People Are Still Buying Older Pokémon RPGs

By Ishaan . May 4, 2013 . 10:00am

Last year, Nintendo released Pokémon Black 2 and Pokémon White 2 for the Nintendo DS.  While the two games have already sold over 7 million copies to date, plenty of people are also still getting caught up with older Pokémon titles. In fact, over the course of the last one year, about 1 million people were content buying older Pokémon RPGs.


Take a look at the table below, containing sales data for Pokémon that we’ve compiled from Nintendo’s various financial reports over the last year, with an explanation below it.


Released Title March 2012 March 2013 Increase
2007 Pokémon Diamond/Pearl 17.61 million 17.63 million +20,000
2010 Pokémon HeartGold/SoulSilver 12.40 million 12.67 million +270,000
2011 Pokémon Black/White 14.71 million 15.42 million +710,000


The “March 2012” column shows worldwide sales figures for each Pokémon RPG as of March 31st, 2012. The “March 2013” column shows sales figures exactly one year later. By calculating the difference between these figures, the “Increase” column tells us how much each game sold from March 2012 to March 2013.


As you can see, Pokémon Black and Pokémon White, despite being released two years ago, still managed to sell over 700,000 copies. Meanwhile, HeartGold and SoulSilver, which were released in 2010, sold an additional 270,000 copies last year. Furthermore, 20,000 people even picked up Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Pearl, which were released six years ago. That totals up to 1 million players.


Oh, and in case you’re wondering, sales of Pokémon Black 2 and Pokémon White 2 are at 7.81 million as of March 2013.


Nintendo’s next Pokémon RPGs, Pokémon X and Pokémon Y, will be released this October. The two new titles will be the first mainline Pokémon games on the Nintendo 3DS, effectively hitting the “reset” button and marking a generational transition, where a large number of players will be required to upgrade from a DS to a 3DS in order to play the new games. It should be very interesting to see how they sell.


  • Coeurl


    Also is there official confirmation that X/Y won’t be compatible earlier generations?

    • Tre W

      Don’t think so. Plus it wouldn’t make sense. I mean, unless X/Y stands to be as much of an overhaul as Gen 3 was? The main appeal should be to be able to stick your older DS games in the cart slot and transfer your dudes that way.

    • i certainly hope not…i want to see my beautifully raised pokemon in 3d! and i have a shiny eevee i havve been saving…

  • Nee Nee

    No comment.

  • Lubulos

    I think that’s because B/W 2 didn’t have a fundamental evolution in their formula. When X/Y will arrive, with fully animated 3D pokémon and character models, new eevolution, the rumored new type and MEWTHREE, you’ll see a tsunami of the size of the USA, made of little plastic boxes with the Nintendo, Game Freak and Pokémon logo on it.

    • luckgandor

      We’re still half a year away from the release, and I’m sure there’s plenty more awesome surprises headed our way that will leave everyone drooling.

  • d19xx

    Nintendo handhelds prints money and Pokemon is the ink…….

    • Sardorim

      Fire Emblem is ink too…

      • Pretty sure Fire Emblem doesn’t quite fit the metaphor considering that the entire FE series probably hasn’t sold as much as a single Pokemon game has.

      • That guy who hates Spike

        Fire Emblem is more like that code on the bill. Its there, but only a small amount of people notice for it. Or care about it.

  • KingGunblader

    I’m not leaving my house the day X/Y come out. I don’t want to be trampled by billions of crazed Pokefans.

    • Ferrick

      gamestop would be a warzone when it does… especially remembering on what happened when BW2 was released (and hell i live in the quietest part of the state and it was that crazy)

    • I’m getting it digitally, cant wait!

    • nick9541

      I’ll definitely be out getting them :x When I went to get Black 2 the morning it came out, I thought I’d see at least a couple other people there buying them, too…But nope, not one other person there! I was at Toys R Us though, not Gamestop.

      If I’m not working the morning they come out, I’ll be out first thing to get them. Definitely avoiding Gamestop though since it seems like it’d be packed.

  • Rayshawn Davis

    People can quit a lot of things. Smoking, drinking, and most of their addictions. But Pokemon? FOOLS!

    • Sardorim

      I’ve tried but it’s Pokemon and I know that if they remade Ruby/Sapphire than I would buy them too.

    • I left pokemon after heartgold and never came back =o. Although I am reading this article so I doubt you believe me.

      • HG and SS were better than B/W but B2/W2 are right up there in terms of quality and value for money. B/W felt like more of a step down from HG/SS but B2/W2 got it right again. Miss those following Pokemon though…

        • Samurai Don

          I disagree as Black and White made training Pokémon so much easier than Soul Silver and Heart Gold.

        • raymk

          No B/W to me was better than HG/SS. The nostalgia is what makes people think that HG/SS is better. Now don’t get me wrong they were good games but it didn’t add any new pokemon and its still a game we played before.

