by Doc – Owner, Founder, Expects To Be Correct On At Least One Of These
Nintendo unveiled their plans for the next year, and there’s a couple of real doozies coming our way. As an adult Nintendo fan, I don’t actually have time to play any of these games (Mario Odyssey and Breath of the Wild are still in my backlog), so I focus on buying their amiibo instead, and pretend to care about video game things outside of amiibo.
Since modern Nintendo tends to only produce amiibo and reprints for game series that are guaranteed to sell, it’s much easier to predict which games will get amiibo in some fashion.
Please note: some of these games appear to have amiibo reprints already coming down the pipeline, but nothing is certain.
Here’s the games that I think will give us amiibo or amiibo reprints in 2023.
Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
The Nintendo Switch had basically two “killer apps” at launch: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and Breath of the Wild. Wii U fans weren’t that interested in MK8DX, having already purchased the original, but Breath of the Wild was such a system mover that Nintendo once reported it as their best-selling standalone launch title in history. Its amiibo sold phenomenally well, too: while Nintendo stopped publicly releasing organized amiibo sales figures after 2017, I can say anecdotally that the majority of interest in amiibo for about two years straight came from the newly-released Breath of the Wild amiibo waves.
Tears of the Kingdom is definitely going to move units, if for no other reason than its status as “Breath of the Wild 2”. I would expect a full reprint of all Breath of the Wild amiibo, and probably a new wave of Tears of the Kingdom-specific amiibo as well. If we’re lucky, maybe the Legend of Zelda 30th Anniversary series could get some reprints too.
Pikmin has never sold as well as… well, anything, but Nintendo seems to really love this series. The overlooked 3DS release “Hey! Pikmin” received its own Pikmin amiibo in limited supply, despite the game’s unpopularity even among the hardcore Pikmin fanbase. Pikmin 3 and Deluxe didn’t receive any amiibo compatibility, but it’s probable that Nintendo would try to work in some sort of compatibility given the lengthy development time they seem to be giving Pikmin 4.
Also, Miyamoto loves Pikmin, and would have enough sway to get an amiibo reprint if he wanted one.
This one is cheating, because, well, we already got amiibo for Splatoon 3. I don’t think the recent wave is going to be the end of it, though. Splatoon 2 received multiple waves and packs of amiibo, and Splatoon 3 has already received a Callie and Marie 2-pack reprint (which I picked up from Best Buy a few hours ago) with more probably on the way. Splatoon fans are notorious for being very, very dedicated and often spend money on merchandise outside of the game.
I would expect at least two more waves of Splatoon 3 before the end of that game’s cycle.
Fire Emblem: Engage
Personally, I can’t stand Fire Emblem and its glorified waifu chess. However, Nintendo certainly can, because it seems to have already been preparing for a reprint of a handful of Fire Emblem characters despite Fire Emblem: Three Houses ranking towards the bottom of the upper echelon of units sold for the Nintendo Switch. When Clubhouse Games has outsold you, you’re not doing so hot.
Fire Emblem has a pretty wide cast of characters, and only 4 Fire Emblem series amiibo (besides the several released for the Smash series) so it would make sense for Nintendo to buff out their lineup of Fire Emblem amiibo with some new characters and a few Smash amiibo reprints as well. I’d like to see a Corrin P2 reprint, so I can see amiibo economics in action.
Every DLC character is getting an amiibo (and almost certainly Sora as well), so it’s really not a question of whether we get amiibo, it’s a question of when we get them. I would be surprised if Nintendo didn’t wrap up the Smash amiibo series next year.
I’m sticking my neck out on this one. Bayonetta 1 and 2 didn’t get any amiibo directly, but they did get the Bayonetta and Bayonetta P2 amiibo through Smash. My fans seem to think that Bayonetta 3 is going to be a hot amiibo item, but I don’t see the reasoning for this: Bayonetta 2 barely broke 1 million units.
However, PlatinumGames seems to be getting more buddy-buddy with Nintendo lately, so it’s possible we may see a very limited Bayonetta 3 amiibo release. I’m not banking on it, but everyone seems to disagree with me, so…
Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe
Granted, we did just see a Kirby game get an amiibo reprint a few months ago, but Kirby is a game series that seems to get more than its fair share of merchandise. I wouldn’t stake my life on another Kirby series amiibo or a reprint, but it’s an old Nintendo series that tends to get a lot of love, and I’d bet that plays into Nintendo’s decision-making.