How Many Pokemon RPGs Did Nintendo Sell In A Year?

By Ishaan . April 30, 2012 . 4:00pm

Nintendo’s hit flagship games all have one thing in common: Yes, they start out with a bang, but they also continue to sell and sell and sell for years.

The Pokémon games all follow this trend, too, and given how important software profits are, amidst Nintendo’s ongoing hardware losses on the 3DS, we thought it would be interesting to see how much the existing Pokémon RPGs sold worldwide between March 31st 2011 and March 31st, 2012.


Take a look at the chart below:


Year Title March 2011 March 2012 Increase
2007 Pokémon Diamond/Pearl 17.57 million 17.61 million +40,000
2009 Pokémon Platinum 7.43 million Unknown Unknown
2010 Pokémon HeartGold/SoulSilver 11.90 million 12.40 million +500,000
2011 Pokémon Black/White 11.51 million 14.71 million +3.2 million


Diamond/Pearl were the very first pair of Pokémon RPGs for the Nintendo DS, and so, naturally, they’ve sold the most number of copies to date. That having been said, despite the new games that followed, 40,000 people around the world still bought Diamond/Pearl in the last 12 months.


Pokémon HeartGold/SoulSilver, remakes of the original Gold/Silver titles, saw a much bigger increase. Half a million people picked those games up, pushing them to nearly 12.5 million units. At this rate, it’s a given they’ll cross the 12.5 million mark this year. I wonder how much closer they’ll be to 13 million by next year?


Finally, Pokémon Black/White, the most recent games in the series, released in 2010 in Japan, March 2011 in the west, and April 2011 in Korea, sold another 3.2 million copies worldwide. Will the upcoming release of Black/White 2 give a boost to Black/White as new players that want both the originals and the sequels pick them both up? Or will Black/White 2 hurt Black/White’s sales instead? Questions, questions.


So, overall, Nintendo sold 3.74 million copies of mainline Pokémon RPGs in the last 12 months. And these numbers don’t include ongoing sales of Pokémon Platinum, or of spin-off titles such as Pokémon Rumble Blast or Pokémon Conquest in Japan.


Sales figures courtesy Nintendo.

  • XYZ_JolteonZ980

    Black and White 2 should hopefully get more people to get Black and White, or if Nintendo can sell them in a combo pack bundle? North American branch or just pokemon in general should share more details of B/W2. 

    • usagi_san

      A combo pack doesn’t sound that bad, it would give people a reason to pick up the prequel. 

  • Herok

    Not surprised Pokemon sold this well

  • It’s nice to see HG/SS still selling decently. I’d have to say that those are my favorites. Perfectly captured the feel of the original G/S/C in a way that FireRed and Leafgreen did not for me.

    • Handsome Luigi ♢

      That’s an issue for me actually, HGSS felt too outdated compared to the other DS titles for me while FireRed/LeafGreen captured the nostalgia and yet it felt well adapted to the R/S/E new changes and since FR/LG they created this beautiful item called Vs Seeker! :3

      • It might’ve been different for me, because – while I had started playing with Blue Version – G/S/C were my absolute favorites. So I just loved the remakes more than the R/B/Y remakes.

        HG/SS did add some cool features, though, like the Pokemon walking around behind you, picking up golden leaves and other treats.

        But I do have to agree that the VS. Seeker is indeed a beautiful item. It’s hard to go back to training without it (and I really hope to see it reappear in B2/W2).

        • Handsome Luigi ♢

          I can’t argue with that, to this day Gen 2 it’s my absolute favourite, I have the fondest memories with G/S/C and Pokemon Stadium 2. The Pokemon designs just felt so good and back then all of the new changes felt… well, new.

          In HGSS there were just aesthetical changes like the ones you’ve mentioned and I appreciate them a lot (And a real lot, the GB Sounds fixed Goldenrod city for me) but the rematching didn’t changed and now it feels waaay too tedious compared to FR/LG and DPPt. And they kept the leveling up pace the same too, the wild Pokemon are waaay too weak. By the time you’re done with all the 16 gyms you’d expect you would be really OP and ready to kick Red’s butt but truth is, you’re just the same level as somebody that challenges 8 gyms in other games, with the rematching dissadvanges you feel stuck after you explore all Kanto.
          You can rematch many times yeah but to specific trainers, at specific days and hours. That kinda irked me, I really hate being forced to use guides to know who I can rematch and who I can’t, rematching specific trainers help you to get a proper EV training but with this system it’s annoying and restricting.

