Pokemon is a game series that has transcended the electronic entertainment medium. Even around the late 1990s and early 2000s, interest in the games had already grown to the point where the name Pokemon (and especially iconic mascot Pikachu) was known in just about every household in America, and that's remained largely true throughout the 21 years since the first games' initial releases.
Now, just over two decades later, Pokemon has reached its biggest milestone yet: the series has just recently topped over 300 million game sales worldwide.
This number isn't based on any specific game or sets of games; it encompasses all of the 76 total Pokemon games that have been released since the series' inception. That number in itself is significant, too: given a 21-year lifespan of the series so far, 76 games works out to an average of around four Pokemon game releases per year, which easily outclasses some of the other biggest names in the video game market.
Though certain Pokemon titles have most certainly eclipsed the sales of others, at this rate it's safe to say that Pokemon has become one of the most popular and most profitable series in game history; furthermore, it can certainly be considered one of the most if not the most expansive franchise in modern gaming.
Needless to say, this sort of success is impressive. We're impressed, at any rate, and we like to think late Nintendo president Satoru Iwata would have been proud of its successes, too. Like with Pokemon, Iwata's influence on all manner of Nintendo games has been tremendous; perhaps that's why developer Game Freak put a special hidden tribute to Iwata in Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon.
Given the recent releases of both Pokemon Ultra Moon and Ultra Sun on the Nintendo 3DS as well as the continuing popularity of Pokemon Go, it's very likely that Pokemon fever will continue to spread. And, if the upcoming Nintendo Switch Pokemon title manages to capture the series' signature magic, we may soon start to see Pokemon's overall sales start reaching for the legendary one billion mark.