Older Fans Skipped Out On Yoshi’s New Island In Japan

By Ishaan . August 1, 2014 . 9:31am

Last week, Nintendo released Yoshi’s New Island in Japan, and the Nintendo 3DS platformer sold just 58,285 copies in its first week. Japanese sales tracker Media Create added in a supplementary report that the game sold through 57.59% of its shipment.


In comparison, the last Yoshi game, 2007’s Yoshi’s Island DS, sold 303,114 copies at launch, and sold through 84.82% of its shipment at launch. Clearly, Yoshi’s New Island has not sold nearly as well, but Media Create say it’s hard to make an informed comparison between the two games.


Like we did earlier in the week, Media Create point out that Yoshi’s New Island is part of the “Monthly Recommended Software Campaign” for 3DS in Japan. From July 24th—the day of the game’s release—until the end of August, anyone that buys a new Nintendo 3DS in Japan can download Yoshi’s New Island for free.


During the week of the game’s release, the 3DS sold 38,445 units, so that is potentially the number of “lost” sales due to the campaign. Of course, even taking those lost sales into account, the game’s debut is far lower than Yoshi’s Island DS, and that needs to be addressed.


Media Create say one major difference reported by retailers is that Yoshi’s Island DS sold to both younger and older fans of the Mario series. Meanwhile, Yoshi’s New Island has a narrower audience that comprises primarily of a younger demographic.


Just why older players haven’t picked the new game up isn’t explained, but my theory is that Yoshi’s Island DS sold to an older audience because of nostalgia. The game was a throwback to the SNES Yoshi’s Island, so perhaps older players bought it out of fondness for the original game they played all those years ago. New Island didn’t have that nostalgia going for it, so maybe none of the older fans bothered picking it up.


Media Create add that Yoshi’s Island DS eventually went on to sell 1 million copies in Japan, and since the new game is selling primarily to a younger audience, they’re curious to see how it will perform over the summer holidays, when kids have the time to buy and play more games.

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  • Not surprised seeing the decline in quality of recent games. Older gamers may be nostalgic but are far from being senile enough to buy distilled crap.

    • Fronkhead

      This. Nintendo haven’t developed an original 2D side scroller in-house for *years*, with the excellent Wario Land 4 being the last one I remember (not counting the NSMB reboots intended for a new audience).

      Passing Yoshi’s Island DS and Yoshi’s New Island to the folk at Artoon and Arzest respectively led to sub-par follow-ups which just don’t stand up to the 1995 original in any way.

      • Aaron K Stone

        DKC Returns/Tropical Freeze were excellent though.

        • Fronkhead

          Ah yes, agreed. Forgot about those, though Nintendo would never have involved themselves in them anyway (a good example would be Wario: Shake Dimension , where Good Feel just couldn’t match Wario Land 4 in what felt like an imitation of the real thing). Luckily Yoshi’s Woolley world looks really promising (and Epic Yarn was a great game in its own right)

    • HarakiriKami

      The games are not really declined in quality.

      People complain they’re trying to hard to be the SNES game without being a SNES game. Its still a fun exploration platformer

    • Having played Yoshi’s Story as a kid and bought several Yoshi games, god the series gets horrible treatment.

      Yoshi’s story was ok but definitely short, Yoshi’s Universal Gravity was an atrocity that shouldn’t have left the drawing board and Yoshi Island DS made me feel like I should play the original instead. It might be just me but Island DS’s music makes me cringe like nothing else.

      Having said that I passed New Island because I’m still bitter how mediocre Island DS was.

      • Fronkhead

        Have you not played Yoshi’s Island on SNES/GBA yet? Quick, hop to it! http://www.edge-online.com/features/retrospective-super-mario-world-2-yoshis-island/

        • I’ve played it on my GBA as late as 2012 hahahaha!
          I always knew it was good but damn it makes the DS game REALLY look bad.

          I think Yoshi’s Island (at least the GBA version) had some of the best level design and art of early Mario games. The music is fantastic too.
          Thoughhh I have to say I got tired of the repetitive music. I love Athleticism but I can only hear it a number of times before I go like “AGAIN?”.

          I love/hate how the later levels and extra/secret stages have draconian level difficulty. Oh and god bless the minigames and the cards… Use a star card before the goal and no need to keep Baby Mario out of harm to get perfect score : )

          Good times~
          Now, why aren’t the other games more like this?

      • All things said, no one can argue that Yoshi deserved better :(

        • I wish he got a 3D collectathon game like Banjo Kazooie or DK64 :(
          Yoshi’s abilities just lend to exploration and collecting stuff

  • Anthony John Agnello

    Yoshi’s Island DS was actually a full sequel, not a remake of the SNES version.

  • idrawrobots

    Is it because they already have played that game? Maybe twice?

