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Nintendo sets sales record with Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet


Nintendo said its Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet games for the Nintendo Switch hit an all-times sales record for the company. Pokémon is one of Nintendo’s longest-running and most popular franchises.

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Nintendo on Thursday said it latest Pokémon games have set a sales record at the Japanese gaming giant as it continues to pump out blockbusters ahead of the crucial holiday season.

The Kyoto, Japan-headquartered company said sales of the Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet games for the Nintendo Switch surpassed 10 million units in the first three days since their global launch on Nov. 18.

That is the highest level of sales for a game’s debut in Nintendo’s history.

Nintendo’s success with Pokémon comes two months after Splatoon 3 hit a domestic sales record in Japan, in signs the gaming giant is hitting the mark with players ahead of the holidays.

Pokémon is one of Nintendo’s most recognizable and longest-running franchises. Nintendo breathed new life into the series by releasing Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield three years ago and Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl last year.

Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet are different as they are open-world games, allowing players to explore the game environment without completing missions in a linear way.

The video games industry saw a boom during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021 as people were stuck at home during lockdowns. But as economies have reopened, the industry has started to normalize, which has weighed on video game giants including Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft.

“With the new Pokémon, Nintendo achieved a rare feat among all video game companies: scoring two blockbusters in a difficult 2022 for the industry,” Serkan Toto, CEO of Tokyo-based consultancy Kantan Games, told CNBC.

“Sure, Pokémon is almost always a safe bet, but the new title has exceeded expectations, just like Splatoon 3 did earlier this year.”

Investors are backing Nintendo thanks to its recent blockbusters. The company’s shares are up more than 11% this year, outperforming Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index. In September, Nintendo carried out a 10-for-1 stock split which has also boosted sentiment.

Nintendo also has a strong pipeline of games. Toto expects The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom slated for release in May to be the company’s next major hit.

But Nintendo is not the only gaming giant entering the holiday season in a strong fashion.

Sony said Wednesday that the God of War Ragnarok title for its PlayStation console sold 5.1 million copies in its first week making it the fastest-selling debut of any first-party game for the company. First-party games are those made by a gaming studio owned by Sony.

Sony shares closed more than 2% higher in Japan on Thursday.

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