Nintendo set sales records with Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet

Nintendo said Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet for the Nintendo Switch hit all-time sales records for the company. Pokémon is one of Nintendo’s longest running and most popular franchises.

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Nintendo It said on Thursday that the latest Pokémon games hit record sales at the Japanese gaming giant as it continues to churn out blockbusters ahead of the crucial holiday season.

Headquartered in Kyoto, Japan, the company said sales of Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet for Nintendo Switch surpassed 10 million units in the first three days after their global release on November 18.

This is the highest sales level for a game debut in Nintendo history.

Nintendo’s success with Pokémon comes two months after Splatoon 3 set a domestic sales record in Japan, showing that the gaming giant has struck a chord 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 are different because they are open-world games, allowing players to explore the game environment without completing missions in a linear fashion.

The video games industry saw a boom in 2020 and 2021 during the Covid-19 pandemic as people stayed at home during the lockdown. As economies reopened, the industry began to normalize, weighing on video game giants including Nintendo. Sony and Microsoft.

“With the new Pokémon, Nintendo has achieved a rare feat among all video game companies: two blockbusters in a difficult 2022 for the industry,” Serkan Toto, CEO of Tokyo-based consulting firm Kantan Games, told CNBC.

“Of course, Pokémon 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 recent blockbusters. The company’s shares have risen more than 11% this year, outperforming Japan’s benchmarks Nikkei 225 index. In September, Nintendo implemented a 10-to-1 stock split, which boosted sentiment.

Nintendo also has a strong line of games. Toto expects The Legend of Zelda: Tears of Kingdom, scheduled for release 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 on 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 games developed by a game studio owned by Sony.

Sony shares rose more than 2% in Japan on Thursday.