    • HarakiriKami

      This is the correct

  • Lalum

    They were burned by Yoshi DS and didn’t want to try another one. At least Yarn Yoshi looks promising.

  • Yan Zhao

    I mean, the games just lost its appeals to older gamers. They were always intended for a younger audience.

    I personally have zero interest in most 2D platformer Mario/Yoshi games now but I loved them as a kid.

    • Fronkhead

      I doubt that. These games have widespread appeal. Saying Yoshi’s Island and its ilk were intended for a younger audience is insulting given how masterfully designed and universally appealing it was. Miyamoto designs games everyone can enjoy. An example of games genuinely made for a younger audience are the Lego games from Travellers’ Tales, and it pores through from how the games themselves are designed.

      It’s more people seeing through this game as the soulless, Arzest-developed sequel to 1995’s classic.

      That’s why a lot of people passed on it: it’s just a sequel you won’t want to experience or remember.

      Besides, if they are only popular with a younger audience then they should be just as popular as before: new younger generations always replace older ones so it’s not like younger generations disappear.

      • Christopher C

        except that tastes change. younger generations have app games now.

        • Fronkhead

          The overwhelming popularity of Yokai Watch in Japan says otherwise, a game that is definitely being lapped up by younger audiences in the millions.

          I do agree that tastes change, but my point is that there is still demand for non-smartphone titles, particularly in Japan where 3DS has gone mainstream off the back of just that (in the west it’s a harder sell).

          • Christopher C

            I can understand that, but the demand isn’t as high as it was. Back in 1995, there wasn’t as much choice for the younger generation. Now? We have a lot more choices. That’s bound to affect demand in some way.

            Not trying to pick a fight, just saying.

          • Fronkhead

            Oh yes, relatively speaking you’re correct.

    • Haganeren

      They weren’t intended for a younger audience but for everyone. I think it lost it’s appeal primary because Yoshi’s Island DS was just bad and this one didn’t seem good either.

      Nowaday, i doubt a lot of children play plateform game, Mario is the last one which is played by them i think.

      • HarakiriKami

        Didnt Mario sell like 25 milllion units last gen?

        Hell NSMBU is Nintendo’s top selling game on the Wii U.

        They’re still fun and challenging. And easier to understand than, say the 3D games

        • Haganeren

          Yeah, it’s the last one as i said.
          And for this new generation of kid which will not buy a Wii U or a 3DS, it will most likely totally disappear… And don’t think it makes me happy…

  • otakumike

    Personally I hated the new art style.

  • Fronkhead

    Not surprising at all: I’m sure just like over here, fans of the 1995 original saw through this soulless Arzest-developed rerun as they should have done. No reason to give it much attention given how poorly designed it is by comparison (EDGE magazine’s review does a great job at pointing out just that).

    • HarakiriKami

      Except it was Directed by Takashi Tezuka. I dont think he can make a yoshi platformer better than Yoshi SNES.

      Lol. Arzest handles development.

      • Fronkhead

        He also took on directing duties fairly late into development, and I doubt he was at Arzest full time directing the game and the team given his duties at Good Feel and Yoshi’s Woolly World among other things.

      • Tezuka didn’t direct this game to my knowledge. He only acted as the overseeing producer. Tezuka is more involved with Yoshi’s Woolly World.

  • Roger

    This series/spin-off gets worse and worse on each entry, like Paper Mario series (just opinion, btw). Mixed feelings on the new art style.

    • Haganeren

      Well, for me Paper Mario 2 was one of the best RPG ever made and Paper Mario was just “quite good”… I can understand Super Paper Mario didn’t please anybody but it have some unique quality in it that i love.

      I would say only Sticker Star was a bad entry for the series.

      Nothing to say about Yoshi’s Island, i love the first one so much, Story is not too bad and then… handled disaster. I just hope Yoshi Wii U will be better…

      • Roger

        Yeah, I was about to edit, mentioning Thousand-Year Door. Definitely got what made Paper Mario 64 good and improved in most ways.

        I actually like Super Paper Mario and Sticker Star as games, but find them worse than the first two entries (despite still liking them).

        We have the same opinion about Island and Story.

      • mckun

        I might be the minority but I preferred Super mario RPG to Paper Mario.

        • Haganeren

          To Paper Mario, me too. To Paper Mario 2, not quite, but it was an amazing game nevertheless.

      • I think when it came to Sticker Star, they wanted to differentiate it from the Mario and Luigi RPG series. They did have a lot more story and traditional RPG stuff going on, but Miyamoto told them to do the sticker crap instead and take out all the RPG stuff. Thanks, Miyamoto-san. Paper Mario 2 is probably one of the best RPGs of all time, and Paper Mario isn’t far behind. Super Paper Mario is great, just disappointingly different. Even Sticker Star is a darn good game, but I sure hope the next one goes back to the roots. Or at least do a port of Paper Mario 2…

        • Haganeren

          Yeah, i said Sticker Star is a bad entry but that’s really because the other 3 are really good.

