Donkey Kong is a platformer franchise created by Nintendo. With the lone exception of the Game & Watch line of games, Donkey Kong is Nintendo's first video game franchise, with its first entry being the arcade game Donkey Kong, which was released in 1981. The game stars an angry gorilla named Donkey Kong battling it out with Nintendo's current mascot, Mario, who went on to launch his own franchise. After a six year hiatus since the Nintendo Entertainment System remake of the arcade trilogy, Nintendo relaunched the series with Donkey Kong Country for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1994. Since then, the series now revolves around Donkey Kong and his friends collecting bananas and battling invaders to protect their home, Donkey Kong Island. As of December 2019, the Donkey Kong franchise has sold over 82.55 million copies worldwide.

Games[edit | edit source]

Classic games[edit | edit source]

Year Platform Title Sales
(millions)
Ref
1981 Donkey Kong 9.562
1981 Arcade Donkey Kong 0.152 [n 1]
1982/1984 ColecoVision, Atari 2600,

Intellivision, Coleco Adam

Donkey Kong 6.00 [4]
1983/1986 NES Donkey Kong 1.13 [5]
1988 NES Donkey Kong Classics 1.56 [5]
2004 GBA Classic NES Series: Donkey Kong 0.72* [6]
1982 Donkey Kong Jr. 2.11
1982 Arcade Donkey Kong Jr. 0.03 [7]
1983 Atari 2600 Donkey Kong Junior 0.97* [8]
1983/1984 ColecoVision, Intellivision,

Coleco Adam

Donkey Kong Junior ???
1983/1986 NES Donkey Kong Jr. 1.11 [5]
1983 Donkey Kong 3 0.005
1983 Arcade Donkey Kong 3 0.005 [7]
1984/1986 NES Donkey Kong 3 ???
1993 NES Donkey Kong Jr. Math ???
1994 GB Donkey Kong (Game Boy) 3.07 [5]
Total 14.75

Mario vs. Donkey Kong[edit | edit source]

Year Platform Title Sales
(millions)
Ref
2004 GBA Mario vs. Donkey Kong 1.37 [5]
2006 DS Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis 1.52 [5]
2009 DSiWare Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again! N/A
2010 DS Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem! 2.98 [5]
2013 3DS eshop Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move N/A
2015 3DS/Wii U Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars 0.04 [9]
2016 3DS/Wii U eshop Mini Mario & Friends: amiibo Challenge N/A
Total sales 5.91

Donkey Kong Country[edit | edit source]

Year Platform Title Sales
(millions)
Ref
1994
2000
2003
SNES
GBC
GBA
Donkey Kong Country 9.30
2.19
1.82
[5]
1995

2004

SNES

GBA

Donkey Kong Country 2 5.15

1.04*

[5]
[9][10][11]
1996

2005

SNES

GBA

Donkey Kong Country 3 3.51

0.73*

[5]
[9][12]
1999 N64 Donkey Kong 64 5.27 [5]
1995 GB Donkey Kong Land 3.91 [5]
1996 GB Donkey Kong Land 2 2.35 [5]
1997/2000 GB/C Donkey Kong Land 3 1.03 [5]
2005 GCN Donkey Kong Jungle Beat 1.34* [13]
2008 Wii New Play Control! Donkey Kong Jungle Beat 0.56* [9][14]
2010 Wii Donkey Kong Country Returns 6.53 [5]
2013 3DS Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D 2.87 [5]
2014
2018
Wii U
Switch
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze 2.01
2.65
[5]
Total sales 52.26

Donkey Kong spinoffs[edit | edit source]

Year Platform Title Sales
(millions)
Ref
1997 N64 Diddy Kong Racing 4.88 [5]
2003 GCN Donkey Konga 1.18 [5]
2004 GCN Donkey Konga 2 0.52* [9][15]
2005 GBA DK: King of Swing 0.28* [9][16]
2005 GCN Donkey Konga 3: Tabehōdai! Haru Mogitate 50 Kyoku 0.08 [9]
2007 DS Diddy Kong Racing DS 1.59 [5]
2007 DS DK: Jungle Climber 0.51* [9][17]
2007 Wii Donkey Kong Barrel Blast 0.59* [9][18]
Total sales 9.63

