Nintendo 3DS

Pokémon X And Y Sold Mainly To College Students In Japan


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.

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.