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Pokémon

Pokémon is a role-playing video game franchise developed by Game Freak, and published by Nintendo. The entire media franchise is managed by The Pokémon Company, a company founded by Game Freak, Nintendo, and Creatures Inc. The first video game released in 1996 in Japan, for the Game Boy. The franchise centers on creatures called Pokémon, which can be captured and trained by humans, known as Pokémon Trainers.

As of March 2021, the Pokémon franchise has sold over 380 million copies worldwide.[1] This makes Pokémon the second best-selling game franchise, only behind Mario. In addition, Pokémon Go is the most-downloaded mobile game, with over 1 billion downloads.[2] The Pokémon video game series has shifted a total of over 1.3 billion units in retail sales and official downloads.

Beyond video games, the Pokémon Trading Card Game has also sold over 34.1 billion cards[1], making it the second best-selling trading card game, after Yu-Gi-Oh![3]. The Pokémon anime series is also very successful, with the films watched by over 70 million viewers at the Japan box office, and the television series watched by more than 1 billion viewers across 183 countries. The entire media franchise is the highest-grossing entertainment media franchise of all time, having grossed an estimated $90 billion in lifetime revenue.

Video games

Main series

Year Platform Titles Sales
(millions)
Ref Gross
(million US$)
(no inflation)
Ref Gross
(million US$)
(with inflation)
Pokémon Red/Green/Blue/Yellow 72.76 2384 3513
1996 GB Pokémon Red/Green/Blue 31.05 [4] 1271 [n 1] 1983
1998 GB Pokémon Yellow 14.64 [4] 454 [n 2] 682
2004 GBA Pokémon FireRed & LeafGreen 12.00 [4] 640 [n 3] 829
2016 3DS (VC) Pokémon Red/Green/Blue/Yellow 1.50 [5] 19 [n 4] 19
2018 Switch Pokémon: Let's Go Pikachu & Eevee 13.57 [6]
Pokémon Gold/Silver/Crystal 42.84 1990 2663
1999 GBC Pokémon Gold & Silver 23.73 [4] 1016 [n 5] 1493
2000 GBC Pokémon Crystal 6.39 [4] 211 [n 6] 300
2009 DS Pokémon HeartGold & SoulSilver 12.72 [7] 763 [n 7] 870
Generation 3 Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald 37.67 1648 1996
2002 GBA Pokémon Ruby & Sapphire 16.22 [4] 689 [n 8] 937
2004 GBA Pokémon Emerald 7.06 [4] 256 [n 9] 332
2014 3DS Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire 14.39 [8] 703 [n 10] 727
Pokémon Diamond/Pearl/Platinum 25.27 1150 1368
2006 DS Pokémon Diamond & Pearl 17.67 [7] 778 [n 11] 945
2008 DS Pokémon Platinum 7.60 [4] 372 [n 12] 423
2021 Switch Pokémon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl
Pokémon Black/White 24.16 1194 1316
2010 DS Pokémon Black & White 15.64 [7] 759 [n 13] 852
2012 DS Pokémon Black 2 & White 2 8.52 [4] 435 [n 14] 464
Pokémon X/Y 16.53 953 1001
2013 3DS Pokémon X & Y 16.53 [8] 953 [n 15] 1001
Pokémon Sun/Moon 25.23 1247.4 1265
2016 3DS Pokémon Sun & Moon 16.25 [8] 879.4 [n 16] 897
2017 3DS Pokémon Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon 8.98 [8] 368 [n 17] 368
Pokémon Sword/Shield 21.85
2019 Switch Pokémon Sword & Shield 21.85 [6] 13.11 14.28
Total sales 266.02 11,166 13,722