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • * identify VGChartz numbers
  • These games based on Donkey Kong were converted into Game & Watch systems: Donkey Kong (1982), Donkey Kong Jr. (1982), Donkey Kong II (1983), Donkey Kong 3 (1984), Donkey Kong Circus (1984), and Donkey Kong Hockey (1984).
  • A special version of the NES version of Donkey Kong was released for the Wii Virtual Console in 2010.
  • Donkey Kong Classics, which was a combo pack of Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Jr., was not released in Japan.
  • A slot machine version of Donkey Kong was released in 1996 only in Europe.
  • Hudson Soft developed and released Donkey Kong 3: Dai Gyakushū in 1984 for the PC-6001mkII/PC-6601, PC-8801, and X1 computers.
  • Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars was only released in physical form in Japan.
  • A competition variant of Donkey Kong Country was released by Nintendo Power in 1994. Only 2,500 copies were printed.
  • Two Arcade semi-sequels to Donkey Kong Jungle Beat were released in 2005 and 2006, Donkey Kong: Jungle Fever and Donkey Kong: Banana Kingdom.
  • Donkey Konga 3: Tabehōdai! Haru Mogitate 50 Kyoku was only released in Japan.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Donkey Kong arcade hardware sales: 152,000 cabinets
    • Japan: 65,000 of Donkey Kong[1]
    • United States: 87,000 of Donkey Kong and Crazy Kong
      • 67,000 of Donkey Kong[2]
      • 20,000 of Crazy Kong (licensed release of Donkey Kong)[3]
  1. Brian Ashcraft ; with Jean Snow. ; forewords by Kevin Williams; Crecente, Brian (2008). Arcade Mania: The Turbo-charged World of Japan's Game Centers (1st ed. ed.). Tokyo: Kodansha International. ISBN 4-7700-3078-9. http://books.google.co.uk/books?ei=DH03T87uGYbp8QO-rtHMAg&id=wX8kAQAAIAAJ. Retrieved 12 February 2012. "Jumpman hopped over barrels, climbed ladders, and jumped from suspended platform to suspended platform as he tried to rescue a damsel from his pissed-off pet gorilla. The game was a smash, and sixty-five thousand cabinets were sold in Japan, propping up the then-struggling Nintendo and laying the groundwork for Nintendo and Donkey Kong creator Shigeru Miyamoto to dominate gaming throughout the 1980s and beyond."
  2. Bienaimé, Pierre (January 13, 2012). Square Roots: Donkey Kong (NES). Nintendojo. Retrieved on 8 April 2012. “Donkey Kong sold some 67,000 arcade cabinets in two years, making two of its American distributors sudden millionaires thanks to paid commission. As a barometer of success, know that Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man are the only arcade games to have sold over 100,000 units in the United States.”
  3. http://www.arcade-history.com/?n=crazy-kong-part-ii&page=detail&id=531
  4. Sheff 121:
    "And we received from Coleco an agreement that they would pay us three percent of the net sales price [of all the "Donkey Kong" cartridges Coleco sold]." It turned out to be an impressive number of cartridges, 6 million, which translated into $4.6 million.
    ~ Sid Sheinberg
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 5.15 5.16 5.17 5.18 5.19 https://www.resetera.com/threads/nintendo-software-and-hardware-sales-data-from-1983-to-present.2725/
  6. https://www.vgchartz.com/game/26544/classic-nes-series-donkey-kong/sales
  7. 7.0 7.1 Kent-352: Steven L. Kent (2001), The Ultimate History of Video Games: The Story behind the Craze that Touched Our Lives and Changed the World, Prima, p. 352, http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=C2MH05ogU9oC, retrieved 2011-04-09, "With more than 60,000 units sold in the United States, Donkey Kong was Nintendo's biggest arcade hit. ... Nintendo released Donkey Kong Junior in 1982 and sold only 30,000 machines, 20,000 Popeye machines (also 1982), and a mere 5000 copies of Donkey 3 (1983)."
  8. https://www.vgchartz.com/game/19874/donkey-kong-junior/sales
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 9.7 9.8 https://sites.google.com/site/gamedatalibrary/game-search
  10. https://web.archive.org/web/20071010052300/http://www.next-gen.biz/index2.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3557&Itemid=2&pop=1&page=0
  11. https://www.vgchartz.com/game/6228/donkey-kong-country-2/sales
  12. https://www.vgchartz.com/game/3110/donkey-kong-country-3/sales
  13. https://www.vgchartz.com/game/553/donkey-kong-jungle-beat/sales
  14. https://www.vgchartz.com/game/27350/new-play-control-donkey-kong-jungle-beat/sales
  15. https://www.vgchartz.com/game/555/donkey-konga-2/sales
  16. https://www.vgchartz.com/game/25337/dk-king-of-swing/sales
  17. https://www.vgchartz.com/game/7157/donkey-kong-jungle-climber/sales
  18. https://www.vgchartz.com/game/6975/donkey-kong-barrel-blast/sales
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