Video game sales can be pretty fascinating things when watched closely. GTA 5 has sold more than 160 million copies in its eight years on the market, and that doesn't even include the spike Rockstar will have enjoyed courtesy of its new-gen launch. No one does sustained sales quite like Nintendo, though. Big hitters such as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Animal Crossing: New Horizons have sold tens of millions of copies and are in the top ten best-sellers every single week.
Turns out it isn't just instantly recognizable series doing big numbers for Nintendo right now. GamesIndustry.biz's Christopher Dring has revealed 2021's Big Brains Academy: Brain vs. Brain has also been pulling big numbers. Such big numbers that the Nintendo sleeper hit has outsold the GTA Trilogy and Forza Horizon 5. All three games launched at around the same time, hence why comparing their numbers is both fair and interesting.
Big Brain Academy's numbers are actually even more impressive than they appear on the surface. Nintendo doesn't share digital download sales. That means the puzzle game's numbers are based on physical sales alone, whereas the figures for the other two games also include digital downloads. If Nintendo were to share digital numbers, Big Brain Academy would be even further ahead of its fellow 2021 Q4 launch titles.
As impressive as the Nintendo title's performance has been, there are a couple of caveats. Since the GTA Trilogy is also available on Switch, there are digital sales not included in its total. As for Forza 5, the incredibly well-received racing sim was made available on Game Pass at launch. Obviously playing it on Game Pass doesn't count as a sale, and since it's an Xbox exclusive, not many people would have actually needed to pick up a copy.
The reaction to the reveal that Nintendo planned to launch a new Big Brain Academy game felt mixed initially. However, it would appear there was more want for one than it seemed. It may explain why Nintendo is experimenting with series that have been dormant for a while, and give hope to those you might have once thought would never see the light of day again. Mario Golf got its first installment on a home console since the GameCube last year, and Battle League will revive the Mario Strikers games this summer.
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