Super Mario 3D Land Outpacing Super Mario Galaxy’s First-Year Sales

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Super Mario 3D Land is outpacing Super Mario Galaxy in its first year, according to sales figures provided in Nintendo’s latest earnings report. Here are sales figures for both games in their first 13 months:


Super Mario 3D Land – 8 million copies sold

  • (Released Nov. 2011 for 3DS)


Super Mario Galaxy – 7.66 million copies sold

  • (Released Nov. 2007 for Wii)


How exactly is this happening? The main cause is that, while Super Mario Galaxy performed slightly better than Super Mario 3D Land in the west, 3D Land is outselling the Wii game by nearly double in Japan. Here’s how both games did in Japan and the West at a glance:


As shown in the graph above, over the course of thirteen months, significantly greater sales of Super Mario 3D Land in Japan (blue bars) helped the game outpace Galaxy’s worldwide sales.


Super Mario 3D Land sold 1.85 million copies in Japan alone, while Galaxy sales in Japan were at 934,000. If you’re more interested in exact sales figures of both games in Japan and the West, you can find them at the bottom of this report.


So, why is Super Mario 3D Land doing so much better than Galaxy in Japan? It’s because 3D Mario games tend not to do as well in Japan as they do in the west, but 3D Land is a deliberate mix of the linear 2D and more exploratory 3D styles, which makes it more approachable for the Japanese audience.


As of March 2012—ie; five years after its release—worldwide Super Mario Galaxy sales were at 10.68 million copies. It should be interesting to see how high Super Mario 3D Land goes in a similar timeframe, especially since it already has New Super Mario Bros. 2 stealing some of its thunder, particularly in the Japanese market.


Game Japan Sales West. sales
SM 3D Land: Nov – Dec (2011) 1.36 million 3.86 million
SM 3D Land: Jan – Mar (2012) 210,000 590,000
SM 3D Land: Jan – Mar (2012) 280,000 1.88 million
SM Galaxy: Nov – Dec (2007) 840,000 4.35 million
SM Galaxy: Nov – Dec (2008) 90,000 820,000
SM Galaxy: Nov – Dec (2008) 4,000 1.51 million


Note: Some discrepancies exist due to rounded off figures in Nintendo’s financials.


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Image of Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.