Threats of boycotting were rampant in the lead up to Pokemon Sword and Shield but it doesn’t look like it had the intended effect. In fact, quite the opposite happened.
The initial announcement of Pokemon Sword and Shield created excitement perhaps unrivalled with any other Pokemon game to-date. Trainers were looking forward to the first fully fledged Pokemon game on the Nintendo Switch.
Throw in the introduction of the much anticipated eighth generation and a brand new world to explore and trainers had a game to truly look forward to. However, that excitement was dampened somewhat when it was revealed that Sword and Shield would be the first mainline Pokemon game to not include National Pokedex.
If you follow the Pokemon franchise closely, you’ll be all too aware of the fallout from it. Even Game Freak couldn’t have expected such a backlash.
Boycotting as a protest
Pokemon fans felt so passionate about the ability to ‘catch ’em all’ that a notable portion of the community threatened to boycott Pokemon Sword and Shield. Now, whether they did or didn’t we’ll never know but presumably at least some of them did.
It seemed the reason for this was to teach Game Freak a lesson. Whether they were right to do so or if they should have been happy with the product they got is up for debate.
Nevertheless, by not buying the game, those who boycotted it were trying to tell the developers to be more thorough in the future. After all when it comes to the business of video games, there’s nothing that hurts companies more than poor sales.
Pokemon Sword and Shield breaks sales records
This appears to have backfired though, tremendously. Despite the controversies and criticisms, Pokemon Sword and Shield has sold extremely well so far, and has even broke records in the process.
Famitsu have shared that since Pokemon Sword and Shield released in November it has been top of the video game sales charts in Japan for nine weeks straight. In the tenth week following its release, it finished third in weekly sales.
Overall, it has nearly reached 3.5 million sales – taking it above the popular cartoon-style FPS title Splatoon 2. Worldwide sales have yet to be released, at least officially, but given how its doing in the Japan charts, it could be approaching Pokemon Let’s Go sales’ figures, which has been confirmed to hit 11.28 million units sold.
It just shows incredibly popular the Pokemon franchise is – even when some are trying to boycott. Its still got a long way to compete with the likes of Pokemon Red and Blue but Imagine what a new Pokemon game without controversy could do!