Shigeru Miyamoto wants Nintendo to have a hit the size of Breath of the Wild or Animal Crossing: New Horizons every "3-5 years"

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
(Image credit: Nintendo)

Nintendo veteran Shigeru Miyamoto says the gaming giant will find long-term success if it can find "one big hit every three to five years."

In an interview earlier this year with Earthbound creator Shigesato Itoi (translated by DeepL), Miyamoto explained how he still speaks at seminars for new employees every year. Each year, he says, he explains how Nintendo "is a company that is supported by hit products," and how if it can produce a "big hit" every three to five years, its future should be secure.

Itoi pushes on what constitutes a big hit, suggesting that one million copies isn't enough to hit that bar. Miyamoto agrees, saying that a game would need to sell "around 30 million" copies in order to be seen as the kind of Nintendo-sustaining success that he's looking for.

Thankfully, the last seven or so years have turned up four of those 'big hit' games that have shifted more than 30 million copies. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe leads the charge with just under 62 million units as of March 2024. Animal Crossing: New Horizons is next up with 45 million sales, while Super Smash Bros Ultimate and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sneak over Miyamoto's threshold with 34 million and 31 million sales, respectively.

There are, of course, many games that don't get close to 30 million sales, and many more that come closer. Both of the most recent Pokemon games - Sword/Shield and Scarlet/Violet - have sales counts far above 20 million. But Miyamoto is clearly on the lookout for the kind of global smash hit that has the potential to tide a massive corporation over for several years. Given that he's looking for one of these games to come along every four years or so, however, you might argue that Nintendo is doing very well to have produced four of them in the past seven years.

It seems like the future of Nintendo is already pretty bright, and it's only set to get brighter with the arrival of the Nintendo Switch 2.

Ali Jones
News Editor

I'm GamesRadar's news editor, working with the team to deliver breaking news from across the industry. I started my journalistic career while getting my degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick, where I also worked as Games Editor on the student newspaper, The Boar. Since then, I've run the news sections at PCGamesN and Kotaku UK, and also regularly contributed to PC Gamer. As you might be able to tell, PC is my platform of choice, so you can regularly find me playing League of Legends or Steam's latest indie hit.