Pokémon Series Tops 172 Million Copies Sold

Pokémon Series Tops 172 Million Copies Sold

Pokémon X box art

Nintendo's Pokémon franchise has sold over 172 million games to date. That number is impressive by itself, but even moreso when compared to other best-selling titles.

Pokémon debuted in 1996 - nearly 20 years ago; for those of you who needed a reminder of how depressingly old you've become - and in the years since it has grown from a curious Japanese novelty to a worldwide sensation. To date there have been well over 30 games released under the Pokémon brand name, and according to The Pokémon Company those titles have sold a combined 172 million units.

To put that into perspective, Wii Sports, the best-selling single game of all time, sold 82.98 million copies. Granted, it's not exactly fair to compare a single game to an entire franchise, but at the same time it should be remembered that Wii Sports earned the vast majority of those sales due to it being a pack in title for the highly successful Nintendo Wii console.

Still, it seems more appropriate to compare one franchise against another, so how about we select one of those big, hit franchises that people love so much? How about Halo? To date the core games in the Halo franchise have sold roughly 38.33 million copies (though that number reportedly jumps to over 50 million if you include off-shoots like Halo Wars and the Xbox 360's Halo: Combat Evolved remake) - a far cry from the 172 million the Pokémon Company has been boasting about.

Yes, there are fewer Halo titles than Pokémon titles, but truthfully there are no good franchises against which to compare Pokémon. It's been such a big success that it's in a class all its own. The end point here is that we can expect Nintendo to continue churning out sequels and spin-offs as long as this well of fan support continues to generate dollars.

Source: Siliconera

Edit: Initially this article stated that the Halo franchise has sold only 38.33 million copies. That figure only included the core Halo titles, while a previous Escapist piece reported the total sales figures for the franchise at over 50 million. We've since changed the wording of that section to better reflect this difference.

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And now everyone start a tally of how many Pokemon you have captured since the first gen, and then get really depressed.

You can always compare it to the Mario series?

That is a game that has been there for much longer than Pokemon.

"Despite these good numbers the Pokemon series has failed to live up to our sales expectations of 8 Billion per active household and we will be reevaluating the series' direction from here"

Oh sorry, I forgot this isn't Square Enix for a second there LOL

I haven't bought a Pokemon game for myself since Soul Silver rerelease came out. And I've played Pokemon Black 2. To be honest I've grown quite bored with the continuing formula of the mainstay Pokemon franchise. And the lack of imagination with some of the newly created Pokemon. (And Chandelier, freaking ice cream?! Really!). And we all know that Pokemon on the picture right there is a direct rip/tribute to Studio Ghibli's movie Princess Mononoke. (Though its totally awesome).

I really want some changes to the formula. I want bigger, more open worlds to explore. I'm talkin' a big o'l sandbox size. (We demand to go into the trees!) Maybe not bring about a new villainous evil corporation/group to fight near every time. Japan is only so big ohh wait Team Rocket broke up, that ruins this plan. I want some risks taken Nintendo. I want the stagnation to end. I've been quite disinterested to play games after Gen 3, change that. Rant done.

I do feel old, even though I'm not really.

Anyway, here's to X and Y being the best to come and hopefully even better ones in the future. image

King Kazma:
And the lack of imagination with some of the newly created Pokemon. (And Chandelier, freaking ice cream?! Really!).

Yeah. I don't know what they're thinking, next they'll probably make some pile of purple sludge and call it a pokemon. Or they'll just put eyes on a pokeball.

Dragonbums:
You can always compare it to the Mario series?

That is a game that has been there for much longer than Pokemon.

Right. And there's the problem. If I compared it to the Mario franchise one of the more pedantic commenters would totally miss the point of the article and complain about the obvious differences between the release timeframes of the titles.

(Which is still something I fully expect to happen anyway.)

Earnest Cavalli:
but truthfully there are no good franchises against which to compare Pokémon.

According to vgchartz, Call of Duty comes pretty close with around 164 million units sold worldwide and is a younger franchise. Then again, it's also multi-platform.

I'm also pretty sure Mario crushes both tallies combined, but yeah, it has a lot of pack ins and has been around longer.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_video_game_franchises

Third biggest selling franchise on that list. Second, really.

