Nintendo have announced Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield have sold 16.06 million units worldwide since their launch.
The news may be surprising to some. It was confirmed soon after the game’s announcement that not all Pokemon would be in the game, preventing them from being transferred from older titles.
While producer Junichi Masuda and director Shigeru Ohmori stated this was to dedicate more time to animations and other areas of development, fans were critical of trailer footage showing no marked improvement over the previous 3DS entry in the series.
Fans were outraged when the news was first announced, pushing both “Dexit” and “BringBackNationalDex” hashtags on social media. New footage of the games and leaks only fueled their frustrations that the graphics and animations had little to no marked improvement.
Some suspect the outrage reaching fever-pitch from leaked information was why the Japanese launch event was cancelled, and Nintendo even seemingly allowing people to cancel digital pre-orders of the games.
Nonetheless, the games sold over 6 million copies in their first week in Japan, and now the global total sits at 16.06 million. The game’s userscore on Metacritic is at 4.6 and 4.5 (for Sword and Shield respectively) at this time of writing.
The average reviewer metascore was 80, though our own review took issue with the game’s lack of difficulty, poor graphics, and missing trading features (now returning in Pokemon Home, even without the Premium Plan).
Back in November 2019, The Pokemon Company International sought the identities of those who leaked information from a strategy guide (revealing unannounced new Pokemon) onto a Discord server which then spread online. The company’s lawyers from Perkins Coie claimed the leaks caused “irreparable injury” to the company.
In case you missed it, Game Freak announced expansions for Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield, including the return of some culled Pokemon, as well as new Pokemon, new areas to explore, and new challenges. You can read about them both here.
Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield are out now on Nintendo Switch. In case you missed it, you can find our review here.