Splatoon 3 Has Record-Breaking Launch In Japan

[Author’s Edit: It has now been confirmed that Splatoon 3 has the biggest video game launch ever in Japan. The 3.45 million sales figure puts it ahead of Animal Crossing: New Horizons at 2.68 million.]

It was already common knowledge that Splatoon is a popular franchise in Japan. An Inkling can be seen on the Nintendo Tokyo store artwork, walking proudly next to gaming royalty Mario, Link from The Legend of Zelda and Isabelle from Animal CrossingSplatoon is a big deal in Japan, and it’s only getting bigger. The sales figures for Splatoon 3‘s first three days of release show the game has already hit 3.45 million sales in Japan alone.

For context on just how big this sales figure is, Splatoon 2 shipped 3.61 million in its first fiscal quarter of release – globally. Splatoon 3 has almost overtaken that number in sales for Japan alone, in just 72 hours. The figure includes both digital and physical sales, with the number being so big that Nintendo Japan made a rare press release to break the news. Splatoon 3 is now the fastest selling Switch title within a three day period, and more importantly, has the highest video game launch sales of all-time in Japan.

Nintendo Tokyo
Splatoon has already established itself as a core Nintendo franchise in Japan.

It really is remarkable how it has taken less than ten years for Splatoon to establish itself as a flagship Nintendo IP in Japan. The original Splatoon launched in 2015 as Nintendo’s first major new franchise in decades, and the creative risk of the game has definitely paid off. Nintendo already committed before the release of the game to support Splatoon 3 for the next two years, so fans can look forward to more content including maps, catalogs, weapons and a paid DLC story.

Moving over to another part of the world, official GfK sales numbers have been released for the UK (via gamesindustry.biz), and Splatoon has had its first #1 on the Boxed Top Ten chart. It outperformed last week’s The Last of Us Part 1, which debuted at #1 and has since fell to #5. Both Splatoon and Splatoon 2 peaked at #2 on the charts with their release, being blocked from the top spot by The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy respectively.

The Tacticooler in Splatoon 3
Splatoon’s online gameplay likely results in a high percentage of digital sales.

Whilst Splatoon 3 has sold 9% less than Splatoon 2 did physically on release in the UK, it didn’t offer hardware bundles like the second game did. The drop could also be attributed to rising digital sales habits amongst fans, especially for a game so heavily focused on online play. Another factor could be due to the lack of social media marketing in the country due to the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Either way, the slight drop in sales did not stop the game from getting the top spot.

Have you picked up Splatoon 3? Are you surprised by these sales figures? Let us know in the comments below, and keep your eyes on GameLuster for more gaming news.

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