As for the stagnation a lot of people complain about, I love Pokemon as it is right now. I want it to continue in its current direction, thank you very much. If wallet voting is anything to go by, clearly more than enough people agree with me.

The spin offs are for those who want something a little different. The main entries are for me.

chimpzy:

Earnest Cavalli:
but truthfully there are no good franchises against which to compare Pokémon.

According to vgchartz, Call of Duty comes pretty close with around 164 million units sold worldwide and is a younger franchise. Then again, it's also multi-platform.

Yes, but the numbers that VGChartz uses are nebulous and often estimated based on ... well, nobody really knows. The site is often close in its estimates, but it's not a great resource for actual numbers.

Earnest Cavalli:

chimpzy:

Earnest Cavalli:
but truthfully there are no good franchises against which to compare Pokémon.

According to vgchartz, Call of Duty comes pretty close with around 164 million units sold worldwide and is a younger franchise. Then again, it's also multi-platform.

Yes, but the numbers that VGChartz uses are nebulous and often estimated based on ... well, nobody really knows. The site is often close in its estimates, but it's not a great resource for actual numbers.

Do you know if the Wii Sports sales numbers were separate sales or if they included all Wii Sports sold in Wii bundles? It'd be rather impressive if they sold that many separate copies.

EDIT:

Earnest Cavalli:

To put that into perspective, Wii Sports, the best-selling single game of all time, sold 82.98 million copies. Granted, it's not exactly fair to compare a single game to an entire franchise, but at the same time it should be remembered that Wii Sports earned the vast majority of those sales due to it being a pack in title for the highly successful Nintendo Wii console.

... well then, nvm.

How the fuck did I miss that!?

-Dragmire-:

Do you know if the Wii Sports sales numbers were separate sales or if they included all Wii Sports sold in Wii bundles? It'd be rather impressive if they sold that many separate copies.

The sales for it are included with the bundled sales of it, which is why it sold so much actually. I don't think I've ever seen Wii Sports on its own unless it were on Amazon or eBay when I think about it. I know that no retailer or game store (GameStop, EB Games, etc) sold just Wii Sports on it's own. Wii Play they did, and that sold like crazy probably more because it was bundled with a Wiimote a lot of the time.

King Kazma:
And the lack of imagination with some of the newly created Pokemon. (And Chandelier, freaking ice cream?! Really!).

I've never understood why people complain about this like it's a new thing. If you pick out the dumbest Pokemon designs of every generation, it's pretty consistent. Look at the first generation. We have Grimer, which is a pile of goo. And when it evolves...we have Muk, which is a BIG pile of goo. If you want a more direct parallel to the ice cream line, take Magnetite, which is magnets stuck to other magnets. And then when it evolves, it's...the same thing, but three of them.

I'd say that the series has been pretty consistent in terms of quality, but thinking about it...it really hasn't. The engine and art have pretty consistently improved from game to game.

to celebrate, how about a remake of gen3 on the ds so we can get all pokemon on the ds games

Pretty certain Halo has sold quite a bit more than 38.33 million...
The Escapist even did an article last December on it breaking 50 million - http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/120960-Halo-Series-Reaches-50-Million-Games-Sold

llamastorm.games:
Pretty certain Halo has sold quite a bit more than 38.33 million...
The Escapist even did an article last December on it breaking 50 million - http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/120960-Halo-Series-Reaches-50-Million-Games-Sold

Correct. But here we see the problem with trying to estimate sales figures. The number I wrote above only included the core Halo games, and not their remakes or Halo Wars.

Still, that's somewhat confusing, so I'll add a thing noting that earlier article. Good eye.

chimpzy:

Earnest Cavalli:
but truthfully there are no good franchises against which to compare Pokémon.

According to vgchartz, Call of Duty comes pretty close with around 164 million units sold worldwide and is a younger franchise. Then again, it's also multi-platform.

I'm also pretty sure Mario crushes both tallies combined, but yeah, it has a lot of pack ins and has been around longer.

It has nothing to do with multiplatform.

I more attribute it to the fact that they make releases much more frequently (1 year per CoD game as opposed to 3-4 years per Pokemon game.)

On average, CoD ususally sells slightly less than Pokemon.

Earnest Cavalli:

Dragonbums:
You can always compare it to the Mario series?

That is a game that has been there for much longer than Pokemon.

