The Top 30 most downloaded digital-only games on Switch in 2017 + some extrapolations

Recently, Nintendo of Japan has distributed through the Switch’s News Channel two posts about the most downloaded digital-only (i.e. titles with no retail release) for the year 2017. One of them was specifically for Japan, but we’re here to talk about the other, that dealt specifically with sales on a worldwide scale…but with a specific caveat. Also: is it possible to get a better look at the global state of the eShop sales thanks to this ranking?

First of all, the caveat: the following Top 30 contains titles specifically released in Japan. This means that big sellers like Golf Story are excluded since still not available for Japanese customers.

Second…well, the Top 30 itself!

 

01. Stardew Valley {2017.10.05} (Chucklefish)
02. Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition {2017.05.12} (Mojang / Microsoft)
03. Sonic Mania {2017.08.15} (Sega)
04. Rocket League {2017.10.14} (Psyonix)
05. SnipperClips: Cut it Out Together! {2017.03.03} (Nintendo)
06. Overcooked! Special Edition {2017.07.27} (Team 17)
07. Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove {2017.03.03} (Yacht Club Games)
08. Fast RMX {2017.03.03} (Shin’en)
09. Kamiko {2017.04.27} (Circle)
10. SteamWorld Dig 2 {2017.09.21} (Image & Form)
11. Arcade Archives: Vs. Super Mario Bros. {2017.12.22} (Hamster)
12. Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap {2017.04.18} (DotEmu)
13. Blaster Master Zero {2017.03.09} (Inti Creates)
14. ACA NeoGeo: Metal Slug 3 {2017.03.03} (Hamster)
15. Enter the Gungeon {2017.12.14} (Devolver Digital)
16. Oceanhorn: Monster of the Uncharted Seas {2017.06.22} (FDG Entertainment)
17. Might Gunvolt Burst {2017.06.15} (Inti Creates)
18. Arcade Archives: Mario Bros. {2017.09.27} (Hamster)
19. ACA NeoGeo: Metal Slug {2017.03.30} (Hamster)
20. Picross S {2017.09.28} (Jupiter)
21. Thumper {2017.05.18} (Droll LLC)
22. Graceful Explosion Machine {2017.04.06} (Vertex Pop)
23. ACA NeoGeo: King of Fighters ’98 {2017.03.09} (Hamster)
24. Mr Shifty {2017.04.13} (tinyBuild Games)
25. World of Goo {2017.03.16} (Tomorrow Corporation)
26. Brawlout {2017.12.19} (Angry Mob Games)
27. Human: Fall Flat {2017.12.07}
28. UNO {2017.11.07} (Ubisoft)
29. GoNNER {2017.06.29} (Raw Fury)
30. IMPLOSION {2017.07.06} (Flyhigh Works)

Note: the American release dates have been used for titles with different launch dates in different regions

Again: the ranking does not include games that have been in the West but that have yet to see a release in Japan, and it only includes digital-only titles, which means we can’t get a complete idea of what kind of volumes the whole eShop ecosystem (both indies and bigger games) can move…but it can still give us a pretty nice idea. And necessary corrections compared to earlier statements…you’ll understand soon enough.

This is all thanks to numbers that have been shared in the past few months from several companies, and here’s a nice recap of what we actually know.

First of all, Flyhigh Works itself, on December 28th’s “Flyhigh Express” (consider it as FE’s version of Directs) shared numbers for both Kamiko and Voez, then reported by WSJ’s Takashi Mochizuki

DodgeRollGames, the developer of Enter the Gungeon, did the same by sharing the game’s first two weeks of sales on December 29th

Also, remember what DotEmu said about Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap last month? It was reported here as well

https://theeshopchartology.wordpress.com/2017/12/02/sales-updates-for-wonder-boy-steamworld-dig-2-and-cat-quest-a-brief-extrapolation/

“Wonder Boy has been quite successful on the Switch. We’re more than 100,000 sold now, it’s more than all other platforms combined”

And, finally, Nintendo itself shared numbers for SnipperClips: Cut it out together several months ago (by far the least updated number among them)

https://www.nintendo.co.jp/ir/pdf/2017/170428_2e.pdf

So, if we take these numbers and bring them in the Top 30, this is what we can extrapolate

01. Stardew Valley {2017.10.05} (Chucklefish)
02. Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition {2017.05.12} (Mojang / Microsoft)
03. Sonic Mania {2017.08.15} (Sega)
04. Rocket League {2017.10.14} (Psyonix)
05. SnipperClips: Cut it Out Together! {2017.03.03} (Nintendo) – > 350,000
06. Overcooked! Special Edition {2017.07.27} (Team 17)
07. Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove {2017.03.03} (Yacht Club Games)
08. Fast RMX {2017.03.03} (Shin’en)
09. Kamiko {2017.04.27} (Circle) – >  160,000
10. SteamWorld Dig 2 {2017.09.21} (Image & Form)
11. Arcade Archives: Vs. Super Mario Bros. {2017.12.22} (Hamster)
12. Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap {2017.04.18} (DotEmu) – > 100,000
13. Blaster Master Zero {2017.03.09} (Inti Creates)
14. ACA NeoGeo: Metal Slug 3 {2017.03.03} (Hamster)
15. Enter the Gungeon {2017.12.14} (Devolver Digital) – > 75,000
16. Oceanhorn: Monster of the Uncharted Seas {2017.06.22} (FDG Entertainment)
17. Might Gunvolt Burst {2017.06.15} (Inti Creates)
18. Arcade Archives: Mario Bros. {2017.09.27} (Hamster)
19. ACA NeoGeo: Metal Slug {2017.03.30} (Hamster)
20. Picross S {2017.09.28} (Jupiter)
21. Thumper {2017.05.18} (Droll LLC)
22. Graceful Explosion Machine {2017.04.06} (Vertex Pop)
23. ACA NeoGeo: King of Fighters ’98 {2017.03.09} (Hamster)
24. Mr Shifty {2017.04.13} (tinyBuild Games)
25. World of Goo {2017.03.16} (Tomorrow Corporation)
26. Brawlout {2017.12.19} (Angry Mob Games)
27. Human: Fall Flat {2017.12.07}
28. UNO {2017.11.07} (Ubisoft)
29. GoNNER {2017.06.29} (Raw Fury)
30. IMPLOSION {2017.07.06} (Flyhigh Works) – > 50,000

Here’s some observations we can make

  1. All the titles in the Top 30 saw over 50,000 downloads WW, since Voez from Flyhigh Works failed to chart
  2. All the games in Top 15 have been downloaded over 75,000 times across all regions
  3. Each item from 1st to 11th saw more than 100,000 downloads for sure
  4. Kamiko being 9th at over 160,000 means that SteamWorld Dig 2 can’t have possibly sold “almost 10 times” as much as the Steam version’s LTD back at the time of the interview where I&F’s Sigurgeisson released that statement…which is what I estimated in the same older post with DotEmu’s statement. This means that the reference was more about the launch itself and not the total sales of the game, and thus my previous estimate was overly generous. Apologies for my mistake.
  5. The entire top 5 sold more than 350,000 digital copies, potentially quite a bit more since the number is from April 27th, 2017

It’s unfortunate that we still have no clear ideas / references for how much retail games are selling through the eShops as well, for which these references would’ve represented an important help, but this chart can still give to us a good idea of Nintendo’s digital ecosystem and its own health in 2017…and it seems to be a very, very positive one.

See you soon,

Marco.

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