Pokémon Sword and Shield are the first mainline titles since Gold and Silver to sell 20 million copies

Dexit or not, the game is still popular.

Pokémon Sword and Shield
Image via The Pokémon Company

Two decades and four different consoles later, the Pokémon series has its next 20-million entry.

Following Nintendo’s latest financial report for the financial quarter ending December 2020, the company revealed that Pokémon Sword and Shield sold close to three million units through the first three quarters of the 2020 fiscal year to achieve 20.35 million copies sold in lifetime sales.

Released in November 2019, Sword and Shield marked the first generation to receive new content in the form of downloadable patches, rather than having new, enhanced versions released as separate games. The Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra helped to consolidate sales of the base games of the eighth-gen Pokémon title. The Sun and Moon series sold more than 25 million units if its Ultra variants’ near nine million copies, according to Nintendo’s sales data, were counted, for example.

The newest entry perhaps experienced its most vehement backlash in the series, however, after The Pokémon Company decided to exclude some Pokémon from its burgeoning roster of creatures, Sword and Shield thus became the first series where players were unable to obtain every Pokémon in the game via any means. The controversial decision is referred to as “Dexit.”

Related: Competitive Pokémon players think Sword and Shield’s Dex cuts have balanced VGC and Dynamaxing

Community criticisms were also directed at reused and poorly implemented animations and graphics before the game’s release. Regardless, buoyed by the Nintendo Switch’s surging sales, Sword and Shield are still looking to go from strength to strength.