While mainline Pokemon titles have always performed well for Nintendo and The Pokemon Company, it's difficult to overstate just how impressive Sword and Shield's sales numbers have been. The latest iterations in the Pokemon series have broken a number of sales records over the last few weeks. According to Matt Piscatella of the NPD Group, the games now hold a new distinction: Sword and Shield gave the franchise the best month of dollar sales out of any Pokemon games released in the U.S. thus far. The previous record holder was Pokemon Sun and Moon.
US NPD SW - Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield titles combined to achieve the highest launch month dollar sales of any Pokémon release in U.S. history, topping the previous launch month high set by Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon. pic.twitter.com/BG146DloJC— Mat Piscatella (@MatPiscatella) December 12, 2019
Sword and Shield accounted for three of the top five spots on the list for the month. Pokemon Sword was the third best-selling game of the month, while the Double Pack of the games came in at number four and Pokemon Shield at number five. When all three SKUs are combined, the three games would make for November's second best-selling game. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order took home the number one and number two spots, respectively.
The performance of Pokemon Sword and Shield is truly impressive for a number of reasons. Prior to release, the games had a lot of negative word-of-mouth thanks to the "National Dex" controversy. However, the game released to strong reviews across the board, and new Pokemon such as Wooloo and Sobble proved to be a hit with fans young and old.
Sword and Shield's performance against predecessors Sun and Moon is also impressive. The Nintendo Switch console has been on the market for just under three years. At the time Sun and Moon released, 3DS had been on the market for nearly six years, and the system had a bigger install base. Now, the numbers for NPD account for dollars, not sales, so it should be noted that Sword and Shield retailed for $59.99 versus Sun and Moon's $39.99, giving the Switch games a $20 advantage. Still, it's an impressive stat, nonetheless!