Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope Developer Thinks Low Sales Will Eventually Turn Around

In the Nintendo Switch era, the Mario + Rabbids games have become a staple, with Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle releasing just a few months after the system itself. The game was a surprising success story, leading to last year’s sequel, Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope. Despite strong critical praise, Sparks of Hope was a commercial disappointment for Ubisoft, and the future of the series remains doubtful. While this has led to concern for fans, series producer Cristina Nava isn’t worried. Speaking to Video Games Chronicle, Nava claimed that Ubisoft Milan believes the game will find an audience over time.

“The first Mario + Rabbids had more than 10 million players. Even though it’s Mario, it’s also a genre game: turn-based tactical adventure. So we cannot expect to sell high numbers at the very beginning, because a game like that is a slow burner,” Nava told Video Games Chronicle. “Even if at the beginning it seemed like Sparks of Hope didn’t meet expectations, we are confident that over a number of years it will grow. Because it’s been received, by both the press and the public, very, very well. It’s just a matter of giving it time, with word of mouth etc.”

Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot recently revealed that Nintendo had advised the publisher not to release another Mario + Rabbids game on Switch, and instead wait for the Switch 2. Nintendo has mostly avoided releasing similar Mario games on the system, with just one Mario Golf, one Mario Tennis, and one Mario Strikers currently available. It’s possible Ubisoft could have benefited from holding Sparks of Hope until Nintendo Switch 2. However, it’s also possible that Nava is correct, and the tactical nature of the series might just be slower to pull players in.

One thing that could benefit Sparks of Hope is the game’s impending DLC. On August 30th, Ubisoft will release Rayman in the Phantom Show, which is a side story that will see Rayman working alongside Rabbid Mario and Rabbid Peach. From everything revealed thus far, the DLC seems somewhat similar to the Donkey Kong Adventure expansion that released for the previous game. The popularity of Rayman might be enough to sway players on the fence about Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope!

Do you think Sparks of Hope will find an audience? Are you disappointed the game didn’t sell better? Let us know in the comments or share directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!