      • Anonymous

        Last Pokemon i played was Pearl, When i saw White and Black, I lost my interest in the series

    • psycho_bandaid

      I stopped buying them after SS, but X/Y seems different enough that I might get back into the series. What I’m really holding out for is an MMO. I’d buy the hell out of that.

      • Samurai Don

        Then you will be waiting forever as Game Freak stated that the Pokémon series will never be a MMO.

      • Alexander Marquis Starkey

        There will never be an official pokemon mmo, because that would totally kill the market for the regular portables.

  • Samurai Don

    “Nintendo 3DS, effectively hitting the “reset” button and marking a generational
    transition, where a large number of players will be required to upgrade from a
    DS to a 3DS in order to play the new games, leaving all of their old Pokémon

    Er, they never stated that Pokémon X and Y will be a fresh start, though I do get what you mean by that, or that we might have to leave our old Pokémon behind.

  • luckgandor

    I’m not surprised that Black and White are still selling strong. They were designed to be entry points into the series.

  • Ethan_Twain

    You know, I was almost one of these. I had a sub-par experience with Pokemon Platinum so I decided I was probably done with the franchise. And I’ve been okay with that for years. But just this past month I’ve been getting a Pokemon itch. I almost gave in and went to buy one of the three editions that’s released since I last played.

    I still might, but I feel like there are other games on the horizon to scratch my grinding and collecting itch. SMT IV and Animal Crossing should satisfy those cravings more than adequately.

    • You can also try Dragon quest IX, it’ll fix your grinding itch alright.

  • SirTeffy

    “[…]where a large number of players will be required to upgrade from a DS to
    a 3DS in order to play the new games, leaving all of their old Pokémon

    I’m sorry, but what makes you think you’ll need to leave your current Pokemon behind? Nintendo has always included a method to transfer from generation to generation except from 1/2 -> 3. Generation 4 used the GBA slot to transfer via Pal Park, Generation 5 used a transfer tool via Download Play, and Generation VI will probably use an eShop app to download your Pokemon and transfer them, similar to Pokemon Box. While not confirmed yet, there will almost definitely be some form of transfer included.

    • I actually had no idea you could transfer your GBA monsters over to the DS, despite owning all of the games! I’ve edited that part out. Thanks for pointing this out.

      • Sekai-jin

        Its a new information to me too. The only between generation transfer that I know is Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald to Fire Red/Leaf Green..

        • Tikey

          RSE and FR/LG are the same generation (Gen 3) which is why you didn’t need a special function to trade between them.

        • SirTeffy

          Pal Park was in Diamond/Pearl/Platinum/Heart Gold/Soul Silver to transfer six Pokemon per day from your Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald/Fire Red/Leaf Green carts.

          In fact, as a reward, if you manage to carry a Pokemon from Generation 3 through Generation 5 it gets a special description – “Met in [Hoenn/Kanto] after a long travel through time”

    • komiko12

      I hope that there would be a way to transfer Pokemon from Gen 4 directly to Gen 6. I only have my Gen 4 games right now because of certain circumstances.

  • Jonattas F.

    And in an unrelated news… the SMT IV official site has been updated with a bunch of info

  • AuraGuyChris

    I wonder if people will die when the Japanese version comes out? It’ll be like Black Friday: Youth Version.

  • Tom_Phoenix

    I just recently bought HeartGold, so I can vouch for this. =P

    • JohnNiles

      Having your pokemon follow you is the best.

      • AuraGuyChris

        But I wish my Lucario would stop rolling around the grass. This is so degrading to its species!

        • JohnNiles

          That’s just how Lucario rolls.

          • LynxAmali

            That was bad and you should feel bad.

            I love it, on the other hand.

    • Claud12

      I bought platinum like week ago :)

  • Rei

    Everyone wants to catch em all!

  • Himiko

    Good. Pokemon shouldn’t be bound by that!

  • Jesse Torres

    Its because people want to catch them all.

  • IsaacGravity

    Is there any data on Platinum? Ever since X & Y’s announcement there have been an increase on these
    games in the used game market on those titles (specifically Platinum).

    I know the last part has nothing to do with chart numbers but I’m mostly just curious really since that game had the power to let you catch both Gen IV box legends.

    • No, no data on Platinum, either last year or this year, which is why we didn’t include it.

  • Rohan Kishibe

    Diamond and Pearl was six years ago!???!!?!?!?!?! WTF???

  • ShawnOtakuSomething

    yupe I been looking for Ruby and Pokemon Yellow lately, and just got Platinum

  • Amagidyne

    I actually bought Pearl, HeartGold, Black and White last year, since that was when I got my DS. I had a lot of catching up to do from when I’d last played Pokemon, that’s for sure.

  • I’d re-buy Pokemon Diamond if I could, I lost my cartridge ;w;

    So many fond memories I had with Pokemon Diamond and messing up with Wi-Fi features like GTS and the Pal Pad~

    • komiko12

      I sure had fun with GTS.. getting foreign Pokemon and evolving my Pokemon without trading them away.

