Since its inception, Pokémon has been commonly associated with a young audience. Whilst this connection remains intact, the latest data from Japanese sales tracker Media Create reveals the primary purchasers of Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire in Japan on release were not necessarily children or teenagers, but young adults in their 20s.
Being remakes of the 2002 originals, it is fair to say many purchasers were returning fans. Media Create also notes sales by purchasers under the age of 15 was significantly lower than the release of Pokémon X & Y, whilst the number of adults who bought Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire on release was higher. This ongoing trend of the Pokémon fan base growing older spiked in 2009 after the release of Pokémon HeartGold & SoulSilver – remakes of the 1999 originals.
Nintendo caught onto this, and reportedly designed Pokémon Black and White to recapture its older audience, in an attempt to prevent them from moving away from the series. X & Y followed with strong sales from young adults. Since then, more adults have been flocking back to the Pokémon games, although overall sales of the series have now been in decline for the past five years.
This returning trend was recently explained by Nintendo President Satoru Iwata in reference to Super Smash Bros. for 3DS, when he coined the wacky phrase “Same-Generation Hypothesis” to explain how gamers who enjoyed the likes of Super Smash Bros. Melee and the original Pokémon Ruby & Sapphire games were now driving sales of the newer versions.
Let us know in the comments if you think it is important for Nintendo to continue attracting past audiences, and if you think it is vital to their success in the future.