According to the most recent monthly sales figures from Famitsu (via GamesIndustry.biz), 2.7 million boxed copies of Splatoon 3 were sold in Japan over the whole month of September. The game was launched on September 9.
According to industry estimates, Japan sold 3.9 million physical games last month, making Splatoon 3 the best-selling packaged game in the country by a significant margin (69 percent).
The remainder of the top 10 games in Japan last month was all Nintendo Switch titles, with the exception being Dragon Quest X: Rise of the Five Tribes Offline for PS4 and PS5, and Earth Defense Force 6 for PS4.
Since Nintendo seldom discloses information on digital sales data for its goods, it is unclear how many copies of Splatoon 3 were sold in Japan during the month, as these numbers only apply to physical versions of the game.
However, a few days after Splatoon 3’s release, the developers announced that the game had broken all kinds of records for the Switch’s software in Japan.
A total of 3.45 million copies were sold in the first three days, spanning both physical and digital platforms, according to Nintendo. This is roughly 600,000 more copies than were sold in the first week of sales for Switch’s previous greatest Japan launch, Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
The Splatoon games continue to be very well received in Japan. As of March 2022, 4.03 million copies of Splatoon 2 have been sold in Japan, making it the seventh highest-selling Switch game overall, according to Famitsu. While Splatoon 3 is off to a slow start, it stands a good chance of surpassing its predecessor.
As “Nintendo’s safest sequel,” Splatoon 3 was deemed by critic Matthew Castle of VGC.
Rather than being an invitation to an ink-throwing revolution, the features listed on the back of the box seem more like (generous) patch notes. However, if it’s entertaining enough throughout those preliminary stages, does it really matter? A huge display of talent is not necessarily necessary in a game where a fraction of a percentage point may provide the most exciting moments.