It’s been a little over one month since Pokémon Go first hit the app store, and it has taken over social media, news, and made The Pokémon Company hundreds of millions of dollars. At first, there was some question how profitable it would be for Nintendo, and now we at least have part of the picture. Today the Big N announced a huge increase in game and handheld sales during the same month Pokémon Go was running on smartphones worldwide. The 3DS and its Pokémon titles saw huge increases in sales, though it wasn’t just Pokémon that made the 3DS America’s top selling game system of July 2016.
In a press release, Nintendo of America reported, “Nintendo 3DS platform finished July atop the hardware and software sales charts according to the NPD Group… in part thanks to the release of the Monster Hunter Generations game, continued momentum from the price drop of the Nintendo 2DS system and widespread positive public reception for the Pokémon Go mobile app, which has renewed interest in core Pokémon games on Nintendo systems.” Sales of 2014 releases Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire were 80% higher than July 2015. Pokémon X and Y sales increased 200% compared to the year before.
Clearly playing Pokémon Go got back some lapsed fans. But even if they weren’t playing the game, all the Pokémon news had to have influenced gamers to pick up the most recent main series entries. In a summer month known for being one of the slowest in the game business in the U.S., 3DS games ruled the charts, with Nintendo reporting “Monster Hunter Generations from Capcom at No. 1, Minecraft: Wii U Edition from Microsoft at No. 6, Pokémon Omega Ruby at No. 8, Pokémon Alpha Sapphire at No. 10 and Kirby: Planet Robobot at No. 11.”
And yes, you read that right, Monster Hunter Generations was the best-selling game for America last month. This is quite a feat for a series that many thought would never really expand beyond the Japanese market. The game’s a bit like a greatest hits collection. If you’re one of the many that bought the title, perhaps Fandom’s beginners’ guide can offer up some great tips.
Can this type of increased interest and sales for Pokémon stay strong for the next few months? Will interest in Pokémon Go last so long that it'll boost the sales of November's highly anticipated Pokémon Sun and Moon? That will be a true test of the app's popularity. If any game can do it, it might just be Pokémon Go.