Nintendo’s Sun and Moon sequels in the popular Pokémon franchise have handily beat 3DS game sales records and past Pokémon launch performance, beating previous entries X and Y by 150 percent. Overall, Sun and Moon shipped over 10 million units globally, which make them the best-selling 3DS games in the portable console’s history.
How did Pokémon Sun and Moon outperform their predecessors so handily? Well the franchise always manages to pick up a few new fans, but this time it probably benefited from the Pokémon GO bump, or a spike in interest based on the introduction of the series to people unfamiliar with Pokémon from GO’s massively successful global mobile launch.
Niantic’s Pokémon GO isn’t a core part of the Pokémon series, and the gameplay for that AR app-based game is very different from what you get with the console versions. But a lot of people who’d never played Pokémon before did play Pokémon GO, judging by its peak download and activity numbers.
Of course, it helps that the game itself is actually a terrific entry in the franchise, with some major gameplay tweaks that mark the biggest changes to core mechanics the series has ever seen — the vast majority of which lead to improved gameplay.