More Than 30,000 People Attended Nintendo's 'Smash Bros.' Event At Best Buy
The two-day experience, which was officially known as Smash-Fest, drew massive crowds when the event began on Wednesday, June 11. Nintendo of America informed Benzinga that an average of 300 to 400 people attended each Smash-Fest event at each Best Buy location.
The largest turnout occurred at the Best Buy stores in Tacoma, Washington and Culver City, California. Both of those locations were visited by 1,000 individuals on the first day alone. All told, Best Buy served more than 30,000 consumers (300+ attendees x 100+ locations = 30,000+), and may have served upwards of 40,000 or 50,000 eager Smash Bros. fans.
A 'Smash' Hit?
During the first day of the event, Benzinga observed a significant number of Super Smash Bros. pre-orders at the Southfield, Michigan location. Nintendo of America told Benzinga that overall pre-orders were "brisk" but did not provide any specific pre-sale data.
According to VGChartz, more than 33,000 people pre-ordered the Nintendo 3DS version before the event began. This data is current as of June 7, 2014. VGChartz also shows that the Super Smash Bros. franchise has grown with each sequel.
The series has jumped from 5.55 million units on Nintendo 64 to 7.07 million on GameCube. This is important because GameCube sold fewer units (21.74 million) than Nintendo 64 (32.93 million). Super Smash Bros. Brawl, the third chapter in the series, sold 12.16 million units on Wii -- a console that was purchased by more than 100 million people.
Anecdotally, the Smash-Fest appears to be Nintendo's most successful consumer event. The company has been promoting its hardware and software with mall tours and other events for more than a decade.
Nintendo is currently promoting its handheld games with the Play Nintendo Tour, which is scheduled to visit Northlake Mall in Charlotte, North Carolina this weekend (June 20 through June 22). The full list of games and tour stops can be found at nintendo.com/events/play2014.
Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this report.
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