Do you remember an old video game called Metroid? If you liked playing video games on the Nintendo gaming system back in the 1980s, then you probably not only remember it, but have a special place in your heart for it. By today’s standards, it’s primitive at best, but when it was first introduced to the United States back in 1987, everybody thought it was the greatest thing they had ever seen. Many of the games were popular back then but there just seemed to be something special about this one. As a matter of fact, it was so special that there was an entire franchise created of it. You might be surprised to learn just how much that franchise is worth today, especially when you consider the fact that this is something that has been gaining ground in popularity for the last 30 years and counting.
If you’re having some trouble remembering what the original game is all about, it goes something like this. An evil overlord is trying to gather as many weapons as he can so he can turn them into nuclear weapons and then use them to control everyone on the planet that doesn’t see things his way. Of course, you can’t have a good game without the battle between good and evil. In this case, the evil guy is opposed by Samus Aran. It makes for a good story and there’s plenty of action to boot. At the time the original game was produced, it was easily one of the best “fleshed out” games available for any gaming system, especially the Nintendo.
So far this franchise includes a slew of other games, all based on the original. Since it was originally produced and manufactured by Nintendo, they of course handled all of the sequels, as well as a number of re-releases. Over the years, they have released a whole host of games for the GameCube and other systems. As the gaming systems have changed over the years, new games have been introduced to keep up with them. Nintendo also made the decision to re-release the original as part of a more nostalgic game pack, in order to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the original game’s release.
So far, the company has released well over 2.7 million copies of the game. That’s right, million. That’s a number that’s hard to wrap your head around, to say the least. If you really stop and think about it, there’s a ton of money to be made here. In fact, the net worth of the entire game franchise is enough to make you look twice. To date, the franchise had made roughly 165 million dollars. Obviously, that’s a lot of money to be had. To put that in perspective, there are a number of companies in existence, all of which are considered quite successful, that would consider themselves lucky to make that much throughout the course of their entire business. This is just one game. Sure, it’s been a number of years since the first game was released, but when you consider the fact that Nintendo made enough off of one game to be as successful as most corporations could ever hope to be, that’s something worth noting.
Why has this particular franchise been so successful? You have to remember, it doesn’t really rely on the types of things that most franchises do in order to find financial success. There are no film adaptations, no cartoons, no comics. They have created a viable franchise from the video games alone, something that has proven to be quite illusive for other successful franchises. That fact alone attests to the overall popularity of Metroid. Even today, there are people who consider themselves dedicated fans of the game, even to the point of routinely playing the original, whether that means maintaining an older gaming system or using one of the re-releases designed for the newer systems.
When it’s all said and done, Metroid is still one of those games that people just love to play. There’s good story attached to it and it’s fun. That’s really all you need to create a lasting legacy, and Nintendo has proven that time and time again, thanks to the overwhelming popularity of the game itself.
Written by Garrett Parker
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