Pokémon X And Y Sold Mainly To College Students In Japan

By Ishaan . October 18, 2013 . 9:00am

Last week, The Pokémon Company released Pokémon X and Pokémon Y for the Nintendo 3DS. In Japan, the pair of games collectively sold 1.86 million copies at retail in their first week on the market.


Additionally, Japanese sales tracker Media Create provide a very interesting tidbit about the two games in their latest weekly sales report: The majority of people that bought Pokémon X and Pokémon Y at launch in Japan were college students, the reason being that school kids have been busy with exams.


This demonstrates the continuation of an ongoing trend. Since the release of Pokémon HeartGold/SoulSilver, the Pokémon audience has gradually been expanding to include more older players. In fact, at the time of Pokémon Black/White’s launch in 2010, first-week sales were divided among a broad spectrum of gamers ranging from very young children to people aged 19 – 24. (See the chart above for reference.)


So, in the case of Pokémon X and Pokémon Y, where school kids were preoccupied with exams, Pokémon’s older fanbase picked up the slack. In the weeks ahead, it should be interesting to see how sales hold up, since more kids will be free to buy the games, and Media Create recently reported that Monster Hunter 4 has begun selling to younger players now, too. That means the two games will likely initially compete with each other for people’s money.


Food for thought:

Interestingly, Animal Crossing has been following the same trend as Pokémon, and amassing a greater number of players between the ages of 19 – 24. The primary difference is that a greater portion of Animal Crossing’s audience consists of women.

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  • FitzpatrickPhillips

    To numb the pain from all that studying.
    I love how its so low in Highschool, where its “not cool” to do such things. After HS nobody gives a damn and does what they want.

    • Yeah funnily I think I remember a comic that actually sorta accurately portrays the sorta cycle one goes through, with Pokemon…

      http://awkwardzombie.com/index.php?page=0&comic=032910 – Ah yes.

      But yeah, it seems like in highschool, kids more try to always go “oh Pokemon/video games are for little kids I am SUPER ADULT now interested in ADULT THINGS”, and then once they hit college they get right back into it cause psh, “adult things”.

      • FitzpatrickPhillips

        lol yep, I love that comic

      • NimbusStev

        Haha that comic was the first thing that came to mind when I read the article. It’s funny…because it’s true.

  • Sentsuizan_93

    As someone who is in that age bracket, I’m not ashamed to admit I still played Pokemon, even during High School. ^_^

    • ZEROthefirst

      Right there with you lol

    • JuhRo

      Didn’t play it through high school… but definitely revisiting now :) I was a huge fan in 4-8th grade or so.

    • Ramengeddon

      It was pretty much a normal thing in high school where we could have a giant group of pokemon players in the cafeteria at lunch lol

    • RazeXI

      The only difference is that in college no-one is giving you snide remarks for playing pokemon

    • MrTyrant

      I’m 24 years old and I’m not ashame to admit it.

      • I’m 27 going 28 and I’m not ashamed one bit. If you love it why listen to others opinion about it.

        • Khoko

          Yeah buddy. 28 here. I’ll be catching pokes probably till the day I die.

          • Ric Vazquez


    • Repede91

      I’ve been playing Pokebros since I was 7, never looked back or thought of quitting due to public appearances or anything like that. I’m 22 now and I feel happier because I’ve been true to myself and who I am.

      • 23, started when I was ten. I stopped playing in public mainly I don’t like taking my handhelds out with me. Paranoid about losing them. Which is a shame because I constantly run into people with their 3DS at the college I go to.

    • Renaldi Saputra

      usually in japan

      on that range of age, ppl will say: “stop playing pokemon and
      some childish game then go for a date with some boys/girls”

      they focus more on seeking love/sexual contents

    • Ric Vazquez

      Same here

  • Virevolte

    Héhé, I just sent a copy of Pokemon X to my little sister, now that the exams are over. ^^

  • Renaldi Saputra

    that explains why there’re so much pokemon black white doujin, as same as XY now

    • DanteMasamune


      • Renaldi Saputra

        well, yeah

        • DanteMasamune

          What is this doujin you speak of?

          • Renaldi Saputra

            many.. many of them

          • DanteMasamune

            I never asked how much but what is it and what is it about?

          • Renaldi Saputra

            idk, just seeing some of those pict

          • DanteMasamune

            *looks it up*

            I don’t get it…is it like hentai or something?

          • Renaldi Saputra

            could be hentai also

          • Captain


          • Doujinshi? In this case, fanmade comics, usually pairing-based. They range from gen to het to slash to straight since it’s all fanmade.

  • Nameless App 1989

    Has anyone experienced a glitch with their digital copy of X?

    I’m in the Terminus Cave, and I can’t access my Party or my Bag without the 3DS telling me to turn off the system and try again.

