Tears of the Kingdom Hits 10M Sales in 3 Days, Set to Become 2023’s Top-Selling Game

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom was always poised for success. As the successor to the widely adored Breath of the Wild, it was inevitable that the game would make a substantial impact on the 2023 gaming scene. However, the reality has exceeded expectations, with the latest Zelda installment selling over 10 million copies within just three days of release, outpacing multi-console competitors such as Hogwarts Legacy and God of War: Ragnarok.

Launched on May 12, Tears of the Kingdom has significantly built upon the foundations of 2017’s Breath of the Wild. The game introduces novel crafting mechanics and a sprawling map that takes the protagonist, Link, on an expansive journey from the depths underground to the lofty heights of the clouds. While the game does reuse much of the map from Breath of the Wild and exhibits similar gameplay, the continuity has proven to be a hit rather than a hindrance, drawing in millions of Breath of the Wild enthusiasts.

The achievement of selling 10 million copies in three days is remarkable in itself, more so considering that Tears of the Kingdom is exclusively available on the Nintendo Switch platform and is Nintendo’s first game priced at $70. Despite these factors, the game’s sales are already a third of Breath of the Wild’s total sales, which stands at nearly 30 million since 2017.

Nintendo’s press release highlights that Tears of the Kingdom holds the record for the fastest-selling Zelda game in the franchise’s history, the fastest-selling Nintendo Switch game, and the fastest-selling Nintendo game for any system in America.

When compared to other major exclusives, it’s clear that Zelda is set for a monumental year. As of May 2023, Sony’s Horizon: Forbidden West, released on both PS4 and PS5, has sold a respectable but smaller 8.3 million units. Moreover, Tears of the Kingdom is already on track to surpass God of War: Ragnarok’s 11 million copies sold in three months.

The game’s sales are even impressive when compared to multiplatform releases. Hogwarts Legacy, one of 2023’s biggest multiplatform games, has sold 15 million copies to date. By comparison, Tears of the Kingdom, available on just one platform, is already closing in on these numbers. Even last year’s major hit, Elden Ring, which took five weeks to sell 13 million copies, is likely to be surpassed by Zelda soon.

The rapid sales of a console-exclusive game at this scale are truly remarkable and nearly unprecedented. If the trend set by Breath of the Wild, which continued to engage players and sell copies years after its release, is anything to go by, Tears of the Kingdom is set for long-term success. It’s a testament to the fact that massive sales can be achieved without resorting to battle passes, seasons, live service updates, or online multiplayer – a valuable lesson for other game publishers.

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