Pikachu is helping Nintendo use a “quick attack” on its bottom line.
The publisher revealed today that it has sold 12 million copies of Pokémon X and Y worldwide. That makes the monster-collecting role-playing titles, which are slight variations of the same game, the fastest-selling 3DS software. In January, Nintendo revealed it had sold 11.6 million copies of X and Y, which means it averaged 200,000 additional copies sold in both February and March. In December, Nintendo revealed it has sold more than 42 million 3DSes. That means close to one in four owners of the portable also purchased X or Y, which represents a massive attach rate for a game.
Pokémon is one of Nintendo’s biggest franchises. To date, the company has sold over 245 million games in the series. That includes mainline titles like Pokémon Red and Blue, but it also counts spinoffs like the puzzler Pokémon Trozei.
While X and Y are performing well, they are trailing behind some other hits in the franchise due to the 3DS’s smaller install base. The original titles, Pokémon Red and Blue, crossed 24 million on the original Game Boy. Of course, Red and Blue hit Nintendo’s original portable after it had around seven or eight years to establish itself (depending on the region). Red and Blue hit Japan in 1996 and the U.S. in 1998. The Game Boy debuted in 1989 in Japan and 1990 in the U.S. The 3DS, however, only launched in 2011.
The Game Boy Advance titles Ruby and Sapphire moved 16 million throughout their lifetime. On DS, Diamond and Pearl are sitting at 17.6 million while Black and White crossed 15.4 million in sales.
After debuting Pokémon in 1996 and sticking closely to the formula ever since, Nintendo and its developer Game Freak made some big changes to X and Y. Unlike previous entries in the series, the game is fully 3D. Battles are also much more dynamic and feature more animation than ever. Those changes seem to have paid off in terms of sales.
During March, Nintendo was also giving away free digital copies of X or Y through its Club Nintendo rewards website. Customers who purchased and registered a new 3DS console and one of six qualifying games got X or Y for free. That promo ran through March 31.