Contrary to the many opinions towards the series, Pokemon is still one of Nintendo’s biggest – and most successful – franchises ever. Whenever a new entry in the main series releases, it’s sure to be among the top sellers on the Nintendo 3DS in that given year, if not the number one game.
Case in point, 2014 saw the release of two new Pokemon games on the 3DS in the forms of Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. Following in the footsteps of Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver, OR and AS were remakes of past Pokemon games Ruby and Sapphire, but with updated graphics, Pokemon, and small tweaks to the overall storyline. The remakes debuted only a year after their predecessors Pokemon X and Y, but a small, year-long gap between releases has never slowed the main series down.
So, if one were to expect the new games to top the sales charts, especially in Japan, it wouldn’t be a wildly unpopular opinion to have. But it’d be wrong this time around because, surprisingly, the ever-popular series was overtaken by another game in Japan: Yokai Watch.
As reported by Famitsu, Yokai Watch 2, the most recent game in its own series, outsold the combined efforts of Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire last year. Interestingly enough, Yokai Watch 2 is also a Nintendo 3DS game, as well as one that released in two version –Ganso and Honke. Here’s how the sales of both franchises compare to one another:
Yokai Watch 2 Ganso and Honke – 3,050,178
Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire – 2,464,850
How, exactly, did Yokai Watch 2 take the top spot? Well, outside of the fact that it launched in July 2014, 4 months before Pokemon, the series itself appears to be very popular in Japan.
On Famitsu’s top 10 list alone, three of the games are from the Yokai Watch series: Number 5 is Yokai Watch 2 Shinuchi, an updated version of the previously mentioned sequel, while number 6 on the list is the original Yokai Watch, which originally came to Japan in 2013. Both games sold 2,007,327 and 994,346, respectively in 2014. Let’s see an older Pokemon game do that today, if only because we all know it probably could.
It’ll be interesting to see how long Yokai Watch sticks around, and if it can become another huge success for the 3DS. The Pokemon series has been around for quite some time now (so long that it ran out of colors), but if remakes of older games can move close to 2.5 million copies, imagine how a brand new entry will perform. Maybe one day Yokai Watch can release in other countries, and the two series can really compete. Only time will tell.