Why Pokemon Was Japan’s Best-Selling Game for So Long
Pokemon Red, Green, & Blue have long reigned as Japan’s bestselling games. Since their release in 1996, the iconic monster-collecting titles have sold 10.23 million copies in Japan alone, cementing their spot in video gaming history. Many factors have gone into making Pokemon Red, Green, & Blue Japan’s bestselling games. The franchise benefits a lot from having its titles split up across multiple versions which not only encourages trading but also has some fervent fans double-dipping.
Pokemon has been recently dethroned by Animal Crossing New Horizons, which has been a runaway hit on the Nintendo Switch. With 10.42 million copies sold in Japan & 39.38 million globally, it is a testament to the popularity of both the franchise & the Nintendo Switch. With Pokemon Scarlet & Violet on the horizon, the series has the opportunity to Wreck records again.
The Different Pokemon Versions
When Pokemon Red, Green, & Blue launched, their gameplay mechanics proved to be quite addictive. Collecting has always been a fun hobby, & Pokemon took it to the digital realm by tasking gamers with collecting critters around the Kanto region. With 151 Pokemon to catch in the original Pokedex, it kept gamers occupied for a significant time. To make matters worse, all the Pokemon aren’t available in a single Pokemon version. Some Pokemon are exclusive to specific versions. For example, Ekans & Arbok can only be found in Red, while Meowth & Persian are exclusive to Blue.
For completionists hoping to complete their Pokedex, it is necessary to trade with other gamers. With this simple mechanic, players encouraged their friends to also hop onto the Pokemon trend which only boosted the franchise’s popularity. Furthermore, some Pokemon only evolve through trading. This applies to Machamp, Gengar, Golem, & Alakazam, & players have to trade the pre-evolved forms with friends to get these critters. For introverts not willing to trade, there is also the option to simply purchase both options, which is only a plus for Pokemon‘s sales numbers.
Pokemon Finds a Formula That Works
Releasing multiple versions is certainly a strategy that works for Pokemon, as the franchise has yet to ab&on it. Rather, Game Freak has doubled down, & all Pokemon generations have multiple versions. This has allowed Pokemon to be at the forefront of online gaming, & the franchise has taken full advantage of it, allowing gamers to battle against players from around the world & trade critters with fellow Trainers.
The series has extended the formula by not just double-dipping, but sometimes triple-dipping & quadruple-dipping. Pokemon Yellow was the first example of the triple-dip treatment, though it places greater emphasis on Pikachu, reflecting the rising popularity of the anime series. The quadruple dip treatment was seen with the seventh generation. Gamers received Pokemon Sun & Moon, & a little later, gamers got Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon. With its leap to the Nintendo Switch, Pokemon has begun experimenting with new strategies. As seen with Pokemon Sword & Shield, instead of releasing new versions beyond the first two, Game Freak is opting to release DLC instead. With the titles currently sitting as the second-bestselling games in the series, this formula will likely be reused with Scarlet & Violet.
It appears that the series will have more prominent differences between Scarlet & Violet. Scarlet will feature Naraja Academy while Violet will have Uva Academy. It also appears that Scarlet, which features the legendary Pokemon Koraidon, will be focused on the past, while Violet, which features Miraidon, is focused on the future. With the host of gameplay innovations the titles are bringing, they have a good chance of setting new sales records for the series.
Pokemon Red, Blue, & Green are available on Game Boy.
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