Pokemon Sword and Shield have just reached another big milestone, as they are the first set of main Pokemon titles to sell more than twenty million copies since Pokemon Gold and Silver on the Game Boy. During its release, Pokemon Sword and Shield faced criticism as the games didn’t feature all of the Pokemon from the history of the franchise.
There were several uncertainties about the quality of Pokemon Sword and Shield, but the games still gathered positive reviews and sold tons of copies. The fact that these were the first main Pokemon titles on the Nintendo Switch was a huge draw for fans, and it hastily became a bestseller for Nintendo.
The feedback to Pokemon Sword and Shield was astonishing, but it only managed to enter the top five Switch titles, as it has yet to match the sales success of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Animal Crossing New Horizons.
Nintendo has posted its most recent financial report on its website, which includes the updated sales figures for Pokemon Sword and Shield. Based on the report, the games have sold a combined 20.35 million units across the globe.
This means that the Pokemon Sword and Shield are the third set of main Pokemon games to sell more than twenty million copies. The only other games to do such a feat are Pokemon Red & Blue and Pokemon Gold & Silver.
The only other Pokemon games to come close to this achievement are Pokemon Diamond & Pearl which sold a combined 17.67 million copies across their entire lifespan on the market. This could explain why fans want remakes of the games so badly. The other main Pokemon games usually sell in the 15 to 16 million unit range, except for remakes, sequels, and third versions, which typically sell fewer copies.
It is worth mentioning that Pokemon Sword and Shield were only launched back in 2019, and there is still plenty of time for them to outsell the Pokemon games on the Game Boy. Pokemon Gold and Silver sold 23.1 million copies and this is still an achievable goal for Pokemon Sword and Shield, considering that the Nintendo Switch is still halfway through its lifespan.
What’s less likely is a victory over Pokemon Red and Blue which sold more than thirty million copies and was the bestselling game in Japan, until Animal Crossing New Horizons broke the record. It’s impossible that Pokemon Sword and Shield can ever reach those numbers brought in during the original Pokemon craze, but these are still remarkably impressive numbers, and they prove that love for the Pokemon games is as strong as ever.