Spin-offs

Year Platform Title Sales
(millions)
Ref
A Pokémon Stadium series 11.32
1998 N64 Pokémon Stadium JP 1.37 [4]
1999 N64 Pokémon Stadium / Pokémon Stadium JP 2 5.46 [4]
2000 N64 Pokémon Stadium 2 / Pokémon Stadium Gold and Silver 2.54 [4]
2006 Wii Pokémon Battle Revolution 1.95 [4]
B Pikachu series 2.21
1998 N64 Hey You, Pikachu! 1.83 [4]
2003 GCN Pokémon Channel 0.38* [21]
A Pokémon Card Game series 3.785
1998 GB/GBC Pokémon Trading Card Game 3.72 [4]
2000 PC Pokémon Play It! Free
PC Pokémon Play It! Version 2 Free
2001 GBC Pokémon Card GB2: Here Comes Team GR! 0.065 [22]
2011 PC Pokémon Trading Card Game Online Free
DS Pokémon Card Game: How to Play DS Unknown
2019 Mobile Pokémon TCG Card Dex Free
A Pokémon Snap series 5.70
1999 N64 Pokémon Snap 3.63 [4]
2021 Switch New Pokémon Snap 2.07No JPN [23]
A Pokémon Pinball series 6.68
1999 GB Pokémon Pinball 5.31 [4]
2003 GBA Pokémon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire 1.37 [4]
A Pokémon Colosseum series 3.83
2003 GCN Pokémon Colosseum 2.41 [4]
2005 GCN Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness 1.42 [4]
A Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series 16.67
2005 GBA Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team 2.36 [4]
DS Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team 3.49 [4]
2007 DS Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Darkness
4.88 [4]
2009 DS Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky 1.49 [4]
WiiWare Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Adventure Team Unknown
2013 3DS Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity 1.37 [4]
2015 3DS Super Pokémon Mystery Dungeon 1.65 [4]
2020 Switch Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX 1.43 [4]
A Pokémon Ranger series 6.81
2006 DS Pokémon Ranger 2.93 [4]
2008 DS Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia 2.35 [4]
2010 DS Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs 1.53 [4]
Pokémon Rumble 1.647
2009 WiiWare Pokémon Rumble 0.15 [24]
2011 3DS Pokémon Rumble Blast 1.40 [4]
2013 Wii U eshop Pokémon Rumble U 0.011JPN [22]
2015 3DS Pokémon Rumble World 0.086JPN [25]
2019 Mobile Pokémon Rumble Rush Free
B PokéPark series 2.01
2010 Wii PokéPark Wii: Pikachu's Adventure 1.25 [4]
2011 Wii PokéPark 2: Wonders Beyond 0.76* [26]
B Pokkén Tournament 3.13
2016 Wii U Pokkén Tournament 1.00 [27]
2017 Switch Pokkén Tournament DX 2.13

[n 18]

B Other games 4.667
2000 GBC Pokémon Puzzle Challenge 0.131JPN [22]
N64 Pokémon Puzzle League 0.45* [30]
2003 GCN Pokémon Box Ruby & Sapphire 0.231JPN [22]
2004 DS Pokémon Dash 0.77* [31]
2005 DS Pokémon Trozei! 0.59* [32]
2008 WiiWare My Pokemon Ranch 0.20 [24]
2011 DS Learn with Pokémon: Typing Adventure 0.236JPN [22]
3DS Pokédex 3D Free
2012 DS Pokémon Conquest 1.00* [22][33]
3DS Pokédex 3D Pro Unknown
2013 3DS Pokémon Tretta Lab 0.059 [22]
2014 3DS eshop Pokémon Battle Trozei 0.030JPN [22]
3DS Pokémon Art Academy 0.50* [34]
3DS The Thieves and the 1000 Pokémon Free
2015 3DS/Mobile Pokémon Shuffle Free
2015 3DS Pokémon Picross Free
2018 3DS Detective Pikachu 0.47* [35]
2018 Switch/Mobile Pokémon Quest Free
2020 Switch/Mobile Pokémon Café Mix Free
2021 Switch/Mobile Pokémon UNITE Free
Total sales 68.459

Mobile

Year Platform Title Downloads
(millions)
Ref
2016 iOS
Android
Pokémon Go 1000 [36]

Franchise revenue

Date Gross revenue Ref
Trillion JP¥
(no inflation)
Billion US$
(no inflation)
Billion US$
(with inflation)
1997 4 6 [n 19]
1998 7.28 11 [n 20]
1999 10.56 16 [n 21]
2000 14

20

[39]
2001 2 17

23

[n 22]
2002 3 26.1 35 [n 23]
March 2013 4 50 60

[n 24]

March 2015 4.4 54 65.1 [n 25]
September 2015 4.6 56 67.2 [n 26]
May 2016 4.8 63.4 74.6 [n 27]
March 2017 6 74.43 85.63 [n 28]
February 2019 90 90

[51][52]

