Nintendo said the Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet games for Nintendo Switch broke an all-time sales record for the company. Pokémon is one of Nintendo’s longest-running and most popular franchises.
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Nintendo on Thursday said the latest Pokemon games have set sales records at the Japanese gaming giant as it continues to pump out blockbusters ahead of the crucial holiday season.
The Kyoto, Japan-headquartered company said sales of the Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet games for Nintendo Switch exceeded 10 million units in the first three days since their November 18 global launch.
It is the highest sales level for a game’s debut in Nintendo history.
Nintendo’s success with Pokemon comes two months after Splatoon 3 broke a domestic sales record in Japan, in signs that the gaming giant is hitting the mark with gamers ahead of the holidays.
Pokémon is one of Nintendo’s most recognizable and longest-running franchises. Nintendo breathed new life into the series by releasing Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield three years ago and Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl last year.
Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet differ as they are open-world games, allowing players to explore the game environment without completing missions in a linear fashion.
The video game industry saw a boom during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021 when people were stuck at home during lockdowns. But as economies have reopened, the industry has begun to normalize, weighing on video game giants including Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft.
“With the new Pokémon, Nintendo achieved a rare feat among all video game companies: scoring two blockbusters in a difficult 2022 for the industry,” Serkan Toto, CEO of Tokyo-based consultancy Kantan Games, told CNBC.
“Sure, Pokemon is almost always a safe bet, but the new title has exceeded expectations, just like Splatoon 3 did earlier this year.”
Investors are backing Nintendo thanks to the latest blockbusters. The company’s shares are up more than 11% this year, outperforming Japan’s benchmark index Nikkei 225 index. In September, Nintendo carried out a 10 for 1 share split which has also increased sentiment.
Nintendo also has a strong pipeline of games. Toto expects The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom to be released in May to be the company’s next big hit.
But Nintendo isn’t the only gaming giant going into the holiday season strong.
Sony said Wednesday that its God of War Ragnarok title for the PlayStation console sold 5.1 million copies in its first week, making it the fastest-selling debut of any first-party game for the company. First-party games are those made by a game studio owned by Sony.
Sony shares closed more than 2% higher in Japan on Thursday.