Nintendo dominates Amazon’s bestsellers of the 2021 gaming list

Mario looks over his domain
Image: Nintendo Life

There are many, many ways to buy and enjoy games today, but it is fair to say that retail Amazon is still a great option for many consumers. As a major player in gaming sales (and sales of pretty much everything), it’s interesting to see the best players of the year, and in terms of gaming, the results are exciting for several reasons.

You can see the regularly updated page here for the US store, though it probably will now around the rain the same the rest of the year. Interesting point number one is that you do not see any game before # 11 in the chart, where the top 10 consists exclusively of digital store gift cards and accessories. From a Switch perspective, there is a $ 10 eShop gift card at number 3, while an officially licensed Mario-themed micro-SD card is at number 8. More similar accessories and gift cards can also be found throughout the chart, showing that consumers are more than experienced in knowing that they will need store credit and expanded storage space with their system.

Surprisingly – or not, depending on your perspective – the first game Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury is in 11th place. It enjoys being a remarkable title with one of the longest times on the market (it was released on February 12), yet it is impressive that it has postponed other major releases later in the year. Amazon’s audience in the US also loves to dance, it seems where Just Dance 2022 on Switch is the next game in the 14th, perhaps helped along the way by the modest price.

The key point of the intrigue is that all the other physical games in Amazon’s top 50 in the US are Switch games, the vast majority of which are first-rate Nintendo games; Minecraft and Just Dance 2021 on the system are third party exceptions. While it’s tempting to get out of the bundle and celebrate Nintendo’s dominance with one of the world’s most significant retailers, context is also important.

Results like these show that Nintendo’s approach to value in its retail games, especially the relative rarity and size of discounts either in stores or on the eShop, pays off on sites like Amazon. With many game publishers, there can be a temptation to ‘wait for a discount’, which inevitably comes within a few months. With Nintendo games, there is a long wait, and then the discounts will be modest enough that it may not always pay to wait. Add to that the eager Switch fanbase and the continued desirability of physical copies for many, and you get a Switch-heavy focus.

The market segments Sony and Microsoft are very different – larger retail games get discounts more often, especially as downloads on PSN and Microsoft Xbox stores, and both platform holders continue to focus on downloads through promotions and even digital versions of consoles only. Then you consider services like Xbox Game Pass and it’s easy to see why PlayStation and Xbox have some smaller numbers buying physical copies of exclusive games.

This list is also for Amazon only and broken down by platform, though it’s still pretty surprising that multiplatform big hitters like FIFA 2022 and all kinds of shooters / other sports games are not represented.

However, as an indicator of Nintendo’s ongoing model of maintaining value and physical releases, the Amazon chart is interesting.

And yes, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild are still selling well after almost five years.

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