The Legend of Zelda, a classic video game series from Nintendo, has been captivating audiences worldwide for close to four decades. This article provides an in-depth analysis of the unit sales of this beloved franchise, focusing on its recent release, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.
- The Legend of Zelda’s Legacy and Sales Milestone:
- The Legend of Zelda series, which began in 1986, has become one of the most iconic and enduring video game franchises globally, with over 130 million units sold to date.
- The recent release, “The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom,” experienced impressive sales, with 10 million units sold worldwide in the first three days and a total of 18.51 million units by June 2023.
- Comparison with Other Top Titles:
- The best-selling Zelda title remains “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” with over 30 million unit sales, setting a benchmark for “Tears of the Kingdom” to potentially surpass.
- In 2023, there were other major game releases such as “Hogwarts Legacy” and “Diablo IV,” but “Tears of the Kingdom” showcased its strength in the market by achieving remarkable sales figures in a short time span.
- Broader Gaming Industry Insights:
- The consistent success and high sales of The Legend of Zelda series emphasize the value and potential returns of long-standing video game franchises in the industry.
- The exclusive release of “Tears of the Kingdom” on Nintendo Switch underscores the strategic importance of platform exclusivity and its impact on sales and brand loyalty.
Zelda: TotK Unit Sales Breakdown
Here’s a breakdown of the unit sales of Zelda: TotK as of June 2023:
- First three days worldwide: 10 million units
- First three days in the Americas: 4 million units
- First three days in Japan: 2.24 million units
- First three days in France: 0.5 million units (physical sales only)
- First three days in the UK: 0.21 million units (physical sales only)
- Total as of June 2023: 18.51 million units
The Best-Selling Zelda Title
The best-selling Zelda title up to date is The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, with over 30 million unit sales. Breath of the Wild was a launch title for the then newly released Nintendo Switch console. The question remains whether Tears of the Kingdom will claim the crown of the new top-selling Zelda game.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
The highly anticipated follow-up to the 2017 critical hit, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, is The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. The game, which was exclusively released for Nintendo’s Switch console on May 12, 2023, sold ten million units worldwide within the first three days. Of these, 2.24 million units were sold in Japan, the game’s domestic market. By June 2023, the total lifetime sales of Zelda: TotK stood at 18.51 million units.
Other Highly Anticipated Video Game Releases in 2023
Several other major video game releases occurred in 2023. Hogwarts Legacy, a multi-platform billion-dollar seller released in February 2023, took two weeks to sell about 12 million copies. Tears of the Kingdom is expected to surpass these sales figures in due time.
In June 2023, Diablo 4, the fourth main installment in the Diablo series, was released by Activision Blizzard, more than a decade after the previous mainline title, Diablo 3. Diablo IV generated about 666 U.S. dollars in sales within five days.
Another long-anticipated sequel was Baldur’s Gate 3, developed and published by Larian Studios. Fans of the series had to wait over 20 years for a new title in the RPG gaming series, and BG3 was a well-received hit on release.
Bethesda Game Studios released its PC and Xbox platform exclusive open world action adventure Starfield in September 2023. This game, Bethesda’s first new IP in a quarter of a century, generated well over 1 million players on launch day.
Zelda: TotK and the Gaming Industry
The Legend of Zelda unit sales provide a significant reflection of the gaming industry’s trajectory. The robust sales figures of Zelda: TotK highlight the enduring popularity of established franchises and the potential for significant returns on sequels. They also underscore the importance of platform exclusivity, with the success of Zelda: TotK being partly attributable to its exclusive release on the Nintendo Switch.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom’s impressive unit sales reflect the enduring popularity of the Zelda series and the broader trend of success for long-standing video game franchises. Whether Tears of the Kingdom will surpass Breath of the Wild as the top-selling Zelda title remains to be seen. Regardless, the Zelda series’ legacy and continued success underscore its significant influence on the global gaming industry.
As we continue to monitor The Legend of Zelda unit sales, we look forward to seeing how this beloved franchise continues to evolve and captivate gamers worldwide.