How Super Smash Bros. Is Helping Pokémon Pre-Orders

This article is over 9 years old and may contain outdated information

Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire are seeing strong pre-orders across the world, and Nintendo have a very interesting hypothesis as to why that is. The answer, they say, lies within Super Smash Bros.

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Pre-orders for Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, as illustrated in the image above, are in line with those of Pokémon X and Y. This is despite the fact that Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire are remakes of older games. Since they’re remakes, the natural assumption would be that pre-orders wouldn’t be as high as those of newer games, but this is not the case here. In fact, in Europe, pre-orders are actually higher.


Here’s Nintendo’s hypothesis at to why pre-orders for the remakes are going well: In 2001, Nintendo released Super Smash Bros. Melee for the Gamecube. Melee is the first Smash Bros. game that was really considered a major title. The N64 game didn’t grow popular until it was already out, but by the time Melee was released, the Smash Bros. brand had had time to build up popularity and was more recognizable. A large number of people anticipated and bought Super Smash Bros. Melee on Gamecube.


Then, roughly a year after Melee, Nintendo released Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire for the Game Boy Advance, which served as the first Pokémon games for a whole generation of children. These children—who were elementary school students at the time—were also playing Super Smash Bros. Melee, so the two games shared an overlapping audience.


Now, all these years later, these elementary school kids have grown up, and are between 18 and 25 years of age. Coincidentally, they’re also a large percentage of the people buying Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, according to Nintendo’s research.


Nintendo say this generation comprises 30% of Smash 3DS’s audience in Japan, and 50% in the U.S. and Europe. Furthermore, thanks to Smash Bros. on 3DS, this generation is currently paying attention to the Nintendo 3DS console, and their fond memories of Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire are causing them to take an interest in the new remakes of those games as well.


Source: Nintendo investor website.

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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.