DK: Tropical Freeze Moves 1,000 Units in Japan, Shows Why Variety is Important

It’s too early to make 100% absolute statements, but the latest Media Create sales shows that Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze has so far failed to make any significant difference in the Wii U’s sales. While the game itself has managed to sell pretty well within the first 3 days of it’s launch in Japan (over 40,000), Wii U sales were increased by only a factor of 1.2%. Again, it’s important to point out that this is only the results of the first 3 days rather than the full first week, but the bulk of unit sales usually come from within the first 2 days of the game’s lifespan.

For comparison sake, when Pikmin 3 had launched in Japan last year,  it more than tripled the Wii U’s sales. Now, some may argue that Japan simply doesn’t like Donkey Kong, but Returns sold over 1 million units in Japan – twice as much as any Pikmin game has ever sold in that region. Not to mention of course that DK is one of the most popular gaming franchises ever, and absolutely dwarfs the Pikmin series in size and popularity.

Which leads to a point I’ve been trying to make about the game: A game itself can sell tons, but that doesn’t automatically make it a system seller. My distaste for Tropical Freeze when it was announced last year of E3 was met with responses such as “You’re just a salty Metroid fan.” While I would’ve loved a new Metroid from Retro, that’s not at all the reason why I wish they had worked on something else.


It’s a great, quality platformer, not doubt. But is it really need from Retro this early in the console’s life-cycle?

The problem is, is that Tropical Freeze doesn’t offer any variety to the Wii U’s current library – it’s a platformer. Chances are, if you like platformers, or games like DK in general, then you already own or have already wanted a Wii U prior to the game’s release. Platforming fans are already on-board with the system due to New Super Mario Bros. U, Rayman Legends, 3D World, and Sonic Lost World. Essentially, it’s a game that will sell to the choir, and not much to newcomers.

And as one of Nintendo’s premiere developers, I feel that Retro should have taken up the task of creating that one Wii U game that could show what the system can do, whether that involved showing the system’s horsepower, online capabilities, or more importantly, the Gamepad . Another issue I had with Tropical Freeze is that it is in no way using the touchscreen.

Now with all that being said, I don’t want those of you reading this to think I hate the game. I will have the game day one and will be doing livestreams of the game, but the point stands that a different game from Retro could have done the Wii U a lot more good than Donkey Kong will.

Let us know what you think down below.

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23 thoughts on “DK: Tropical Freeze Moves 1,000 Units in Japan, Shows Why Variety is Important

  1. Are u really buying the game? Or playing somebody elses copy? Like with 3d World? : )

  2. I feel like MK8 should have been our febuary title since MK can keep people busy for months

  3. OR they could have made a 3D Donkey Kong and not a 2D one. I don’t where this DK hate is coming from but its getting annoying. Retro should do whatever they want. If they wanted to do DK, let them make it.

    • Oh man I loved the N64 game. I know people that hated on it but to this day I still cannot see why.

  4. Would have loved to have seen an HD Metroid Prime collection for the Wii U with gamepad support.

  5. While I agree Metroid would’ve sold more, I have 2 questions for you. 1)Is Donkey Kong Country a good game? 2) Why did you EXPECT a game with as little hype as this to sell Wii U’s?

    • 1) “It’s a great, quality platformer, not doubt. But is it really need from Retro this early in the console’s life-cycle?”
      2) Where in the article did I say that I expected it to move consoles? Pay attention to the article. I stated that I had others tell me that Tropical Freeze was a great decision because it would move consoles due to the fact that Returns sold over 5 million, but all because a game sells a lot doesn’t make that game a system seller.

      Many fans were telling me that it will move lots of units, but obviously that isn’t the case.

      • I hope that your wrong Jahmai, But i have a gut feeling you might be right about this. This might be more of a legacy title, slow burn for this system. But i don’t see any advertising on the level that it should be.

      • Geekman didn’t read your article correctly. I didn’t think Tropical Freeze would move consoles much either. It’s just icing on the cake for people that already have a Wii U. Surely not a system seller except for the people that already have the system themselves.

  6. Asdrendelux says:

    You know it comes tomorow out in Europe? How you get this number Shokio?

    Realy mean whats wrong with you?

    • Says the guy who spelled “Really” incorrectly.

  7. I completely agree with this article

    DK is a great franchise but tropical freeze doesn’t give us anything particularly new either..

    I would have preferred Retro had made a Star Fox or Metroid game instead just to give the Wii U more variety in its lineup

    more favoring Starfox since we haven’t one of them in a very long time

  8. laubasebanto says:

    A good game is a good game, its the install base, not some false notion of variety. DK is an amazing game.

  9. laubasebanto says:

    It wasnt Retros job to add variety, they made the game they wanted to you moron.

    Your essentially saying they game they wanted to make is wrong. Who do you think you are

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