It was a big shock to many yesterday when the sad news broke that veteran Pokémon designer Eric Medalle had been killed in a freak accident. However, today’s unrelated news regarding the latest global sales figures for Pokémon titles, published in popular Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu, only serves as a reminder of his outstanding contribution to this gargantuan franchise.
Pokémon reaches its 20th anniversary this year and, up to February 29, the company has sold over 279 million copies of its Pokémon titles worldwide. This figure goes right back to the release of the first Pokémon titles for Game Boy, Pokémon Red and Blue (and of course Green in Japan) and includes all Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games and other spin-offs.
For the purists out there who only consider the main games to be of notable significance, the figure is still as equally impressive, dropping in at a whopping 210 million copies. That’s just over 75 percent of its total sales to date made up from the sales of the original games alone.
Is it any wonder then that Pokémon is still going from strength to strength, particularly in Japan, where its popularity is arguable at its highest, and where fans will queue for hours for exclusive merchandise or even just to visit the newest Pokémon store.
With the release of Pokkén Tournament and the recently announced Pokémon Sun and Moon, this phenomenon is only set to continue for many more years to come, so it’s worth remembering that behind all of the sales figures and huge brands, there are such talented people like the late Eric Mandelle who make all of this possible.