The latest “Zelda” game had a legendary launch on the Nintendo Switch.
“The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom” sold more than 10 million units worldwide during its first three days of release, making it the fastest-selling game in the series, as well as the fastest-selling Nintendo game of all time in the Americas, Nintendo said.
“Tears of the Kingdom,” which launched on May 12, was one of the most anticipated games of the year, not only because “Zelda” games are always highly anticipated but because it’s a direct sequel to “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.” Released in 2017 for the Nintendo Switch, “Breath of the Wild” was lauded for its open-world gameplay and is widely considered to be one of the best video games ever made, if not the best.
Not all of the “Zelda” games are direct sequels, as the series’ installments often stand on their own with a whole new art style and story. But the fact that fans knew what to expect from “Tears of the Kingdom,” and what they expected was more of one of the greatest video games of all time, allowed for a hugely successful launch. “Tears of the Kingdom” also benefited from the fact that the Switch is Nintendo’s best-selling system after the Nintendo DS, so there was an even larger audience of potential players than there would have been had the game come out for the Wii, for example.
Following up a game as acclaimed as “Breath of the Wild” isn’t easy, but critics said “Tears of the Kingdom” was up to the task. Reviews were just about as glowing as they were for the previous game, and IGN named “Tears of the Kingdom” the best installment in the “Zelda” series yet, surpassing “Breath of the Wild.” It’s another win for the video game industry after “Hogwarts Legacy” sold more than 12 million units in its first two weeks of release earlier this year, and the highest-grossing film of 2023 is still a video game adaptation, “The Super Mario Bros. Movie.” With sales like these, don’t be surprised if Zelda joins Mario on the big screen sooner rather than later.