      • Ayup!

        Sure, there are unfair offering of Zubats for Lv100 legendaries but some people were pretty Good Guy Gregs enough to trade me some legendaries in change of Pokemon holding rare items to make them evolve like Horsea holding Dragon Scales for those who doesn’t have Kingdra registered in the Pokedex yet.

        The Pal Pad came in handy to meet people willing to trade you rare Pokemon for the purpose of registering them in your Pokedex and seek them in the GTS, when I registered Lugia, the 3 dogs and the Johto starters I was so filled with joy and even more when I got them in the GTS~<3

        Diamond for me was the ultimate Pokemon experience before Black2 .w.

        • komiko12

          Platinum is the ultimate experience for me.. with over 700 hours spent there. I could almost complete the National Pokedex but I can’t find the Regis and other Hoenn Pokemon. -_-

          Do you know the glitch in the GTS? It could let you evolve Pokemon like Haunter, Seadra, Porygon and others without trading them away.

          • Well yeah, Platinum certainly offers a more complete experience of the Sinnoh region + battle speed updated but I never spent more time with it than I did with Diamond, I suppose because it came first lol but either way it’s pretty valid I think .w.

            Yeaaaah kinda.
            If you store a trade-evolution-only Pokemon in the GTS and you inmediately take it back nothing will happen but if you store it and do a trade in the GTS and then take your Pokemon back then the evolution will happen, I guess it makes it count like a trade lol.

          • komiko12

            I abused that glitch and filled many spaces in my Pokedex that way.

          • That’s the way I got my Scizor~

  • Love HeartGold. I really want to pick up SoulSilver and Black/White 2. Can’t wait for X/Y, baby.

  • psycho_bandaid

    The games are pretty similar. I’ve known people that haven’t played the older games to finish a newer pokemon game then get the older games in order to tide them over till the next one.

    • kgptzac

      I’ve never been a fan of the franchise and it does feel like most of these games are a bit too similar to each other. I’m not sure what drives people buy them whenever a new title comes out, so I suppose the figures don’t have to make sense to me xD.

  • I’m not surprised. I did the same thing recently. Even after I thought I was tired of Pokemon, all it took was 5 minutes of Pokemon Black to bring me back from the Pokemon graveyard. These games are just ridiculously fun.

  • Maia Kasoya

    Wow, has it really been 6 years since Diamond and Pearl were released?

  • raymk

    This isn’t too surprising because WE ALL LIVE IN A POKEMON WORLD!! Free thumbs up to the first 3 people to guess where the capitalized is from.

    • porkiewpyne

      So you wanna be a master of POKEMON!!

      Do you have the skills to be NUMBER ONE!!

    • Kitestwinblades
      I haven’t heard it in so long that the Nostalgia is almost overwhelming.
      They really went all out with the music in the early pokemon days xD

    • NimbusStev

      Oh man, I had completely wiped the existence of that song from my mind!

  • Neah

    Pokemon: The Money machine.

  • echokanon

    I lost my bet because there is no Gray version…

  • Dexward

    Ugh, I haven’t even touch my White 2 because I’m burned out from playing White. Then there’s X/Y coming out this fall.

    • Anime10121

      Yeah, while White 2 isnt anywhere near as “fresh” and new as the originals were! Now, they are fun, more fun tan the previous two gens to me D/P/R/S, but I had no where near the experience i had playing the original B/W.

  • Steven Higgins

    I wish there would be a R/S/E remake, not necessarily for the Legendaries, but because to this day Emerald is the only enhanced remake I haven’t had the chance to play. (Magma Ruby/Aqua Sapphire ftw) I was getting burnt out on Pokemon too and only got White 2 for collections sake, but X/Y has totally re-invigorated my interest in the series. I do wish they had kept the Pokemon following mechanic in X/Y though. (the trailer seems to suggest it isn’t there) I think it should be a permanent addition to all games in the series.

  • Anime10121

    You know, I think they’d sell MORE if they actually shipped more units out. I just tried to find Heart Gold and NO ONE was selling it new or even used for less than 40 bucks! I had to resort to Ebay with a cartridge only game for 25 bones :(

  • puchinri

    Admittedly, I’ve sold almost DS Pokemon game I had, but I know deep down that I’m going to buy them again later. They are hard to escape/quit.

    I am horribly excited for XY too. Here’s to hoping they do extremely well~.

  • 果林

    wheres my pokemon rainbow

  • Sylveria

    Can’t say I’m surprised, especially about HG/SS..

  • Aunna Terrell

    lol as someone who works in video game retail, the Pokemon titles (newer and older alike) are the most sought out titles that I’ve seen requested (besides older Zeldas). It’s not surprising that the DS titles are still selling… Not surprising at all.

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