Splatoon 3 Becomes Best-Ever Nintendo Switch Launch In Japan

Splatoon 3 launched on Friday, and it appears players in Japan have been waiting a long time to get their hands on it. Nintendo has revealed the latest game in the Splatoon series sold 3.45 million copies in its first three days, making it the fastest-selling Switch game ever in Japan.

“Domestic sales of the Splatoon 3 game for the Nintendo Switch system have surpassed 3.45 million units in the first three days since its launch,” a press release from Nintendo reads. “This is the highest domestic sales level for any Nintendo Switch software within the first three days.” The previous record holder was Animal Crossing: New Horizons. A solid sign for Splatoon 3's future as that game has gone on to sell 39 million copies and counting.

Turns out Nintendo is actually being a little modest when it comes to Splatoon 3's impressive new record. According to Niko Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad, Splatoon 3 is now the fastest-selling game in Japan full stop. No Switch qualifier, and not even when you only include games published by Nintendo.

“What’s notable here is that this isn’t just a record for the Splatoon franchise in Japan, it’s a record for any game launch in Japan,” Ahmad tweeted in reply to Nintendo's news. Ahmad highlights ACNH was the previous record holder for Switch and Pokemon Black & White was the overall record holder before now. Perhaps Scarlet & Violet will break the record again when they launch exclusively on Switch November 18, 2022.

Splatoon 3's early success might come as a bit of a surprise for a number of reasons. While Splatoon is a popular Nintendo series, it's probably fair to say most wouldn't put it up there with the likes of Zelda and Mario. It has also been accused of having little more to offer than Splatoon 2. It seems a lot of people have been keen to play it during its launch weekend though, and it's hard to imagine its popularity is confined to Japan alone.

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