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Super Smash Bros. sales continue to prove fighting games are experiencing an amazing resurgence

Mortal Kombat, Tekken, Street Fighter and others are seeing sales beyond some prior generations

Posted by Jonathan 'Catalyst' Grey • September 12, 2020 at 12:10 p.m. PDT • Comments: 49

The latest Super Smash Bros. entry, Ultimate, has sold over 20 million copies now, marking it as not only an amazingly successful fighting game title, but one of the best selling video games of all time.

To help give this number a bit more context, we can compare it to the grand daddy of fighting games, Street Fighter 2, which has sold over 16 million units world wide, across all versions of the game including the updates like Champion Edition and Super Turbo on many different platforms. The Street Fighter 2 era is often considered one of the best eras for fighting games ever, but considering the success of Super Smash Bros., Mortal Kombat, Tekken and other titles, it's possible we're in the best era ever for fighting games now.

While Tekken 7 isn't the most successful entry in the franchise's history, already hitting the 5 million sales mark means it's one of the top performing entries Bandai Namco has ever done, as there's no shame in being bested by the likes of Tekken 3 (8.5 million), Tekken 5 (8.2 million), and reportedly Tekken 2 (5.7 million). It's not like Tekken 7 is done either, as the game has seen a steady climb in numbers since it was released to arcades in 2015 and later on consoles in 2017.

NetherRealm Studios has seen outstanding success with the Mortal Kombat and Injustice fighting game franchises as well. NetherRealm Studios' best selling game as of 2019 was the 10th entry for Mortal Kombat, having sold about 11 million units.

Even Street Fighter 5 has hit 4.7 million copies, despite being exclusive to the Sony PlayStation console, and having a less than stellar initial reception. To add on to it, Dragon Ball FighterZ also reached 5 million in sales earlier this year.

Not only are we seeing one of the main entries in fighting games, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, outperform all other titles previously, but the other main fighting games are also doing extremely well, and one could argue this is the best era of fighting game popularity we've ever seen, based on these sales figures alone.

While there's a lot of work yet to be done, rollback netcode is still not a standard across the majority of the games we mentioned here, the fact that there are a ton of people able to pick up and enjoy these games is a very good sign for our community and the developers that create these games we love.

It wasn't that long ago that we experienced some very dark periods as well, with games barely able to cobble together a couple of million in sales at best, or video game developers flat out not touching the genre for long periods of time.

As such, it's a good opportunity to appreciate what we're seeing here and now, fighting games are seeing a resurgance, and appear to be attracting players like never before.

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