Pokémon Sword & Shield, the first-ever mainline games in the franchise to be released on a home console, have achieved a huge and somewhat unexpected milestone.
As confirmed by Nintendo as part of a recent update to its official list of top-selling Switch titles, the Generation 8 games have collectively sold through in the order of 20.35 million units worldwide, making them only the third in the series to do so, behind the original Red & Blue (Red & Green in Japan) and their sequels, Gold & Silver. To put that impressive figure into perspective, lifetime sales of the latter pair – often considered by many fans to be the best installments – sit at 23.1 million, meaning the UK-inspired Galar region still has plenty of time to meet or even exceed the leagues of Trainers who explored Johto back in the early 2000s.
Surprised? We sure are. Prior to and shortly following the release of Sword & Shield, developer Game Freak found itself mired in controversy due to a series of controversial design decisions, including one resulting in the removal of the so-called National Dex.
It would seem, however, that accusations ranging from laziness and corner-cutting to outright misleading of consumers with regard to the removal of so many Pokémon have had little to no effect on the brand’s popularity, and one could even argue the bad press only led to increased exposure.
Whatever the reasons, Game Freak and The Pokémon Company will undoubtedly be happy with those numbers and be seeking an even better result with future ventures. What that will end up being, we don’t know, though it’s looking increasingly likely, due to recent leaks, that remakes of Gen IV’s Diamond & Pearl are next in line. February is traditionally the month when Pokémon fans are informed of upcoming releases and we expect confirmation of a Nintendo Direct presentation to arrive shortly, so stay tuned.