By June 1998, the Pokémon franchise was worth $4 billion in Japan.[37] By March 1999, Pokémon was generating revenues of nearly ¥400 billion ($3.28 billion) annually.[38] In Japan, the franchise earned ¥1 trillion by 2002, including ¥98 billion from Japanese software sales.[53]

Worldwide, the franchise earned ¥2 trillion by 2001.[40] By 2002, the franchise had earned ¥3 trillion,[42] including $15 billion from merchandise sales worldwide,[54] while the rest were earned from video games, anime, and trading cards. In 2005, a theme park was opened in Nagoya, Japan.[55] By 2013, the Pokémon franchise had earned ¥4 trillion in revenue.[44]

As of March 2017, the Pokémon franchise has grossed ¥6 trillion ($75 billion) in revenue. ¥78.87 billion ($988 million) was grossed from Pokémon films, which were seen by 74.33 million moviegoers, while the rest of the earnings were from the video games, trading card game, anime TV show, and licensed products.[50] This makes Pokémon the highest-grossing entertainment media franchise of all time, ahead of Star Wars ($42 billion), Harry Potter ($25 billion), James Bond ($6 billion), and The Lord of the Rings ($6 billion).[56]

Other media

Card game

Anime

Music

Merchandise

  • Food – 90 million sales (2 countries)
    • Pokémon Lunchables – 50 million packages (United States)[79]
    • Pokémon Curry – 40 million servings (Japan)[69]
  • Toys – 27.5 million sales (2 countries)
    • Burger King Pokéballs – 25 million (United States)[80]
    • Tenohira Pikachu – 2.2 million (Japan)[69]

Demographics

The regional breakdown of Pokémon franchise revenues:[50]

  • Japan: 35%
  • Overseas: 65%

The demographic breakdown of Pokémon Go users:[81]

  • Gender:
    • Female: 63%
    • Male: 37%
  • Age:
    • 13-17: 22%
    • 18-29: 46%
    • 30-50: 25%
    • Over 50: 6%
  • Income:
    • Under $50K: 45.8%
    • $50K to $100K: 19.6%
    • Over $100K: 34.6%
  • Region:
    • Urban: 90%
    • Rural: 10%

Awareness of Pokémon Go among the American population (325.7 million)[82] according to a survey in September 2017:[83]

  • Play it regularly – 13% – estimated 42,341,000 people
  • Play it from time to time – 17% – estimated 55,369,000 people
  • Know it, but never play it (not anymore) – 55% – estimated 179,135,000 people
  • Don't know Pokémon – 15% – estimated 48,855,000 people

