The Nintendo Switch is Nintendo's biggest success story in quite some time. The handheld hybrid has performed quite well for the company, in just about every major region. Of course, the company's home in Japan is no exception. Late last year, Pokemon Sword and Shield became the fastest-selling games in the region, but that record has already been toppled by Nintendo's latest major release, Animal Crossing: New Horizons. According to Famitsu (via GamesIndustry.biz), the title sold 1.88 million copies in the region in just three days on the market. Pokemon Sword and Shield sold 1.36 million combined in that same time span. The record holder prior to that was Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, at 1.24 million units.
It should be noted that these sales figures only account for physical game sales, rather than digital. Unsurprisingly, Switch hardware also saw a big boost in the region as a result of the release of Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Sales of Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite were up a stunning 585% over the previous week. Altogether, the console has now sold more than 13 million units in Japan.
The sales are even more impressive when stacked up against those of the previous game in the series, Animal Crossing: New Leaf. That particular installment sold 722,000 units in its first three days available. It will be interesting to see how those sales continue to stack up over time, however. While New Leaf wasn't nearly as strong out-of-the-gate, the game remained a consistent seller throughout the lifespan of the Nintendo 3DS. As of December 2019, the game has sold more than 12 million copies worldwide.
Japan is not the only region where New Horizons is performing well. In Europe, the latest Animal Crossing game outpaced the sales of every previous game in the series combined, including spin-offs such as Happy Home Designer and Amiibo Festival.
If there's one thing that truly sticks out about the sales numbers for Animal Crossing: New Horizons, it's the fact that the series has truly become one of Nintendo's biggest franchises since its debut in 2002. While the series was once on the niche side for Nintendo, gamers have embraced the series in a major way. It's safe to say Isabelle, Tom Nook, and K.K. Slider have become every bit as important to the company as Link, Mario, and Donkey Kong.
Have you picked up Animal Crossing: New Horizons yet? What do you think of the game so far? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!