Nintendo revealed on Tuesday that the Nintendo Switch game, which was released in 2021 to high critical praise, managed to sell 2.9m copies as of March 2022, which likely crowns it as the highest seller in the decades-long series.
Although public sales data for the entire Metroid series is hard to come by – it is, after all, 35-years-old – no Metroid title has ever been reported to sell more than 3 million units. Retro Studios claimed in 2007 that Prime 1 had sold over 2 million units.
Despite achieving the sales milestone, 2.9m is still a conservative sales figure compared to other recent Switch first-party titles such as Kirby: The Forgotten Land (2.1m), Mario Party Superstars (6.88m), and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD (3.91m).
The Metroid series has historically struggled to sell well compared to Nintendo’s other first-party franchises, but Dread was supported by a strong marketing campaign including prominent TV advertisements.
And the game was reportedly off to a good start in several markets, following its October release.
According to GfK data, Dread enjoyed the series’ biggest ever launch in the UK. While boxed copies were slightly short of the biggest launch in franchise history (by less than 1,000 copies), digital sales, which are not accounted for, will likely have pushed this number far beyond the previous record.
Dread sold three and a half times more copies at launch than the last 2D Metroid Game: Metroid: Samus Returns, which launched on 3DS in 2017.
In Japan, Dread enjoyed a strong first week in and outsold nearly every other instalment in the region in its opening few days.
In VGC’s Metroid Dread Metroid Dread review, we wrote: “With a near-perfect balance of nods to the past and fresh ideas, Metroid Dread brings cinematic flair, fast-paced action and a surprising story to the side-scrolling classic. This is the comeback fans have been waiting for.”