Pokémon Scarlet/Violet Are Fastest-Selling Nintendo Games Ever


A gym leader winks at Pokémon's unflappable success.

Image: The Pokémon Company

Where there’s cute and lovable Pokémon, there’s always a way. Despite less-than-stellar reviews and tons of performance hitches and bugs, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet just broke sales records on the Nintendo Switch and beyond, moving 10 million copies in their opening weekend alone.

“This is the highest number ever for global and domestic sales in the first three days after the release of software for all Nintendo game consoles, including Nintendo Switch,” the Mario maker revealed in a press release late Wednesday. Roughly 4 million sales happened just in Japan, while the other 6 million came from abroad.

To put that number in perspective, the last mainline entries in the series, Pokémon Sword and Shield, only sold 2 million copies in their first two days. They are currently the fifth best-selling game ever on the Switch, suggesting Scarlet and Violet is on track to surpass them, and possibly even eventually unseat Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.

While part of Scarlet and Violet’s record-breaking success no doubt has to do with how many more Switches Nintendo has sold in the three years since Sword and Shield, the fact that they are now the fastest-selling games ever released on a Nintendo platform, including the Wii and DS, adds a whole other impressive wrinkle to the milestone.

And it also shows that the games’ objectively rough performance, and the glitches going viral on social media, haven’t seemed to hurt the sales pitch for them one bit. Fans are still playing the hell out of these games despite the at-times Cyberpunk 2077 levels of bugs and performance issues. There had been speculation, and certainly hope on the part of some longtime players, that the widely criticized issues with Scarlet and Violet, which released within a year of both the Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl remakes and Pokémon Legends: Arceus, might push GameFreak to take its foot off the gas and allow more time in-between releases.

That seems increasingly unlikely.

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