Breath of the Wild is by far the best-selling game on the Switch. Some have even suggested that the Switch has only sold so well because of Breath of the Wild. The majority of these sales for the game came from physical copies, and not downloads. This is a fact which Reggie Fils-Aime reflected on recently, and linked to the way players engage with Breath of the Wild.
Reggie stated that every Nintendo game “is different” and can be played differently depending on what the “consumer wants to experience”. He gave the example of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and that it’s “something that you always want to have on the device” because of the multiplayer appeal. Reggie claimed that when someone is out with their Switch, people are “eyeing your Nintendo Switch, eyeing those Joy-Con controllers” and expect them to have Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for the multiplayer experience. This obviously links to the Switch’s easy multiplayer access and relates to the competitive play trailer shown during the E3 spotlight.
Reggie contrasted that to Breath of the Wild and described it as “a one-on-one experience.” Due to the fact that it’s much more of a personal experience, it’s not “conducive to pop it down and to share a remote.” Reggie explained that people want to always be able to access a game like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe because it can be easily played on the go and with others, whereas Zelda is much more of a personal experience. Reggie thought that this was the reason “the digital percent is maybe a little bit different.”
Some gaming companies could be happy with good sales whether they’re physical copies or downloads. However, Reggie’s analysis of how Breath of the Wild was bought and played shows a dedication and commitment which is great to see. Nintendo have been putting much more of an emphasis on competitive play recently, and even have a dedicated Twitter account for it, but hopefully the company continue to focus on great solo experiences too.
How did you buy Breath of the WildI? Do you agree with Reggie’s comments?