Animal Crossing: New Horizons helped Nintendo sell more Switches last week than at launch

Tom Nook, eat your heart out.

Image via Nintendo

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is setting a blazing pace on Nintendo Switch that’s also pushing console sales. The company sold more systems in the last week than at launch. 

In the last week, counting just before and right after Animal Crossing’s launch, 392,000 Switch units were sold, easily surpassing the 330,000 mark set by the console’s launch weekend in 2017. 

This is likely due to the game releasing during the coronavirus pandemic, prompting more people to pick up a Switch system and stay at home to spend time on their virtual island, as well as the Switch Lite being available. The 392,000 figure is the combined total of traditional Switch models and the Lite, which means a good chunk of it is probably people either picking up a Lite for the game or grabbing the Animal Crossing limited-edition console that was released prior to the game coming out. 

While the numbers are still fresh, Japanese gaming publication Famitsu reports that Animal Crossing sold more than 1.88 million physical copies in Japan through the first three days, making it the fastest-selling title on the console. The sales through the first week have topped 2.5 million in Japan and continue to rise, according to industry analyst Daniel Ahmad.

This beats previous record holders like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (1.23 million copies) and Pokémon Sword and Shield (1.36 million copies). The game also reached No. 1 on the U.K. chart for game sales in its launch week and topped the U.S. Nintendo eShop sales. 

In comparison, Animal Crossing: New Leaf, which was released for the Nintendo 3DS in 2012, sold a total of 721,786 copies in the first week across all regions (168,662 in Japan). New Leaf is also the current best-selling game in the franchise at 12.45 million units, surpassing the 11.75 million total units sold for Animal Crossing: Wild World on the Nintendo DS.

New Horizons is already on pace to sell more than both of the franchise’s best-selling games within the first few months, especially if the game and system keep selling at a similar pace.