          BW don’t have a rematch system sadly but at least the leveling up pace it’s good and the high leveled double wild battles fixes the lack of a rematching device. Still hoping for a Vs Seeker on B2W2 though.

        • MrRobbyM

          G/S/C is your favorite gen, we both played Melee and SA2B a lot, Sega fan. Are you my long lost twin sister?

  • MrSirFeatherFang

    Time to dance it out then!!!!

    EDIT: Oh for you old school fans out there, here’s the version for you

    • Jesus, I let the Ru/Sa Team Aqua one go on for the full 7 minutes without even realizing it…

  • Krisi92

    Okay, so you’re telling me that Nintendo actually shipped 40,000 brand new copies od Pokémon Diamond/Pearl in the last 12 months? I mean… Who the hell buys a 5-year old game brand new from an actual shop, at (at least almost) full price?

    • MrRobbyM

      Nintendo ships their games in bulk like that. Plus, it’s freakin’ pokemon.

      • Hell yeah. :) For all I know there are people who bought it just to get the exclusive Pokemon that are in there. Probably the 2 evolution of eevee too.

    • OverlordZetta

      The fact D/P still sell at all with Plat out there is something in and of itself.

    • XYZ_JolteonZ980

      I still bought Leaf Green and Emerald new from a major retailer years after release? I buy the additional version after a few years. Dont see what is shocking. 

    • Tom_Phoenix

      I was able to buy brand new copies of Final Fantasy V Advance and VI Advance years after their release.  It’s not that unusual.

  • Solomon_Kano

    Interesting stuff. I haven’t played Pokemon in forever seeing as I sold my DS ages ago, but I’m glad to see the series is still selling like gangbusters.

    I suppose I’ll be contributing to these numbers when I get my 3DS, as I’ll want to grab all the ones I missed.

    • MrRobbyM

      Oh. There’s still someone who hasn’t chosen a side.


      • Solomon_Kano

        Well, actually I picked my side back when it was G/S/C.


        But, since there’s no Crystal now, I’ll settle for Soul Silver. I always did like Lugia…

        • MrRobbyM

          I was also team Crytstal back then x) But I also like Lugia. I think him having his own movie has something to do with it.

          • Solomon_Kano

            I loved that movie. So much. The power of one!


          • I barely remember Power of One, but I do recall that Lugia’s theme music or whatever was really cool.

  • Handsome Luigi ♢

    Im happy to know there’s still some DPPt love in the world :3

  • rurin

    Yay! I am still such a avid lover of Pokemon and this is great news :)
    I’m kind of surprised Diamond and Pearl are still selling well, though. It’s just personal opinion, but they weren’t my favorites in the series…

  • Guest

    It’s official. Pokemon is the new type of cancer, and I’m loving this type of cancer. X3

    • Solomon_Kano

      But does it come with a new type of chemo?

      • WilliamJasper

        No type of chemotherapy can ever cure this type of cancer. It will soon be an epidemic. There is absolutely no hope for hater of this cancer to find a cure. 

    • CAUSE OF DEATH: Playing too much Pokemon

      I like the sound of that.

  • Fritzroy Woods

    i just bought pokemon black last week
    lets just say a year ago i owned white….

  • Sugoi!

  • Neah

    I’ve played all the PK up to DS ones. . I played a bit of Diamond but gave up after a while. 

    Going to pick up Black soon though. 

  • Tom_Phoenix

    I’m not even remotely suprised by the fact that HeartGold and SoulSilver still sell that many copies. My local electronics retailer keeps a FULL SHELF of these games.

    It makes me think I need to pick up one of them at some point; I just don’t know which one. While I prefer the way the legendary in Silver looks, I also prefer the colour Gold. ^_^

  • Vyrus

    I don’t know about you guys, but whenever I think of Pokemon, I always start singing the Pokemon rap. :D

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