Pokémon Sword & Shield launched in mid-November, and skyrocketed to the top of the physical sales charts. It earned the title of the fastest-selling Switch game ever, shoving Pokémon Let’s Go and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate to the wayside. And, it was the most successful platform exclusive of that year, beating Days Gone, Death Stranding, Gears 5, and Luigi’s Mansion 3 for the crown. Is it a surprise to hear that Nintendo is beaming from ear to ear with the success of Sword & Shield? Not really. But, it’s the cold, hard stats that are interesting to consider.
So, Pokémon Sword & Shield sold 16.06 million units in its launch quarter—4.21 million sales in Japan, and 11.85 million sales in the rest of the world. Sun & Moon sold 14.69 million units in its launch quarter in 2016. Evidently, Sword & Shield surpassed this, and it could best the 3DS game in the near future. Sun & Moon’s lifetime sales total 16.18 million, and the third quarter earnings release doesn’t consider Sword & Shield sales made this month. Just ahead of Sun & Moon is Diamond & Pearl, with 17.67 million units shipped, but it isn’t outside of the realm of possibility that Sword & Shield sells another million (ish) copies through 2020. The best-selling Pokémon entry is Red & Blue, the kings of the castle with 31.37 million games sold since 1996. It’s got the edge over Sword & Shield, but give it roughly twenty years, and who knows what could happen.
The Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra are the two expansions coming to Pokémon Sword & Shield in the summer and winter, respectively. The first expansion introduces a new rival to battle in the new location’s dojo, the second expansion leads expeditions into mysterious dens that might be home to new Galarian variant Legendaries, and both will add over 200 Pokémon from previous entries to the game.
Pokémon Sword & Shield is out now for the Nintendo Switch.