Video game fans and followers of the industry knew that Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was going to be a big release, but the game's success seems to have gone above and beyond expectations. The latest financial reports indicate that Smash Ultimate set an all-time high record for launch-month dollars sales, making it the most successful (and profitable) video game launch since The NPD group started keeping track of video game sales figures.
According to a press release from The NPD Group, not only did Smash Ultimate shatter the previous launch month sales record, it also managed to best the series' previous best launch month by a staggering 70 percent:
"Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the best-selling game of December 2018 and the fifth best-selling game of 2018, despite digital sales not currently being tracked by The NPD Group. Packaged software launch month dollar sales of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate exceeded those of the previous best in franchise history, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, by over 70 percent."
The previous record for launch month dollar sales was held by Halo: Reach, which originally released back in 2010. Moving beyond this record, Red Dead Redemption 2 managed to squeak away with the honor of being the best-selling game of 2018, while Smash Ultimate came in number five overall. Keeping with Nintendo accomplishments, Mario Kart 8 now ranks as the second best-selling racing game of all time, just barely behind Mario Kart Wii in overall dollar sales. These games and other Switch exclusives like Mario Tennis Aces also helped Nintendo claim the highest software revenue the company has seen since 2009.
2018 was certainly a big year for video games. The Entertainment Software Association as well as The NPD Group have also revealed that overall 2018 video game sales hit $43.4 billion in the U.S. alone, setting another all-time high record. Given the suite of excellent video games scheduled to release in 2019, we can only assume that this trend will continue onward and upward.