'Pokemon' Game Franchise Passes 240M Units Sold

Courtesy of Nintendo

The latest entries, 'Pokemon Sword' and 'Pokemon Shield,' sold more than 6 million units over their launch last weekend.

Since its debut in 1996, Pokemon has remained a mainstay in pop culture, building an empire that encompasses TV series, films, merchandise and, of course, video games.

On Thursday, Nintendo revealed that the long-running game series, first introduced with Pokemon Red and Pokemon Blue in 1996, has now sold more than 240 million units worldwide in its core series (this does not include the successful Pokemon Go AR mobile game, which has grossed over $3 billion since its debut in 2016). 

The latest entries in the core franchise — Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield, which launched on the Nintendo Switch last week — sold more than 6 million copies worldwide over their launch weekend. The games sold two million copies in their first two days of release in the U.S., making the duo the highest-grossing debut of any entries in the franchise. 

“This past weekend, millions of people began their Pokemon journeys through the new Galar region” said Nick Chavez, Nintendo of America’s senior vp sales and marketing. “With such a momentous launch, Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield have proven to be two of the must-have games this holiday season.”

Last year, Nintendo launched Pokemon: Let's Go, Pikachu and Let's Go, Eevee. Those titles sold 3 million copies in their first week of launch and have gone on to sell more than 11 million units worldwide.