    Sorry if it’s off-topic. I just felt the more people knew of this, the sooner the problem would be solved.

    On-topic: Glad not everyone is as narrow-minded as they get older. If Pokemon is for kids, what does that make Yoshi’s Island, or the Chocobo spinoff series?

    • NimbusStev

      I actually did encounter that message, but it only happened to me while using the GTS.

  • Blackburn7

    Started playing Pokemon when I was ~8 years old. 12 years later now and I’m still loving it.

  • Kami nii

    Duh!! Those college students most likely grew with pokemon and that includes me I’m not ashamed that I’m 20 and still playing the game I mean this game I played since I was a kid so yeah most players are adults not kids

  • transferstudentx

    i am glad i am not alone on this lately i felt like an alien playing pokemon in my collage classes breaks haha

  • ivanchu77

    • SlickRoach

      I’ve always loved Pokemon since Red & Blue and have stuck with the series ever since and I don’t regret it at all! But I actually do like MLP, (not to an unhealthy obsession point) but although I don’t have to worry about being criticized for liking Pokemon I do still have to deal with Brony bashing ._.

      • knightr

        I’ve been play poke since gen2 and I’m not really into the pony fanbase.

        I realized thought that brony bashing is getting really mainstream nowadays.

        • SlickRoach

          Mainstream as in COD bashing where it’s the thing people love to hate? And gen 2 was pretty amazing, even by today’s standards. So much new features compared to the original and it set a lot of landmarks for the series as well.

        • Cazar

          Hardcore bronies can be truly frightening. Some of it is warranted.

          • Aaron K Stone

            Any hardcore fans can be frightening.

    • JustThisOne

      The crazy thing is, almost every single brony I know in real life is a crazy hot chick who’s into cosplay.


      • DanteMasamune


        • JustThisOne

          Is it really that hard to believe? Maybe I just don’t know enough bronies in general, or maybe they’re all closet bronies. :V

          • DanteMasamune

            I slightly still don’t believe you but that does make sense.

  • Rohan Viajar

    A lot of people in my college are playing it (Including me, of course). I’m not surprised by this.

  • Yvonne Tsang

    Yeah, most of the bajillions of people lining up at my local EB Games were around my age as well. I did see a couple kids at Wal-Mart though.

  • yomachaser

    My god!!! Does this mean Japan will see another huge spike when the younger gamers have some free time?

    This game is going to go down in the record books.

  • J_Joestar

    surprised this hasn’t been put up yet.
    it even matches the chart’s dip within the junior/high school age group.


    • ShawnOtakuSomething


    • Technically I did right above here. I just linked directly to the comic page itself, so Siliconera didn’t blow it up!

    • I’m going to admit that I had one person asking me that question when I was in High School and I told them to eff off.

  • knightr

    This shouldnt be surprising for those that know how hardcore the long running fanbase and metagames can actually be.

    I’m in the early college demographic but XY is probably going to be the last gen for me though.

  • ShawnOtakuSomething

    Going to be a fan till I die….. *22* been playing since the 90s

  • Kioku


  • Tom_Phoenix

    Not really surprising. Given the low birth rate in Japan, it’s necessary for Pokémon to attract older audiences if it is to ensure its continued success.

    • Estrius Alstar

      Japan’s birth rate is stable before Pokémon even came out though.

    • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

      Murica’s birthrate be dropping like a stone

  • Foxeh Shihōin

    im the only one in my institute that doesn’t own x or y :c

    • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

      Well, what are you waiting for?^_^ Get Y now.(Y team for the Win)

      • Foxeh Shihōin

        believe me, i want it. i want either version, but the problem is getting it and getting money to get it.

        • Joshua Lewis

          Its fine just go to your local game store with a sign saying will Mime for pokemon :3 its how i got mine

  • DragKudo

    Just saw a middle aged man playing pokemon Y on the bus. For some weird reason i started smiling.

    • Threule

      It is worse when you see a hot girl with it in front of you at the train and you stare at the game cartridge

      Also it’s kind of fun what happened some months ago. I was on the subway with my 3DS playing Mistery Dungeon, and a kid asked to his mom “What is that guy playing?” and she asked “Probably some adult game” and I answered “No, its pokemon”. Then lowered my 3DS a bit so kid could see

      • JustThisOne

        If it makes you feel any better… I’m probably not hot or anything, but I’m playing pokemon whenever I can on the subway.

        Also, I remember in high school, bringing my DS to school and battling someone. Whoever he was, he was ridiculously strong and I lost. I looked outside the window, and some ten year old kid with a DS waves to me from a distance. *__*

        • Threule

          No, the hot girl was on train, the kid on subway. Also thats a low self steem you have there.

          • JustThisOne

            :V Subway, train, trolley, mine cart… Same thing! And low self esteem? Nah, I’m just realistic. If I had low self esteem, I’d probably say I’m ugly. :>

          • Well you have a very hot girl personality.

