2020 The Pokémon Company reports second-best year in history Pokémon Sword and Shield sales, 2017 Pokémon GO

Pokémon Sword and Shield have sold better than any generation of the franchise except Red and Blue and Gold and Silver, as Nintendo’s recent financial report reveals the newest games are sitting at 20.35 million units sold worldwide. Pokémon Sword and Shield collectively now rank fifth place among the Nintendo Switch games with the most sales, sitting behind The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and above Super Mario Odyssey.

All of this comes as no surprise because Sword and Shield are the first true mainline Pokémon installments on Switch. Although Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee! released in 2018, they targeted a more casual audience and simplified the gameplay. In comparison to Pokémon Sword and Shield, the Let’s Go games have sold 13 million units, making them collectively the 8th bestselling Switch game.

The eighth generation of Pokémon saw a few firsts for the series in addition to being the first mainline games on a home console. They also introduced DLC, another series first, with the introduction of the Sword and Shield Expansion Pass. This allowed players to continue their Pokémon adventures in the Isle of Armor and Crown Tundra expansions.

These Sword and Shield sales numbers will only continue to grow. 2021 is of course a big year for the franchise, with it being the 25th anniversary of Pokémon. Game Freak and Nintendo will likely hold in-game events throughout the year that may encourage Switch owners to buy Sword and Shield if they haven’t already. We’re still keeping an eye out for potential Diamond and Pearl remakes though.


Jaimie Ditchfield
Freelance Writer. Work seen on Zelda Universe and BackToTheGaming. Studied Games Journalism and PR for three years, and is relentless at spreading his love for The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. The chances are you'll also hear him scream Persona.


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