Pokemon, Switch Sell Gangbusters in Nintendo's Latest Earnings Report

The latest mainline Pokemon entries have combined to become the Switch's sixth best-selling title in less than two months on the market.

January 30, 2020

Pokemon Sword and Shield finally met the demand for console entries into the series, and the market responded. Big time.

Nintendo’s nine-month earnings report, released Thursday, revealed that Sword and Shield have sold more than 16 million copies since their November release, becoming the latest highlight in what’s been an incredibly strong fiscal year for the company.

Also announced Thursday was that the Switch, as of December 31, has sold 52.48 million units all time, and that the rest of 2019’s Nintendo-published titles have been performing well.

Here’s the breakdown of Nintendo’s software sales through the third quarter of its 2020 fiscal year:


Title (Release Date) – Units Sold

Pokemon Sword/Shield  (Nov. 15, 2019) – 16.06 million

Luigi’s Mansion 3 (Oct. 31, 2019) – 5.37 million

Super Mario Maker 2 ( June 28, 2019) – 5.04 million

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (Sept. 20, 2019) – 4.19 million

Fire Emblem: Three Houses (July 26, 2019) – 2.58 million

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe (Jan. 10, 2019) – 2.54 million (5.85 million lifetime)

Ring Fit Adventure (Oct. 18, 2019) – 2.17 million

Astral Chain (Aug. 30, 2019) – 1.03 million

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order (July 19, 2019) – 1.02 million

And for comparison, the Switch’s all-time software sales so far:

Title (Release Date) – Units Sold

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (April 27, 2017) – 22.96 million

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Dec. 7, 2018) – 17.68 million

Super Mario Odyssey (Oct. 27, 2017) – 16.59 million

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (March 3, 2017) – 16.34 million

Pokemon Sword/Shield (Nov. 15, 2019) – 16.06 million

Pokemon Let’s Go, Pikachu!/Let’s Go, Eevee! (Nov. 16, 2018) – 11.76 million

Splatoon 2 (July 21, 2017) – 9.81 million

Super Mario Party (Oct. 5, 2018) – 9.12 million

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe (Jan. 10, 2019) – 5.85 million

Luigi’s Mansion 3 (Oct. 31, 2019) – 5.37 million

The Switch — now Nintendo’s sixth best-selling game system after it surpassed the SNES’ lifetime sales of 49.10 million units — likely would have kept going strong in global sales no matter what. But the release of the Switch Lite in September and a launch in China in December certainly helped keep the momentum going, with Nintendo stating that hardware sales have reached 17.74 million units for the fiscal year so far (a 22.5-percent increase from 2019).

Things have been going well enough that Nintendo raised its sales projection for the Switch from 18 million to 19.5 million before the fiscal year closes out, but even so, the console-handheld hybrid looks on track to pass that number. Nintendo’s 2020 fiscal year ends on March 31.

Software sales for the year, meanwhile, have reached 123.13 million units, a 30.1-percent increase from 2019. Despite the National Dex controversy and heavy criticism of developer Game Freak for its handling of the series’ transition to the Switch, Pokemon Sword and Shield still managed to strike a chord with its audience, becoming the Switch’s sixth best-selling game in less than two months on the market.

Also impressive is that Luigi’s Mansion 3 and Super Mario Maker 2 both cleared five million copies sold, while second-party titles Astral Chain (Platinum Games) and Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 (Team Ninja) both cleared the million units-sold mark. Ring Fit Adventure reaching over two million in sales is interesting as well, showing that Nintendo might just be on to something with its latest go at creating fitness-based games.

Additionally, Fire Emblem: Three Houses was on track to become the series’ new top seller, and could very well earn that title with the help of story DLC releasing in a couple of weeks (if it hasn’t already, that is).

Other things of note from the earnings report:

  • 3DS sales have totaled 620,000 units for the year so far (down 73-percent from 2019), and software sales are at 4.10 million units (down 63-percent from 2019).
  • Digital sales increased 48.3 percent from last year.
  • The 2020 launch schedule includes Metroid Prime 4, the sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Platinum Games’ Bayonetta 3. However, all three games’ release dates are listed as “TBA.”

You can check out Nintendo’s earnings report in full by clicking here.


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