Game Freak were criticised by Pokemon fans for certain creative decisions in Pokemon Sword & Shield but the money is telling an opposite story. The games blew all the previous competition out of the water by selling jaw-dropping 16.06 million copies by 31 December 2019.
Pokemon Sword and Shield sold slightly better than hot cakes apparently. Despite the brewing of controversy regarding some of Game Freak's choices during development, Nintendo's earnings report revealed that the game not only sold better than previous Pokemon titles but it left them in the dust following a sales beatdown.
Standing at 16.06 million copies sold from the release up to 31 December 2019, Pokemon Sword & Shield boasts incredible sales overall but the number becomes even more impressive when compared against previous titles.
Sales of the previous titles in the same time frame are as follows, courtesy of Serebii on ResetEra :
- Pokemon X and Y (2013) - 11.61 million
- Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire (2014) - 9.35 million
- Pokemon Sun and Moon (2016) - 14.69 million
- Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon (2017) - 7.17 million
- Pokemon Let's Go Eevee! and Let's Go Pikachu! (2018) - 10 million
As you can see from the numbers, Sword and Shield sold more than twice as many copies as Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. As for the lowest sales gap, Sun and Moon is now in the runner-up spot with roughly 1.4 million difference in copies sold. It is worth noting that this game released during the pinnacle of Pokemon Go hype which undoubtedly drove sales further.
Considering that so many Pokemon fans appear to have liked the game, Sword and Shield has virtually unlimited potential now since Switch is also selling like there is no tomorrow. Recently it came to light that Switch sold-in more units in 34 months than Xbox One did in 74 .