For once, a major new Nintendo Switch game wasn’t an immediate and overwhelming blockbuster. Thanks to the timing of Horizon Zero Dawn‘s recent discount, and the announcement of its first major story DLC, ARMS had to settle for second place in the UK’s sales charts. Nintendo’s newest fighting — or boxing — game is an entirely new IP, making it not entirely surprising that it failed to live up to the sheer name recognition of Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild or Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
That said, it may still be considered an under-performance. As noted by GamesIndustry.biz:
Arms is the fourth biggest Nintendo Switch launch so far, sitting behind Zelda, Mario Kart 8 and 1-2-Switch.
As per VGChartz’ listing, 1-2-Switch netted about 550,000 units sold globally, and basically existed as a tech demo of the Joy-Con’s features, particularly of the “HD Rumble” technology.
ARMS itself was more positively received by critics than 1-2-Switch, what with having actual gameplay and single-player content, but it still had a couple notable points to detract from it. The game launched with relatively light content, though its first slate of DLC are already expected for later this month and in July (unlocking both spectator mode and new character Max Brass). The official word is that the game will borrow the Splatoon Wii U model of regular content updates, introducing both new characters and new items to use, meaning that while its current sales figures aren’t particularly impressive, it’s still got time to make the pitch to buyers later on down the road.
There’s also the matter of its reputation, now that it’s out. To the shock of many players, the single-player Grand Prix campaign for ARMS has proven extremely challenging. Unlocking the online ranked mode requires finishing Grand Prix at level four, out of a possible max of seven, and that’s proven more than a lot of players can easily accomplish. It’s unknown at this time whether or not Nintendo has plans to dial down the difficulty.
ARMS is exclusive to the Nintendo Switch.