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How Many Pokemon RPGs Did Nintendo Sell In A Year?


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:


YearTitleMarch 2011March 2012Increase
2007Pokémon Diamond/Pearl17.57 million17.61 million+40,000
2009Pokémon Platinum7.43 millionUnknownUnknown
2010Pokémon HeartGold/SoulSilver11.90 million12.40 million+500,000
2011Pokémon Black/White11.51 million14.71 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.

Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.