Notes

  1. Average Pokémon Red/Green/Blue price: $40.50
  2. Average Pokémon Yellow price: $31
  3. Average Pokémon FireRed & LeafGreen price: $53.33
  4. Average Pokémon Red/Green/Blue/Yellow (Virtual Console) price: $12.50
  5. Average Pokémon Gold & Silver price: $44
  6. Average Pokémon Gold & Silver price: $33.05
  7. Average Pokémon HeartGold & SoulSilver price: $60
  8. Average Pokémon Ruby & Sapphire price: $42.50
  9. Average Pokémon Emerald price: $40.50
  10. Average Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire price: $51
  11. Pokémon Diamond & Pearl:
    • Japan: 5.827 million units[9] at ¥4566 ($39.30) = $229.0011 million
    • United States: 4.33 million units[10] at $39.99 = $173.2 million
    • Elsewhere: 7.513 million units at £24.99 ($50) = $376 million
  12. Average Pokémon Platinum price: $49
  13. Average Pokémon Black & White price: $48.50
  14. Average Pokémon Black 2 & White 2 price: $51
  15. Average Pokémon X & Y price: $59
  16. Average Pokémon Sun & Moon price: $53.50
    • Japan: 6.2 million units[11][12] at ¥5378 ($48) = $415.4 million
    • Overseas: 9.85 million units at $47.10 average price = $464 million
  17. Pokémon Ultra Sun / Ultra Moon [14]
    • Japan – 2,440,000 units at ¥5378[15] = ¥13,122,320,000 ($123,708,666)[16]
    • Overseas – 5,070,000 units at $48.16 average = $244,171,200
  18. Pokkén Tournament DX
    • Japan – 328,108[28]
    • Overseas – 1.80 million[29]
  19. Japan gross up until 1997[37]
  20. Worldwide gross in 1998: $3.28 billion[38]
  21. Worldwide gross in 1999: $3.28 billion[38]
  22. Worldwide gross up until 2001: ¥2 trillion[40]
    • Currency conversion: $17 billion[41]
  23. Worldwide gross up until 2002: ¥3 trillion[42]
    • Currency conversion: $26.1 billion[43]
  24. Worldwide gross up until March 2013: ¥4 trillion[44] ($50 billion, or $61 billion with inflation)
    • Gross up until 2002: ¥3 trillion ($26.1 billion, or $36 billion with inflation)
    • Additional gross up until March 2013: ¥1 trillion ($23.9 billion, or $25 billion with inflation)
  25. Worldwide gross up until March 2015: ¥4.4 trillion[45] ($54 billion, or $65.1 billion with inflation)
    • Gross up until March 2013: ¥4 trillion ($50 billion, or $61 billion with inflation)
    • Gross from April 2013 to March 2015: ¥400 billion ($4 billion, or $4.1 billion with inflation)
  26. Worldwide gross up until September 2015: ¥4.6 trillion[46] ($56 billion, or $67.2 billion with inflation)
    • Gross up until March 2015: ¥4.4 trillion ($54 billion, or $65.1 billion with inflation)
    • Gross during April-September 2015: ¥200 billion ($2 billion,[47] or $2.1 billion with inflation)
  27. Worldwide gross up until May 2016: ¥4.8 trillion[48] ($63.4 billion, or $74.6 billion with inflation)
    • Gross up until September 2015: ¥4.6 trillion ($56 billion, or $67.2 billion with inflation)
    • Gross from April 2015 to May 2016: ¥800 billion ($7.4 billion)[49]
  28. Worldwide gross up until March 2017: ¥6 trillion[50] ($74.43 billion, or $85.63 billion with inflation)
    • Gross up until May 2016: ¥4.8 trillion ($63.4 billion, or $74.6 billion with inflation)
    • Gross from June 2016 to March 2017: ¥1.2 trillion ($11.03 billion)[49]
  29. Pokémon television series in United States (2000) – 8.1/29 rating/share,[61] out of 282.2 million population[62] = 22.8582 million viewers
  30. Pokémon television series in the Philippines (2015) – 9.3% share,[63] out of 101.7 million population[64] = 9.4581 million viewers
  • Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire, a remake of the third generation for the Nintendo 3DS, was successful. Pre-orders were ahead of X & Y and launch sales have been good. In America, the game has sold 2.6 million with versions combined as of the end of December and 2.9 million by the end of February. It sold 476,000 in France by the end of December 2014.[84]. In Japan, it sold 2.5 million by the end of 2014. They exceeded 10 million by September 2015. In May 2016, the game exceeded 3 million in Europe. They sold 13.68 million units in total.
  • Pokémon Go is based off this generation and has broken most records in relation to mobile charts, including being #1 in top grossing in the most countries as well as the fastest to hit $600 million in revenue.[85]
  • The seventh generation consists of Pokémon Sun and Moon. Due to the preceding hype built by a Superbowl Commercial, re-releases of the original games on digital storefronts, and Pokémon Go, it surpassed Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire as Nintendo's most preordered game. In November 2016, the games have sold 3.7 million in the Americas and 1.5 million in Europe, becoming Nintendo's fastest seller titles ever. With Japanese numbers, the games sold about 7.5 million copies in 2 weeks. In the United States, by December 2016, the game had sold 4.5 million copies, making it the fastest Nintendo game to reach 4 million. As of December 31, 2016, the game has shipped 14.69 million copies, already outselling Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire.
  • * include VGChartz numbers
  • JPN currently only Japanese sales number available

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 https://corporate.pokemon.co.jp/en/aboutus/figurs/
  2. https://www.theverge.com/2019/2/28/18243332/pokemon-go-sword-shield-franchise-history-niantic-nintendo-switch
  3. https://news.livedoor.com/article/detail/19610252/
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 4.16 4.17 4.18 4.19 4.20 4.21 4.22 4.23 4.24 4.25 4.26 4.27 4.28 4.29 4.30 4.31 Nintendo software and hardware sales data from 1983 to present, December 2017
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  20. https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/pokemon-ultra-moon-3ds
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Best selling franchises
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See also: Best selling games · Best selling games worldwide · Highest grossing franchises
Pokemon-mainline-LTDs-100-1-.png
Famitsu Japan sales through October 2008 (courtesy Chart Get!)
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