            BATTLE ME

          • JustThisOne


          • Threule

            No need to lock eyes when our hearts are already locked (what the fuck i’m just saying)

          • JustThisOne

            G-good effort!

      • I was at the library at my college and I pulled out my 3DS and started playing X.

        Few minutes later, a girl walks by away from my direction and stops. She looks back at me for like 2 seconds, and then stops and sits next to me, asking “New Pokemon, right?”

        Chick pulls out the SAME colored 3DS with X and we just kept playing Pokemon. Hilarious.

  • AxionAzure

    I’m not surprised at all about this, this franchise was created in the 90’s. Us older geezers still enjoy our Pokémon, y’ know?

    • Renaldi Saputra

      this mentions japan, not west

      usually ppl in Japan only play pokemon up to junior high school grade

      maybe bcos it contains so much old contents that were renewed so that nostalgia come around

      • AxionAzure

        Details… details…

      • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

        While that statement is kinda correct, don’t forget that the main players for Pokemon Conquest is mostly adult which shows that there are still huge demographics of adult gamer who follow this series.^_^

        • Renaldi Saputra

          that’s bcos Nobunaga and Sengoku things in it, also different gameplay.. so that’s kinda reasonable..

          its not main series

          y’know, ppl who usually play Nobunaga’s Ambition series are teenager 15 ++ in Japan

          • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

            While that argument maybe correct, don’t forget that the recent released Nobunaga Ambition’s game on 3DS actually sold really little which makes that argument kinda difficult to maintain.

          • Renaldi Saputra

            remember that despite pokemon conquest did well, it only sold lower than 400k to date in Japan, lower than any pokemon spin-off series, so that explains why it sold more to adults, plus it’s a DS game..

            and the low sales of new nobunaga ambition, that’s bcos MH is a real killer

  • HershelLousyton
  • Scissors

    I fall in that age bracket. Not sure how to describe it, but I feel like the 3DS does a really good job at appealing to people of my age group. I just feel like the hardware and software on the system do exactly what I want them to do. To me the 3DS feels like Nintendo has matured their hardware, software, and company polices yet at the same time kept in tact that child like wonder that I really enjoy about the company.

  • Ban The Jackass

    Yes! I’m also part of that 19-24 age bracket! So are we going to see better plot in future Pokemon games?

    • JustThisOne

      Hmm, I dunno. I feel like they were already trying to make “better plots” with BW2, but I’m not sure if I like it. Now, I’m not saying they’re bad plots, but they’re getting needlessly complicated and grander in scale. I’m worried they’ll box themselves in, y’know?

      Think about it:
      We went from mythical birds to pokemon that govern the weather to pokemon that govern space and time. The legendaries now have godlike powers. How are they going to top that?

      • You can always downgrade the strength / magnitude of the legendaries.

        I say if it’s done well, why not?

        • JustThisOne

          I really hope they do. x___x The only way to top all the legendaries we have now is to make a legendary of all legendaries. A Zeus, if you will.

          But yeah, I sure hope they can do it well.

  • Notquitesure?

    if the demographic is moving into the “older ages” you’d think they would make the effort in making a deeper story and a characters with lines (and romance could only dream. But i did find Sinnoh region (diamond) to be a particular dark this is considering cyrus wanted to completely destroy reality, which is pretty ambitious.

  • Cursingcomet

    How I wish I didn’t squander my money on useless gadjets. Now I’m the only one playing atelier while others are playing pokemon on the 3ds. I hope I don’t get alienated by my yet to be friends.

  • .:Raphællius:.

    Pokemon is a milked franchise.
    I sometimes watch the anime, but i grew tired of the games.

    • Renaldi Saputra

      you still watch the anime which contains 95% fillers?

      • .:Raphællius:.

        Hahahaha what storyline is Pokemon supposed to follow? plus i don’t actually follow the series, i sometimes watch it just because it’s on. hahaha are there actually people outside the age of 8 – 14 that really perceive it as an dramatized and deep series?

        • Renaldi Saputra

          maybe there’s still, only for casual players and maybe poke-fanatics..

  • cj may

    haven’t played Pokemon in over 10 years since i was a kid
    put 60 hours into still going strong haven’t regretted any of it,Game isn’t completely a kids game it’s all ages !

  • Hairee Pothead

    The only reason it’s selling well with Generation Y (age 20’s) cause they grew up with the first 8 Bit games and some them also have kids now and play with their kids.

  • Fernando Garcia

    I cannot hide fact that I switch from playing soccer to playing Pokemon fifteen years ago, and I absolutely regret it. Pokemon isn’t all that great as people make it out to be.

    • Captain

      Lol, you gave up your hobby to play video games? Come on now.

      • Fernando Garcia

        Yeah. I was only nine at the time and I didn’t know better.

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