Pokemon Sword/Shield sells 6 million units worldwide in first week

The franchise now sits at 240 million units sold over the course of its lifetime.

Nintendo has announced Pokémon Sword/Shield has sold 6 million units worldwide in its first week on sale.

The sales of the game, which launched last week, make them the fastest-selling Switch games lifetime-to-date, beating the previous record set last year by Super Smash Bros Ultimate at 5 million units.

The figure provided by Nintendo means it also outsold last year’s Pokémon: Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee by more than half.

Sword and Shield went on to sell 2 million units in its first two days on sale alone in the United States, Nintendo further announced, and it became the highest-grossing launch for new Pokémon games ever. Nintendo Japan announced the game had sold 2 million units in Japan within its first week as well, so the other 2 million units will have come from Europe and elsewhere (as noted by Niko Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad).

The mainline Pokémon series has now sold in excess of 240 million since the launch of Red and Blue back in 1996 for the original Gameboy.

“This past weekend, millions of people began their Pokémon journeys through the new Galar region,” said Nintendo of America sales and marketing SVP, Nick Chavez. “With such a momentous launch, Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield have proven to be two of the must-have games this holiday season.”

GamesIndustry.biz has reported that hardware sales of Nintendo Switch have spiked by 30% in the UK as a result of the launch of Sword and Shield, which became the third biggest Nintendo launch in the UK after Pokémon Sun/Moon and Wii Fit, with retailers planning a swarm of deals for the system ahead of Black Friday next week.

This will definitely come as a massive victory, possibly vindication even, to developer GameFreak, who have gone through the ringer thanks to toxic behaviour from some elements within the Pokemon community. Specifically, GameFreak was sharply criticized for shipping a game not containing every Pokemon ever made (referred to as Dexit), along with some disparaging the graphical fidelity and other elements.

With 6 million sales in its first week alone, it’s not only validation of what the developer has managed to achieve, but it also proves the franchise can live without such a toxic element of its fanbase and continue to be one of Nintendo’s biggest franchises.

The launch also continues to highlight the monumental year Nintendo has had with the Switch, selling 15 million units in the U.S. as of last month. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and in part thanks to bundles containing Pokémon Sword and Shield, we can expect that trend to continue.

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Johnny Cullen is a freelance writer and author from Derry, Northern Ireland who has written for Eurogamer, VG247, Official PlayStation Magazine UK, and so many more since July 2009. Come @ him about The Last of Us, Metal Gear Solid 3, Jonsi and Alex, or the Four Horsewomen of WWE on Twitter @JohnnyCullen.

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