Pokémon fever isn’t just for mobile games.
Nintendo revealed that fans of its monster-catching role-playing games made Pokémon Sun and Moon the fastest-selling games in the history of the company in the Americas. I already reported that games are, collectively, outselling Call of Duty and every other November release so far this season on digital storefronts, and now Nintendo is confirming just how well the pocket monsters are performing. In the two weeks since Sun and Moon debuted, consumers in the Americas have purchased more than 3.7 million copies from physical retailers and the digital eShop store. That is an 85 percent increase compared to Pokémon X and Y in 2013 — and they were the previous record holder for the fastest-selling Nintendo game.
“With these huge sales figures, Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon have proved themselves as two of the hottest video games to buy this holiday season,” Nintendo of America marketing boss Doug Bowser (no relation to the Koopa). “With great reviews and outstanding fan response, these next iterations in the Pokémon series are sure to please any player in the family.”
This massive debut for Sun and Moon is not coming out of nowhere. Nintendo has seen an increased interest in its Pokémon games and its 3DS hardware following the release of the hit mobile game Pokémon Go over the summer. That app, which The Pokémon Company made developer Niantic independently from Nintendo, is one of the most popular iOS or Android games ever made. It set records for the fastest app to reach $500 million in revenues and 500 million installs, and that popularity has now spilled back over into the latest entry in the long-running RPG series.
Before Sun and Moon even went on sale, however, Nintendo had seen five months of growth for its 3DS handheld, and industry-tracking firm The NPD Group credited Pokémon Go for fueling that surge in sales.
Now, Nintendo is attempting to repeat this formula of a mobile game leading into the sale of a release on one of its dedicated gaming devices with Super Mario Run. That iOS game will debut in December, and Nintendo plans to launch its new Switch hardware in March — and rumors suggest that the publisher will roll out that console with a new 3D Mario game. We’ll get to see if the stout plumber can keep pace with Pikachu soon.