Pinball?


cusman (on 28 June 2012)

This makes me realize, it isn't just 3rd party AAA games that fail to sell enough to justify the cost. Nintendo's own AAA titles for core gamers are also largely ignored by sales success. The market clearly has much easier time selling 20+ million copies of Nintendogs and Just Dance and such games vs. core titles like Metroid Prime. Halo only manages to sell as much because of all the marketing.


Comments below voting threshold

Michael-5 (on 28 June 2012)

That's not chronological order, that's the order in which they released. Chronologically, the Metroid Prime trilogy takes place before Super Metroid.


Mazty (on 27 June 2012)

Considering the volume of wii's sold, the sales of Metroid on the Wii are utterly miserable