Of the three main console giants — Nintendo, Xbox, and PlayStation — Nintendo has the largest library of IPs. There are obvious names like Mario, Zelda, and Pokémon, but there’s an even larger library beyond them, like Fire Emblem, Kirby, and Metroid. Of all the IPs mentioned, most of them receive a pretty consistent release of new games for fans to enjoy except for Metroid.
The Metroid franchise and Nintendo have an awkward history. Metroid‘s influence on gaming as a whole is obvious — an entire genre, Metroidvania, was named partially after it. Some of the most beloved Nintendo games ever, Metroid Prime and Super Metroid, are part of that franchise. However, multiple times fans have seen Metroid get ignored in favor of other Nintendo IPs when it comes to new games. The reasoning for this has never been clear, but a history of inconsistent sales numbers appears to be the culprit.
When a brand new Metroid game, Metroid Dread, was released on Nintendo Switch back in October, fans made it very clear to Nintendo that they want to see the IP get a little more love. More than 850,000 copies sold in October, which earned praise from Nintendo of America President Doug Bowser in an interview with the Washington Post.
There’s some good news for Metroid fans, too: “Metroid Dread” sold 854,000 copies in October, which Bowser said is the best launch in series history. That Nintendo is proud enough to announce these numbers bodes well for the franchise, which has had a shaky sales history.
When Metroid Dread was announced back at E3 it was honestly shocking, not only because it was a Metroid game, but it was the first 2D Metroid release since Metroid Fusion back in 2002. Until Dread was announced, all Metroid fans really had to get excited about was a remake of Metroid II: Return of Samus for the 3DS and the news that Metroid Prime 4 will come at some point. Dread is the first new Metroid game since Metroid: Other M in 2010.
Now that Dread has done incredibly well, fans of the series may finally be able to breathe a little easier. As long as games continue to sell, there shouldn’t be a reason for the IP to go into hiatus like it has done multiple times in the past.