Classic Pokemon games spike in sales as fans fear closure of 3DS eShop

Pokemon Red Charizard art next to Pokemon Home logo screenshot.Game Freak / The Pokemon Company

After Nintendo announced that they are shutting down the 3DS eShop, classic Pokemon titles such as Johto’s Gold & Silver & Kanto’s Red & Blue have skyrocketed in sales.

The Pokemon community found itself in a bit of a panic after Nintendo surprisingly announced that the eShop would be closing its doors on the 3DS.

Players reacted to the news by rushing out to buy classic Pokemon games on the handheld as fans are worried about the future of transferring pixel-era ‘mon to Pokemon Home.

Pokemon Home transfer to Pokemon Bank screenshot.Game Freak / The Pokemon Company
Players could lose access to transferring Pokemon from older titles after the 3DS eShop closure in 2023.

Pokemon players could lose the ability to transfer classic Pokemon to Home

In 2013, Game Freak released Pokemon Bank on the 3DS. The paid service allowed players to transfer characters going back to Gen I’s Red & Blue into a storage space. This app expanded greatly when it was made compatible with the cloud service Pokemon Home in 2020.

Article continues after ad

This enabled Trainers to save every Pokemon they have ever caught over the last 25 years and even allowed them to use characters in the latest Pokemon games. The feature’s future is now uncertain after Nintendo announced on February 15 that the 3Ds eShop will be closed in March 2023.

The decision means that future players will no longer be able to download Pokemon Bank to their 3DS or digitally download the classic Pokemon titles, which is currently the only way to transfer characters from the earlier Generations.

A few days after the news broke, Pokemon saw a spike in sales on the Nintendo handheld console. The top 20 games on the device were dominated by Pokemon releases such as Crystal and Red & Blue.

Article continues after ad

Journalist and industry insider Jon Cartwright tweeted about the uptick in sales, stating, “Unsurprisingly, recent 3DS Bestsellers are dominated by Pokémon games. Game Boy can’t officially trade to GBA so these having Bank support is very important. Only official way to get 8 bit Pokémon to modern games.”

In reaction to Nintendo’s announcement, Game Freak revealed that Pokemon Bank will become free for all users who own it. Although, it should be pointed out that those who do not have the app or the older Generation titles on their 3DS by March 2023 will be essentially cut off from transferring characters.

Article continues after ad

It’s unclear at the time of writing if The Pokemon Company has plans to re-release all classic Pokemon games digitally on the Nintendo Switch. If this ends up being the case then it will solve the biggest issue. However, until the future of the feature is certain, dedicated Trainers are rushing to ensure they will be able to transfer their pixel ‘mon in the coming years.