Ever since I first borrowed my neighbor’s copy of Pikmin I’ve been in love with the series. In terms of sheer charm, I don’t believe there’s any franchise that tops Pikmin. Each of the games possess so much personality, and offer fairly unique gameplay experiences that each release manages to improve further. And I think that Pikmin is clearly Miyamoto’s favorite child: the amount of passion on display when he talks about Pikmin is admirable, and the Pikmin shorts he created were extremely well-done.

If you haven’t seen them, I demand that you stop reading this article and go purchase them. Support Pikmin, damn it.

Yet despite all of this, the series has never done very well. Sure, the games have never FLOPPED, but they’ve always seen very modest sales for a first-party Nintendo franchise, selling enough to squeeze out infrequent sequels(NINE YEARS between 2 and 3) but never gaining much traction in terms of popularity. According to VGChartz, the original Pikmin sold 1.63 million, 2 sold 1.20 million, and 3 sold 1.22 million. These stats are pretty depressing.

Something else that’s depressing is the mere existence of Hey! Pikmin. Why would Nintendo decide to develop a Pikmin platformer on 3DS that nobody asked for? And why couldn’t they be bothered to have a competent development team work on it rather than the team that made Yoshi’s New Island? I’d hazard a guess that Nintendo isn’t satisfied with the sales of the Pikmin franchise as is, and were testing to see how it would perform on a different platform and with a different genre. It doesn’t seem to bode well for Nintendo’s confidence in the series.

Nintendo, don’t you dare think less of the Pikmin franchise just because this nonsense that nobody wanted didn’t sell well.

The reality of the situation leaves one wondering why Pikmin hasn’t performed better. I think those of us who have played the games can attest to how great they are: the less-than-stellar sales can’t be due to lack of quality. A common idea thrown around is that the gameplay, while fun and unique, can be intimidating to newcomers, which may explain why it hasn’t gotten more popular. While this might be a fair argument to make regarding the first game, the second and third took steps to make the games much more accessible to newcomers; I don’t believe inaccessible gameplay to be the issue.

I think the problem lies in the fact that new Pikmin games simply never get the chance to release on a successful console(Hey! Pikmin is not a real Pikmin game). The first two were relegated to the GameCube, and the third released on the Wii U. The GameCube and Wii U are the worst-selling Nintendo consoles of all time, so I’m thinking the platforms they released on are largely to blame for Pikmin not selling better. I just hope Nintendo understands this and doesn’t try to dumb down the gameplay to reach a wider audience as I wrote about in this article.

Despite the general pessimistic tone of this article, I’m pretty optimistic that Pikmin 4 will sell well; the Switch is a great platform that’ll the series get the spotlight it never could on the GameCube and Wii U. My wildest fantasy is that Pikmin 4 will allow the Pikmin to become Nintendo’s version of the Minions, only good, and that they’ll start to take over. Two Pikmin games a generation, a Pikmin movie, a Pikmin area of Nintendo World, the sky’s the limit, just give Pikmin the success it deserves!