The total sales record of the entire Pokémon gaming franchise has been reported to have reached a massive 279 million copies sold worldwide.
As detailed in figures released by The Pokémon Company the sales data includes all of the Pokémon games, from the main series on Nintendo’s many handheld generations to the multiple spin off titles that have been released over the years.
In terms of just the main, core Pokémon games, which began with the Red, Blue and Yellow Generation twenty years ago this year—have sold approximately 200 million units across the globe.
Pokémon’s iconic trading card game has also sold in staggering numbers. The collectible cards, which became an enormous craze not long after their debut, have sold in 74 different countries and have been translated into eleven different languages currently.
A mindboggling 21.5 billion Pokémon cards have been sold in the game’s history. With planet Earth’s present population of just over seven billion people, this means that there currently exists three Pokémon cards for every single human alive.
Not only has the Pokémon franchise reaped vast successes in the video and card game industries, it has also become a stalwart fixture in film and television. The spin off TV series, which spawned the recognisable theme tune, has been aired in 93 countries to date. 72.37 million filmgoers have watched a Pokémon movie, spending a total of £476 million.
Altogether, the Pokémon franchise is worth a worldwide market size of £2.9 billion. Interestingly, 46% of this figure is domestic to Pokémon’s homeland Japan, with 54% (£1.6 billion) coming in from the rest of the world.
Considering the fact that 2016—its twentieth birthday, as mentioned—is set to be a landmark year for the series, these figures will undoubtedly increase significantly. Not only is a set of core games being released this year—Sun and Moon—but also a smartphone game, augmented reality game called Pokémon GO and a Tekken spin off called Pokken.
As the franchise enters its twentieth year, it has proven to be an indomitable aspect of both gaming and Japanese, and indeed global, popular culture, and will surely go on to break records again and again.