Sword and Shield had a great opening weekend, selling more copies than any previous Pokémon game during its first weekend. Even though it’s been less than two weeks since the games were launched, Sword and Shield have outsold another big name in the Pokémon franchise.
Pokémon Sword and Shield sold more copies than the Let’s Go series in only 10 days in Japan, according to Nintendo Life. In less than two weeks, Sword and Shield sold over 1,740,084 physical copies, nearly 80,000 more than Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee! have sold in their entire lifetime. The numbers only reflect physical sales, not digital. Adding digital numbers may change the outcome, but with the popularity of Pokémon Sword and Shield, that might only increase their lead.
Sword and Shield are the first mainline Pokémon games to come to the Nintendo Switch system and the first to appear on a home system. Previous mainline Pokémon installments were limited to handheld platforms. Fans were eager to have a full Pokémon game on a home system. It received a lot of negative feedback, though, for cuts to the National Dex and other rumored issues that threatened to impact sales at the last minute.
In November 2018, Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! and Let’s Go, Pikachu! were released for the Switch. The games, while loose remakes of the Red, Blue, and Yellow versions, acted as a companion to Pokémon Go. With their unique child-like special attacks and easy transfer between the mobile game and the Switch, they were a bridge for new players to experience the games.
The difference in sales between these titles emphasizes the overwhelming success of Pokémon Sword and Shield. The anticipation of a mainline game on the Switch alone was enough to overcome any early criticism.
Pokémon Sword and Shield were released on Nov. 15. They became the top-selling Pokémon games in the U.S. during the first weekend and surpassed the lifetime sales of year-old games in less than two weeks. The two games have a long life ahead of them and more records to break.