          Sticker Star, for me, is more like a point & click game where you have to take object or resolve some puzzle to advance in the game… A weird point & click with battle and platforming element…

          And i liked that, it’s very original, but i can understand it could be disappointing… A little like Super Paper Mario.

    • I respect your opinion yet I believe your kind of wrong. Paper Mario 1-2 were fine. Super Paper Mario was different yet I thought it was okay. Same as Sticker Star. Also, I believe Yoshi’s New Island did worst because more people wanted Yarn Yoshi than the title!

    • HarakiriKami

      Have you seen it running on a 3DS? Its gorgeous

    • Christopher C

      paper mario 1 and 2 were some of nintendo’s best games. paper mario 3 mixed it up but was still plenty of fun. Sticker star I can see how it’s not the best. there’s barely any story to sticker star, not many npcs to interact with, no partners to really talk to, not even the traditional paper mario rpg gameplay.

  • Speaking for myself, the reason I skipped it was because I already played the original Yoshi’s Island. The new game seems to offer very little new or engaging to make it worth a purchase. I might as well just play the original again instead of spending money on a new game if I wanted to play it. Retro’s Donkey Kong games might be somewhat similar to the SNES games, but at least they offer a different flavor that Rare’s Donkey Kong games never had.

    • It’s actually quite different from Yoshi’s Island, but you’re right, you might as well play the original again; the new one is not up to that level of quality at all, or even the quality of the DS version.

  • mckun

    I just don’t have it the same for Mario like I used to do as a kid. The spark isn’t there and I don’t like the art style either. It makes me sound like a hipster though.

    ……….even though I liked the recent 3DS Mario/Luigi game.

    • Fronkhead

      2D Mario titles haven’t really been aimed at the same audience they once were anyway: New Super Mario Bros was very much back to basics, where every game has failed to be as ambitious as Super Mario World for a good reason: they were aimed at the “blue ocean” audience DS/Wii found.

      The “mainline” games like 64, Sunshine, Super Mario Galaxy and 3D World were all terrific though (yes, even Sunshine. I appreciate that game a lot more today given Nintendo would never make anything like it again).

  • ShawnOtakuSomething

    It felt….soulless I didint enjoy it at all. and the art style *Not picky * but it didn’t help ether. Why fix what wasn’t broken

  • leingod

    Personally, I skipped it because I got the new Kirby game instead. Never was a fan of baby Mario, too.

  • Aaron K Stone

    The reasoning makes sense, but that doesn’t explain how the NSMB games still sell well.

  • IndigoRift

    I wanted to support this game, but couldn’t bring myself to do it once I saw the final product in motion. Yoshi’s Island is my top favorite game of all time and I just can’t respect the downgrades in Yoshi’s New Island. Unlike Yoshi’s Island DS though, I’ll see to it that I never play this game in my lifetime.

    Yarn Yoshi is looking to warrant a purchase though.

  • Sentinel

    Play one Yoshi’s Island game, and you’ve played them all. I can only tolerate carrying Baby Mario around for so long.

    I still hope for Yarn Yoshi though.

  • Josh A. Stevens

    It’s because Yoshi’s New Island was, to be blunt, abysmal.

  • It looked like more of the same, yet it clearly wasn’t the same. I was smart to avoid it.

  • CozyAndWarm

    Looks like all the bad reception and word of mouth got around. Which is good, holy cow is it mediocre for a Yoshi game. Hopefully Wooly World is actually good.

  • Kelohmello

    Even just looking at it, the game looks hideous. I mean, Yoshi’s Island was one of the best looking games on the SNES. And then you have this thing, which clearly cuts corners and goes for pre-rendered spriting that looks absolutely awful and outdated in this day and age, on a console that could do much better in any case.

  • E.T.993

    …I’d like to see people’s reaction when they’ll see a new F-Zero or Star Fox. ”This game looks so much like the older one but with online. I’m going to skip on it.”

  • Maybe they skipped it because it’s frankly just not that great of a game. I hate it when game companies release sub-par software and neglect to realize its lack of sales might have something to do with the lack of quality. It doesn’t need to be “AAA,” far from it (many AAA games are mediocre), but it needs to be good. Yoshi’s Island was great. Yoshi’s Island DS wasn’t so great, and this one isn’t either, maybe even worse. Perhaps they should keep that in mind rather than looking for a billion other theories. It reminds me of when companies release really bad RPGs in the West and then say “the West don’t like RPGs) when the sales are low. No, we like RPGs; we just don’t like crappy ones. There are a lot more games to play these days.

  • XiaomuArisu

    Well for me Yoshi Island had charming style
    This game…not

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