Estimated earnings of World of Goo on Wii - $4,800,000

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Estimated earnings of World of Goo on Wii - $4,800,000Pavke02/27/2010 - 10:57

February 22, 2010 – Forecasting and Analyzing Digital Entertainment, LLC (FADE) has released its annual report for 2009 for Nintendo’s WiiWare and Virtual Console services. FADE estimates that the two platforms combined for $125 million in revenue in 2009, with the holiday rush just giving Virtual Console the edge over WiiWare ($66 million to $59 million).

While WiiWare grew by over 30% in 2009 compared to its launch year, Virtual Console slid almost 25% in 2009, leading to an small overall decline of 6% year-over-year. The main factors for the decline in Virtual Console revenue are an overall weaker and less numerous release schedule in 2009, combined with a promotion by Nintendo to give away a free NES game to Wii owners who had purchased the Wii Internet Channel – leading to over 500,000 free downloads.

As with most downloadable markets, the top titles take in most of the revenue. On WiiWare, the top 20 games (10% of the market) took in almost 70% of the revenue, while on Virtual Console the top 50 games (10%) took in almost 80% of the revenue. The top-heavy nature of the market has led to the majority of titles on both services seeing less than 10,000 sales lifetime.

One important detail to point out is that while the Nintendo dominates among the classic titles on the Virtual Console, taking in 76% of revenue on that platform, WiiWare is a different story altogether. That platform has proven much more hospitable to third parties, with Nintendo only earning 16% of WiiWare revenue. (See attached figure.)

FADE believes 2010 will continue to see small declines in Virtual Console with strong gains in WiiWare, as they project the Virtual Console to take in approximately $60 million with WiiWare surpassing $75 million.

Estimated Top Western Downloadable Wii Titles by Revenue, 2009 (Price in USD):

Super Mario Bros. 3 (Nintendo, NES) – $5,000,000 ($5.00)

World of Goo (2D Boy, WiiWare) – $4,800,000 ($15.00)

Super Mario Bros. (Nintendo, NES) – $3,300,000 ($5.00)

Super Mario World (Nintendo, SNES) – $2,900,000 ($8.00)

Super Mario 64 (Nintendo, N64) – $2,700,000 ($10.00)

Tetris Party (Hudson, WiiWare) – $2,600,000 ($12.00)

Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, the (Nintendo, N64) – $2,300,000 ($10.00)

Pokémon Rumble (Nintendo, WiiWare) – $2,200,000 ($15.00)

Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, the (Nintendo, N64) – $2,100,000 ($10.00)

My Pokémon Ranch (Nintendo, WiiWare) – $2,000,000 ($10.00)

For the purposes of this list, western markets include North and South America, Europe, and Australia (to the exclusion of Japan and Korea).

While Nintendo has not given any comment on these numbers yet, its rather interesting to see that Wii users do surf the Wii Store and buy content after all. However, from the ten tiles listed above, only four WiiWare games are listed and only one comes from an indie developer (World of Goo). Early this year, indie developers complained about Nintendo’s lack of support when it comes down to showcasing their titles on the WiiWare service.

FADE offers a wide array of reports for WiiWare and Virtual Console for any given month, with package deals on multiple platforms and volume discounts for large orders. Visit for more information.

About Forecasting and Analyzing Digital Entertainment, LLC

FADE is a strategic market research and consulting firm focused on electronic entertainment and the emerging download and mobile game markets. With very little information currently available in these markets, FADE allows smaller developers to investigate these new potential sources of revenue and make informed business decisions moving forward. Currently, FADE produces monthly and annual reports for Steam, Xbox Live Arcade, WiiWare & Virtual Console, and mobile markets including iPhone, Android, Windows Mobile, and Blackberry. For more information, please visit

Last modified Sat, 02/27/2010 - 11:34 by Pavke
Re: Estimated earnings of World of Goo on Wii - $4,800,000Zappypantz03/01/2010 - 10:28

Cool, so what percent of that money goes to Ron and Kyle? All of it? Or just most of it?

Last modified Mon, 03/01/2010 - 10:32 by Zappypantz
Re: Estimated earnings of World of Goo on Wii - $4,800,000nawoa04/13/2010 - 21:12

From industry experience I can tell you that, on average, around 5% of retail boxed game profits typically go to the developer.

If that doesn't sound outrageous enough, remember I said "profits" - sales have to completely recoup all development, advertising, publishing, shipping, management (etc) costs, and from then on 5% of what's excess goes to the developer.

This varies depending on various circumstances like how much clout the developer has, but it's really, really one-sided, though not quite as bad as the music industry.

Through digital distribution models are usually a lot fairer in this regard, it wouldn't be a big surprise if Nintendo kept 50% or more.  It seems like a terrible ripoff but the fact is, 2D Boy gained access to a huge market thanks to being on WiiWare, and Nintendo is the gatekeeper to that market, so they collect the road toll.

Re: Estimated earnings of World of Goo on Wii - $4,800,000Buttersnack05/01/2010 - 08:35

I've heard Nintendo only keeps 30%, but that sounds incorrect. I expect 2DBoy wouldn't get the majority of that money, but even 10% of $4,800,000 is $240,000 for each of them.

Re: Estimated earnings of World of Goo on Wii - $4,800,000TanyaFox10/29/2010 - 07:14

Do they have an affiliate program to promote the games?

Re: Estimated earnings of World of Goo on Wii - $4,800,000RocketMarv11/29/2010 - 07:00

[quote author=TanyaFox link=topic=2746.msg18998#msg18998 date=1288354449]
Do they have an affiliate program to promote the games?

That would be really interesting. Like the promotion of browser based games you could spread titles much more on various sources. Anyway, a 30% share for ninento doesn't sound unrealistic to me...