Pokemon Sword And Shield Had A Record-Breaking Opening Weekend

Pokemon Sword and Shield break franchise records.

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We recently saw Pokemon Sword and Shield had a striking debut in Japan, but now Nintendo has released worldwide numbers, and they're big. Fat Pikachu big. In fact, the latest from Game Freak has broken a franchise record, and very likely rocketed to a spot among the top-selling Switch games.

According to Nintendo, the game has sold 6 million units worldwide during the launch weekend alone. Nintendo notes this figure is reported sell-through to consumers. Sword and Shield also sold 2 million copies in the first two days in the United States, which makes it the highest-grossing Pokemon launch.

Given the current figures on the Nintendo Switch sales charts, that debut of 6 million already makes Pokemon Sword and Shield the #8 spot in all-time sales. That presumes the others below it--New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, Super Mario Maker 2, and The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening--remain in their current positions. But given that this is just first-weekend sales for Pokemon we can expect its numbers to grow throughout the holiday season as well. The next Nintendo earnings report will refresh the sales charts early next year, factoring in software sales through the end of the year.

It's not surprising to see Pokemon rise quickly through the charts, however. The all-time 3DS sales charts show Pokemon games composing three of the top five spots. Those are occupied by Pokemon X/Y, Sun/Moon, and Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire, respectively.

"In collecting, battling, and exploring, Sword and Shield cut out the bloat and focus on what makes these pillars of the Pokemon games so captivating in the first place," Kallie Plagge wrote in GameSpot's review. "You're not held back by overly complicated back-end systems or hoops to jump through; from the outset, you can start wandering the Galar region, seeing its new Pokemon, and trying out its new battle strategies with very little in your way. This leaves you free to enjoy what Pokemon is all about, and that makes for an incredibly strong showing for the series' proper debut on Switch."

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