The increased interest in Pokémon has triggered a spike in 3DS hardware and software sales in the UK, with sales of previous Pokémon outings rising by 145 percent over the past week.
TOP SELLING POKÉMON GAMES FOR WEEK ENDING JULY 16TH (Sales Increase %)
1. Pokémon Alpha Sapphire – 148%
2. Pokémon Omega Ruby – 148%
3. Pokémon X – 238%
4. Pokémon Y – 188%
5. Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon – 65%
These five games in total –148%
Pokémon Total – 145%
This has had a knock-on effect on pre-orders for Pokémon Sun and Moon, both of which arrive on November 23rd. According to MCV's sources, these titles are riding high in Amazon's charts and Nintendo itself has raised projections in anticipation of bumper sales.
Of course, Pokémon isn't just video games - it has a whole merchandising machine behind it, and Pokémon GO has naturally had an effect here, too. Apparel licensee BioWorld Europe says that its current range is 'flying out the door'. Product manager Leon van der Made reports that:
Many retailers are requesting special Pokémon products and we're developing a wider collection to meet that demand.
The Pokémon Trading Card Game has also seen an increase in sales, but this could partly be down to the fact that the franchise celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.
Here's Ben Hogg, marketing manager at Pokémon Trading Card supplier Esdevium:
We've not seen the same excitement around the brand since the original UK launch in the 1990s. TCG sales are up around eight times the level we saw back in 2012 and over 100 per cent year-on-year from 2015.
We are excited about Pokémon Go and the effect it could have on the TCG. The high profile launch has certainly generated plenty of additional interest in Pokémon from our retailers. It is hard to say if it will lead to some good extra sales or if it will be a catalyst for further huge growth. But we are confident the effect will be positive, just how positive we do not yet know.
The message from UK retail is clear - they expect Pokémon to be massive this year, and the release of Pokémon GO is surely one of the key reasons why. As a senior buyer for one of the UK's biggest game outlets told MCV:
Although Pokémon Go will probably tail-off a bit, we do expect the franchise to be one of the most talked about this Christmas. It will have a positive impact on the 3DS, toys and cards, too.
This is the perfect example of now Nintendo's mobile ventures can draw in customers to its "core" business of consoles, games and related merchandise. Those smartphone users who have been swept along with Pokémon GO fever will be interested to learn more about the series and may invest in a 3DS in order to do so, while those who already own the portable might be tempted to invest in one of the many available Pokémon titles while interest in the series is high.
Do you think Christmas 2016 will be another big one for the evergreen brand? Let us know with a comment.