Nintendo Is Getting Three New Pokémon Games to Drive Switch Sales

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Nintendo Is Getting Three New Pokémon Video games to Drive Swap Gross sales – WSJ

Swap console is in its essential second yr

Three new Pokémon videogames coming to


NTDOY zero.33%

Swap sport machine this yr might present necessary gross sales gas as the corporate seems to be to keep away from the sort of skinny slate of releases that doomed its earlier sport machine.

The $300 Swap, a console-handheld hybrid machine that debuted in March 2017, has offered greater than 17 million items by March 2018, in response to Nintendo—a shock hit that marks a resurgence after the corporate’s earlier console, the Wii U, flopped.

The Wii U, offered solely 13.56 million items in its five-year lifetime, suffering from a too-thin lineup of video games in its first years, analysts mentioned.

Swap homeowners have already got entry to video games from widespread franchises akin to Mario and Zelda, first-year releases that helped draw longtime followers to the brand new . However business watchers say Nintendo must sustain the tempo of robust software program releases to fulfill its purpose of promoting one other 20 million Swap items in its present fiscal yr.

“The Wii U was such an enormous failure partly as a result of the video games weren’t enticing sufficient,” mentioned Serkan Toto, a Tokyo-based business advisor.

Recreation Boy




Nintendo DS



Nintendo 3DS



Pokémon, with its little one pleasant monsters and cultlike following, might present a big enhance. Greater than 300 million Pokémon video games have been offered world-wide since 1996, in response to Pokémon Co., which manages the franchise and is co-owned by Nintendo, Recreation Freak Inc. and Creatures Inc.

“We developed the brand new Pokémon video games with hopes of driving up the momentum of the Swap,” mentioned

Tsunekazu Ishihara,

chief government of Pokémon Co., at a information convention in Tokyo on Wednesday.

Allie Cooper, a 24-year-old freelance artist in Tampa, Fla., mentioned she would purchase a Swap if it meant she might play Pokémon video games akin to the classics she grew up on. The franchise is “actually necessary to me,” Ms. Cooper mentioned. With out Pokémon, the Swap “simply doesn’t have sufficient [games] to essentially draw me in.”

Pokémon’s new choices mark the primary time the franchise is providing role-playing video games for a console that hooks as much as a TV set. Developer Recreation Freak mentioned it drew inspiration from the late-1990s hit “Pokémon Yellow” to enchantment to longtime followers. Nevertheless it additionally hoping to win over the large viewers that fell for the 2016 smartphone sport “Pokémon Go.”

“Pokémon Go” at present has 65 million month-to-month lively customers, in response to Pokémon Co.

Nintendo mentioned Pokémon video games are second in franchise-unit gross sales solely to the Tremendous Mario lineup, whose video games have offered greater than 344 million copies. Pokémon video games have largely been for handhelds such because the Nintendo DS.

Pokémon’s allure hasn’t all the time translated into robust gross sales. A Pokémon sport launched on the Swap in September has offered solely about a million copies, in response to Nintendo. Analysts mentioned that’s doubtless as a result of it’s a preventing sport, which strays from the role-playing format for which the collection is greatest identified.

Nintendo President

Tatsumi Kimishima,

who is anticipated to step down in June, has mentioned the Swap’s long-term success will hinge on its potential to fulfill each devoted and informal players.

One of many new Pokémon video games, “Pokémon Quest,” accessible instantly on the Swap, shall be free to play with the choice to make in-game purchases. Additionally it is coming to cell gadgets in June.

The 2 different titles, slated for launch Nov. 16, are known as “Let’s Go, Pikachu!” and “Let’s Go, Eevee!” They may value $60, and customers will have the ability to switch to it a few of the characters they gather from taking part in “Pokémon Go.”

These two titles for the Swap borrow tips from Pokémon Go such because the throwing motions gamers use to seize digital creatures. The video games are geared toward “individuals who touched the franchise for the primary time with [the] Pokémon Go sport,” mentioned Mr. Ishihara, the Pokémon Co. CEO.

Junichi Masuda, a producer at Recreation Freak, mentioned an extra Pokémon title could be launched within the second half of subsequent yr.

Write to Sarah E. Needleman at and Takashi Mochizuki at

Appeared within the Might 30, 2018, print version as ‘Nintendo Seems to be to Pokémon Followers.’

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