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Forums - Nintendo Discussion - What will sell more, Pokemon Sword/Shield or Zelda Breath of the Wild?


What game will sell more lifetime?

Zelda Breath of the Wild 15 88.24%
Pokemon Sword/Shield 2 11.76%

The latest numbers released for Nintendo's fiscal year shows Zelda BotW at 17.41 million copies and Pokemon Sword/Shield at 17.37 million.

Quarterly numbers for Pokemon's 2nd quarter was 1.31 million and BotW's 13th quarter was 1.07 million.

Pokemon should certainly pass Zelda this quarter, but likely not by much, and with Pokemon being a more heavily launch focused series and given BotW's insane legs it seems likely that Pokemon's quarterly numbers will fall below Zelda's in short order, and much like Zelda now passing back Mario Odyssey, I think Zelda will pass back Pokemon later this year or next year after losing the lead in the current quarter and end up beating Pokemon in lifetime sales.

What do you think? Where do you see these games ending up?

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Hmm I certainly think its gonna be close, mostly because there won't be a third version this time, which is probably part of the reason why Pokémon games are usually so launch heavy in their sales. I could honestly see both of these games crossing 25 mil.
But I think BotW will be the winner when all is said and done because it's legs have just been incredible so far and its pretty much gotten the same must-have status as games like Skyrim and the Witcher 3 which are both absolute monsters sales wise.

Major Switch Titles Launch Aligned

2021 predictions:

  • Switch - 27m
  • PS5 - 15.5m
  • Xbox Series - 10m

Though for a little while Pokemon will probably outsell Zelda, I feel like BOTW will end up winning in the end. It has had such tremendous legs.


Breath of the Wild. I agree with the OP's reasoning. Pokemon will definitely (and probably has already) overtake BotW, but BotW will no doubt take it back in the end. And until you pointed it out, I didn't realize how close the sales numbers were for the two in Q1. Even with Pokemon's DLC and lack of a third version, BotW will outsell it within ~2-3 years and stay on top forever.

Also, let's not forget that we're only talking about the Switch version here! If we include the Wii U version (more than 1.5M but probably less than 2M) than Pokemon might never outsell BotW, even temporarily.

NNID: garretslarrity

Steam: garretslarrity

Zelda BotW I believe, it has spread to a new audience and it still does, unlike Pokemon which despite the great changes, is still the same old system, even worse if you consider the hundreds of Pokemon removed

Pokemon needs a BotW/NewHorizons level of upgrade, a more integrated online play for a start

don't mind my username, that was more than 10 years ago, I'm a different person now, amazing how people change ^_^

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It's honestly depressing that these two games are this close in sales given the enormous disparity in quality between them, but, the better game will likely win out in the end. Pokémon just doesn't have legs, I get that the DLC might help with that but I don't see it having that big an effect - it's the kind of game that sells at launch to an established fanbase day 1, and that's about it. Nowadays, I never hear about Pokémon anymore, and it's not even half a year old.

This is a tough one for me and I could easily see this going either way, but I'll give the slight edge to Sword & Shield since Pokemon is the bigger franchise and made it to 17Million sold far faster than Zelda did, plus the Zelda BOTW sequel might come sooner than the next gen Pokemon, so Zelda's BOTW sales may slow down after that release.

Depends how good the Sw/Sh DLC is honestly. If it's actually significant, gets marketed well (and possibly even a digital bundle with a new copy of the game? Game + DLC for $75 or something?) then I can see it boosting Sw/Sh sales to stay past BOTW and finish up around 26-27m LT.

If the DLC is forgettable, like the games themselves were to many, then the boost will be negligible and BOTW will take this LT.

BOTW is looking at 21-25m LT depending on when 2 launches, either way this will be close.

Definitely BotW. Pokémon just doesn't have the legs to compete and I'm firmly convinced that people are overstating the impact DLC will have on its legs. I foresee SS overtaking BotW in the next financial report but quickly getting reoutsold by BotW by September and BotW never looking back.

Seems like Zelda is going to win out and that's good. I like Pokemon Sword and Shield, but BOTW is a masterpiece. Deserves every sale and more.