Scarlet & Violet stats claim it 'tanked' Pokemon sales

Scarlet & Violet stats claim it 'tanked' Pokemon sales
Images via Game Freak

Written by 

Tom Chapman

Published 

15th Mar 2024 12:58

The Pokeverse is on its way back, and while we have to wait until 2025 for the release of Pokemon Legends: Z-A, most agree that a lack of Pokemon games in 2024 is probably for the best. While Pokemon Scarlet & Violet bowed out on something of a high with its The Hidden Treasure of Area Zero DLC, it wasn't always so sunny in Paldea.

After Pokemon Legends: Arceus won us over with a trip to the period-set Hisui but failed to deliver a DLC, we were starved of Pokemon content by the time it came to Scarlet & Violet's release in November 2022. Despite having the most pre-orders ever, bugs and glitches galore led to Nintendo apologising for a botched launch.

Scarlet & Violet might've affected the wider franchise

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet Paradox Rift cards
Click to enlarge
Image via The Pokemon Company

While the power of the Pokeverse has seen the franchise scrape through to an announcement-packed Pokemon Day 2024, DualShockers is worried about the knock-on effect of what Scarlet & Violet did. The site reports that Pokemon Trading Card Game sales have "tanked." 

DualShockers apparently spoke to 31 stores across territories, including the UK, US, the Netherlands, Germany, Canada and Australia. The "vast majority" apparently said selling Scarlet & Violet sets has been harder than expected. 27 said sales had fallen or were much tougher to shift. 

US retailer A Plus Collectibles said that it was already "almost impossible to make money selling Pokemon cards," adding that Gen IX sets needed a "fire sale" that still resulted in the store operating at a loss with certain inventory.

In Australia, Trainer Hub said pre-orders have fallen by at least 50%. The Paldean Fates holiday set was down 60% when compared to Crown Zenith's holiday set. The outlet claimed, "Series popularity is having a bigger impact than economics." Other stores reported decreases of 25%, 35%, and 68%, painting a grim picture. 

One store said that while they sold around 300 Sword & Shield sets, they only shifted 150 during the Scarlet & Violet days. One final store said that they made an impressive €770,000 in 2021, down to €251,000 in 2022, and just €126,000 in 2023. Even though Pokemon can't be totally to blame for this, it's played a big part. 

Let Gen X cook

Meowscarada Pokemon Scarlet and Violet
Click to enlarge
Image via Game Freak

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The big draw of any Pokemon game is seeing which new Pocket Monsters populate our Pokedex and what the starting trio turns into. We're in something of a lull right now, with Gen X coming in some far-off future. Still, it's only good to let Gen X cook for a little longer. With an extended development time, we're hoping Game Freak will be back on top. 

As for Pokemon cards, it's a simple case of saturation. There are now well over 1,000 Pokemon in the Pokedex, which would've been a lot for any collector to nab. Even back when TGC was in its infancy, the likes of Fossil, Team Rocket, and Aquapolis sets had us struggling to keep up. 

That's not to diminish the power of the Pokemon TCG. As we see with the scalping of the Pokemon x Happy Meal collabs or the Van Gogh Pikachu disaster, many of you are still collecting them. Even if Pokemon Cards look like they're on a downward trajectory, there's still a ludicrous amount of money to be made. 

Tom is Trending News Editor at GGRecon, with an NCTJ qualification in Broadcast Journalism and over seven years of experience writing about film, gaming, and television. With bylines at IGN, Digital Spy, Den of Geek, and more, Tom’s love of horror means he's well-versed in all things Resident Evil, with aspirations to be the next Chris Redfield.

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