Nintendo DS

People Are Still Buying Older Pokémon RPGs


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.


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.