Nintendo owns a number of famous video game franchises, with an excellent example being the long-running Kirby franchise. In short, the Kirby franchise is made up for the most part by platformers with beat 'em up as well as puzzle-solving element, which are centered around the titular character's efforts to protect the planet Pop Star from a wide range of enemies. Said character stands out because he is best-described as a pink blob with the rather remarkable as well as rather terrifying ability to suck in enemies and then copy their powers by eating them.
Currently, the Kirby franchise encompasses more than 20 games, which can be found on most of the Nintendo consoles that have ever been made. Moreover, it encompasses a wide range of spin-offs, which is why some people might remember a Kirby animated series that was broadcast at around the turn of the millennium. On top of this, Kirby has been a regular presence in Super Smash Bros. since the beginning, not least because his particular talents make for a very interesting and very versatile fighter.
What Is the Estimated Value of the Kirby Franchise?
There is no simple and straightforward method for determining the value of a video game franchise. This is because most video game franchises do not provide a consistent return in year after year but instead have much more singular patterns, with the result that it isn't possible to calculate an approximate value by discounting all of their potential revenues to the sum of their present value. However, it should also be noted that much of the value of a video game franchise rests in intangible factors, which are perhaps unsurprisingly, notoriously difficult to describe in numerical terms. Even worse, the methods that are reliable for coming up with such figures have very limited circumstances under which they can be used, meaning that they are not particularly useful in this case.
Still, it isn't wholly impossible to get a very general idea of what the Kirby franchise might be worth through very indirect means. For instance, the Kirby franchise has been in existence for more than two decades, with the result that its games have sold a combined total of more than 34 million units when counted on a worldwide basis. For comparison purposes, this makes the Kirby franchise one of the 50 best-selling video game franchises of all time, which is no mean achievement when the video game industry has become as big as the other entertainment industries out there.
On top of this, it should be mentioned that the Kirby franchise isn't one of those video game franchises that see significant swings in its numbers from installment to installment. Instead, most of its titles have seen sales of between 1 and 2 million units, with the last title to step out of that range being Kirby: Squeak Squad for the Nintendo DS in 2006. For comparison purposes, the two most recent installments were Kirby: Planet Robobot in 2016 with 1.36 million units sold and Kirby Star Allies in 2018 with 1.89 million units sold. Based on these numbers, it seems safe to say that while the Kirby franchise isn't exactly expanding its fan base by leaps and by bounds as time passes, it is doing a good job at maintaining the interest of its probable players, which is no mean achievement on its own.
Based on this, while the Kirby franchise can't match the true titans of the video game industry that dominate the best-selling lists in year after year, it is definitely a profitable franchise. After all, if each game manages to sell 1 to 2 million, that means high tens of millions and even low hundreds of millions in revenue per game. This is particularly impressive because new Kirby games are made on a semi-regular basis, with the longest period of time between Kirby games being the time between the release of Kirby: Squeak Squad in 2006 and Kirby's Epic Yarn in 2010. In more recent times, Kirby games have come out in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2018.
Summed up, the Kirby franchise is a valuable earner for Nintendo. It can't be counted among Nintendo's most valuable video game franchises such as Mario and The Legend of Zelda, but being second-tier to those names is no mean accomplishment.
Written by Garrett Parker
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