Just when you thought Nintendo had already reached the ceiling for video game records in Japan, the company announced today that Splatoon 3, which was released last Friday around the world, has already sold more than 3.45 million copies in Japan – far outselling the next biggest title on the Nintendo Switch, Animal Crossing New Horizons.
Though Nintendo only claims that this is the best launch in Nintendo Switch history, this sales number has further reaching historic milestones. Splatoon 3 had the biggest launch in Japanese video game history, outselling Pokémon Black and White’s launch week sales of 2.6 million copies, which previously held the record.
On the Nintendo Switch alone, Splatoon absolutely dominated Animal Crossing New Horizons’ Japanese three-day launch numbers of 1.88 million copies – though to be fair, Animal Crossing’s didn’t include Nintendo eShop numbers like Splatoon 3’s numbers do. Even then, Nintendo has confirmed that Splatoon has sold more copies over three days.
Obviously, this also means Splatoon 3 sets a franchise record. The first Splatoon game on the Wii U sold only 156,610 copies in its first week in Japan, while Splatoon 2 on the Switch did 670,955 sales in the first week. Splatoon went on to sell 4.95 million copies worldwide, while Splatoon 2, as of March 2022, is over 13.3 million copies sold worldwide. Splatoon 3 has some catching up to do, though it has a great headstart from its home country!
In the UK, according to gamesindustry.biz, Splatoon 3 splatted to first place for the first time in the franchise’s history, with Splatoon 1 being a fresh new IP for Nintendo without the install base and Splatoon 2 being beaten out by the launch of the multiplatform Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy. Though gamesindustry.biz notes that sales for the game are down 9% compared to Splatoon 2, though, their trackers don’t count digital sales as Nintendo can.
Splatoon 3 brought the Turf War back to the Nintendo Switch on September 9.
Daryl Harding is a Senior Japan Correspondent for Crunchyroll News. He also runs the YouTube channel about Japan stuff called TheDoctorDazza, tweets at @DoctorDazza, and posts photos of his travels on Instagram.