In the context: Nintendo’s popular shooter franchise recently launched its third iteration, causing huge buzz and excitement among gamers, especially in Japan, where Splatoon 3 managed to surpass (by far) previous chart leaders. However, Nintendo is yet to comment on sales figures in other regions.
Splatoon is considered one of Nintendo’s most successful attempts to launch new intellectual property in recent years. The first Splatoon game was released in the final years of the Wii U’s life cycle, which was a bold move as the Wii U notoriously failed at launch and had less than ideal sales figures. Despite these setbacks, Splatoon sold 4.95 million copies worldwide, becoming the sixth most popular Wii U game.
Nintendo wanted to immediately capitalize on the unexpected success of Splatoon by announcing a sequel in January 2017, even before the release of the Nintendo Switch. Splatoon 2 launched later that summer and was an immediate success, with Nintendo reporting 1.1 million worldwide sales in its first week, and current numbers are around 13.3 million. It obviously helped that the sequel launched on a console that outsold the Wii U in less than a year.
One country in particular was the catalyst for these impressive sales figures. Around 61% of Splatoon 2’s launch week sales came from Japan, as the franchise has been a big hit with gamers.
The 670,000 or so units of Splatoon 2 sold in Japan during its first week are indeed staggering, however, they pale in comparison to Animal Crossing: New Horizons, which surpassed 1.88 million in its first week alone, also in Japan.
Nintendo had a much longer period of “hype” with Splatoon 3, announcing the game in February 2021, more than a year and a half before release. As with any sequel, you would expect current and potential players to have some anticipation, but beating Animal Crossing’s numbers was probably too much of a challenge, right?
Well, Splatoon 3 just came out three days ago. has reached With 3.45 million copies sold in Japan, nearly double that of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, it is now the fastest-selling Nintendo Switch video game. According to VGCartzit may also be the biggest video game debut in Japan, as the previous record was held by Pokémon Black and White in 2010 (technically two games), which sold 2.64 million units in its first week.
It’s safe to say that Nintendo caught lightning in a bottle with the Splatoon franchise. After numerous attempts to create a new gaming franchise, Splatoon has managed to hold its own against the likes of Xenoblade, ARMS and many more. These sales figures can get very interesting over time, especially as the holiday season approaches.