The Pokémon Company and Nintendo have announced that Pokémon Sun and Moon has broken a new record for the 20-year-old franchise. The initial shipment of the newest Pokémon games will exceed 10 million units worldwide. That’s a 150% increase over previous record-holder, Pokémon X/Y back in 2013. It’s also the biggest launch of any Nintendo 3DS game.

To answer your follow-up question: no, “shipped” is not the same as “sold.” With the game’s official release today we’ll start learning about actual sales numbers. But shipment is a good indicator and projection for units sold, including pre-orders and expected retail sell-throughs. And Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year, is only a week away.

These numbers shouldn’t be surprising to anyone who has followed the Pokémon hype train. Nintendo has capitalized on a perfect storm of marketing. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Pokémon franchise (though they didn’t reach the US until 1998). All through the year Nintendo has promoted Pokémon through games, merchandise, and videos.

Each month a new rare Legendary Pokémon is available to download for Pokémon X/Y and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire/Omega Ruby.

A new animated YouTube series celebrating big moments from past games began two months ago, called Pokémon Generations.

The single biggest event for Pokémon this year was a little mobile game you may have heard of – Pokémon GO. By combining augmented reality, GPS, and the original 150 Pokémon, fans and newcomers fell in love with the Japanese franchise all over again, despite some frustrations.

Add that up with weekly trailers and the first new main Pokémon game in three years and we’ve created a thirst for the franchise like we’ve never seen before. It also helps that initial Pokémon Sun and Moon reviews have been very warm. It currently sits at an 88 Metacritic Score. Look for Pixelkin’s review coming soon.

Eric Watson

Eric Watson

Eric has been writing for over five years with bylines in Dicebreaker, Pixelkin, Polygon, PC Gamer and Tabletop Gaming magazine, covering movies, TV shows, video games, tabletop games and tech. He reviews and live streams D&D adventures every week on YouTube. He also makes a mean tuna quesadilla.