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Pokémon Scarlet and Violet is biggest video game launch of the year at retail

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet photo mode multiplayer selfie

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet – gotta sell ’em all! (pic: The Pokemon Company)

Not only is Pokémon Scarlet and Violet the fastest selling game of the year but it’s the second biggest launch ever for the franchise.

The year’s not quite over yet but with nothing else likely to beat it, it’s Pokémon Scarlet and Violet which has emerged as the fastest selling game of 2022, at least in terms of retail sales (as ever digital sales are not made public).

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet is the biggest physical games launch of 2022, in the UK, with sales 4% higher than previous record holder FIFA 23.

Not only that but it’s the second biggest Pokémon launch of all time, behind only Pokémon Sun and Moon – and even then, as a more expensive Switch game, Scarlet and Violet generated more money.

The first week sales were 25% more than previous mainline entry Sword and Shield, from 2019, which is a significant achievement given boxed sales for sequels usually decrease each year, as digital downloads take an ever larger slice of the pie.

Scarlet and Violet also beat the first week sales of January’s Pokémon Legends: Arceus by 56%, despite, until now, the game being the third fastest-seller of the year, behind God Of War Ragnarök.

Even though they’re fundamentally the same game, the UK charts treat different Pokémon versions as separate titles, with Violet – which has more of a sci-fi flavour than Scarlet – emerging as the more popular of the two. 52% of sales were for Violet, 42% for Scarlet, and 6% for the double pack of both.



UK all formats retail chart – 20 November

1 (-) Pokémon Violet (NS)
2 (-) Pokémon Scarlet (NS)
3 (3) FIFA 23 (PS5/PS4/XO/NS)
4 (1) God Of War Ragnarök (PS5/PS4)
5 (2) Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (PS5/XO/PS4)
6 (-) Pokémon Scarlet/Pokémon Violet Double Pack (NS)
7 (7) Horizon Forbidden West (PS5/PS4)
8 (5) Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (NS)
9 (6) Nintendo Switch Sports (NS)
10 (4) Sonic Frontiers (PS5/NS/XSX/PS4)

Copyright and Compiled by GfK

Elsewhere in the charts, second week sales for God Of War Ragnarök fell by a fairly normal 73%, while Sonic Frontiers held on slightly better with a 64% drop.

The second highest new entry of the week was the curiously low-key release of horror game The Dark Pictures Anthology: The Devil In Me, at number 16.

It’s also interesting how much format exclusives dominate the top 10, with only three multiformat games amongst the melee of first party Nintendo and PlayStation titles.

Since it’s Black Friday this week the charts will undoubtedly see a major change next time, perhaps with a new number one, before things settle back and we get a clearer indication of what the Christmas number one is likely to be – especially as the World Cup gets into gear.


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