Right. And there's the problem. If I compared it to the Mario franchise one of the more pedantic commenters would totally miss the point of the article and complain about the obvious differences between the release timeframes of the titles.

(Which is still something I fully expect to happen anyway.)

Might as well give it a shot.
Of course someone on there already stated CoD does a great job competing with Pokemon in terms of franchise sales, so I guess Mario isn't really necessary anyway.

ClockworkUniverse:
...We have Grimer, which is a pile of goo. And when it evolves...we have Muk, which is a BIG pile of goo...

What with the Grimer/ Muk hate? I'm getting sick of this. There's a lot of pokemon that can be described with "it's just a..". And I'm as sick of "5. gen is the worst because of the icecream", but the comparison between Muk and Vanillish in just flat out invalid. Why? Because Muk is not "...a BIG pile of goo...", it's a monster made of goo. And Muk is normal posed as a monster rising from a swamp. Muk is not even that far of Clayface from Batman. To top it of, Muk is not uninspired, it's simplistic.

King Kazma:
(And Chandelier, freaking ice cream?! Really!)

Really? A turtle? And a mime? And wtf, a pile of goo with eyes? Pokeball with eyes? Really?

/sorry, just a small pet peeve of mine.

Dragonbums:

chimpzy:

Earnest Cavalli:
but truthfully there are no good franchises against which to compare Pokémon.

According to vgchartz, Call of Duty comes pretty close with around 164 million units sold worldwide and is a younger franchise. Then again, it's also multi-platform.

I'm also pretty sure Mario crushes both tallies combined, but yeah, it has a lot of pack ins and has been around longer.

It has nothing to do with multiplatform.

I more attribute it to the fact that they make releases much more frequently (1 year per CoD game as opposed to 3-4 years per Pokemon game.)

On average, CoD ususally sells slightly less than Pokemon.

The pokemon figures were including all the spin offs so the release schedule is the same anyway, in that sense call of duty sells more then the main series of pokemon.

OT: Yes pokemon is popular, I think mainly for releasing the same game twice every gen to tempt people into buying two copies.

Dark Knifer:

Dragonbums:

chimpzy:
According to vgchartz, Call of Duty comes pretty close with around 164 million units sold worldwide and is a younger franchise. Then again, it's also multi-platform.

I'm also pretty sure Mario crushes both tallies combined, but yeah, it has a lot of pack ins and has been around longer.

It has nothing to do with multiplatform.

I more attribute it to the fact that they make releases much more frequently (1 year per CoD game as opposed to 3-4 years per Pokemon game.)

On average, CoD ususally sells slightly less than Pokemon.

The pokemon figures were including all the spin offs so the release schedule is the same anyway, in that sense call of duty sells more then the main series of pokemon.

OT: Yes pokemon is popular, I think mainly for releasing the same game twice every gen to tempt people into buying two copies.

Why would one count spin offs though.
Especially when those spin offs are so different, some of them are in their own franchise line (like the Mystery Dungeon games.)

TheKasp:

Really? A turtle? And a mime? And wtf, a pile of goo with eyes? Pokeball with eyes? Really?

/sorry, just a small pet peeve of mine.

Same here, it may be because I get very defensive over the fifth gen, which happens to be my favorite and the one most picked on. Call me crazy, but I would take a ghost chandelier over a poke ball with eyes any day for better design.

Anyway, good to hear for the franchise, love it or hate it, with sales like that it's not going anywhere anytime soon.

Goliath100:

ClockworkUniverse:
...We have Grimer, which is a pile of goo. And when it evolves...we have Muk, which is a BIG pile of goo...

What with the Grimer/ Muk hate? I'm getting sick of this. There's a lot of pokemon that can be described with "it's just a..". And I'm as sick of "5. gen is the worst because of the icecream", but the comparison between Muk and Vanillish in just flat out invalid. Why? Because Muk is not "...a BIG pile of goo...", it's a monster made of goo. And Muk is normal posed as a monster rising from a swamp. Muk is not even that far of Clayface from Batman. To top it of, Muk is not uninspired, it's simplistic.

I don't personally like Muk, but I don't hate it or anything. It's one of hundreds. Nobody's going to like them all. I guess my overall point is that anyone who dismisses a generation's overall Pokemon design quality by pointing to one or two that they personally don't like is really reaching.

 

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