‘Pokémon Legends: Arceus’ accounted for half of UK’s physical game sales at launch

Gotta sell 'em all

Pokémon Legends: Arceus has been a huge hit for Nintendo, with the new game enjoying an even bigger UK launch than its predecessors, remake duo Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl.

As noted by games industry business site GI.bizPokémon Legends: Arceus accounts for almost half of all boxed game sales in the UK last week, and beat out another new entry, Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection.

Nintendo Switch games dominated the charts as a whole, with Mario Kart 8: Deluxe the second best-selling game of the week, despite launching in April 2017, while Animal Crossing: New Horizons in at number four, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild at six, and the Switch version of Minecraft at seven. However, it’s also worth noting that these charts only reflect physical game sales, not digital purchases.

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Part of the appeal of the latest Pokémon game may be that it is a major departure for the series. It updates many of the franchise’s core mechanics and takes place in a mostly-open world where Pokémon can be caught in real-time and eliminates much of the rigid linearity of the core titles. Set in the distant past of Diamond and Pearl’s Sinnoh region, Pokémon Legends: Arceus also introduces never-before-seen Pokémon and alternate forms for familiar critters.

Pokémon Legends: Arceus is now the fourth-biggest UK launch for a Pokémon game in history, beaten only by Pokémon Sun and Moon in first, Sword and Shield in second, and Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby in third. However, given it is a standalone game with no ‘partner’ title, its success may be considered even more impressive.

In other news, voice actor Troy Baker has U-turned on his plans to partner with an NFT firm, while The Witcher 3 spin-off card game Gwent is getting a single-player spinoff later in 2022.

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