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The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom has been out for almost a week, meaning the numbers from its launch weekend are beginning to roll in – and boy are they impressive. In the game’s home country of Japan, Tears of the Kingdom had the seventh best launch in history at 2.24 million units, and by far the best launch in the Zelda series’ long tenure.


While obviously impressive, context makes the feat even more impressive – Zelda as a series has never been a titan in Japan, with only Breath of the Wild the first entry in the series to crack a million entries sold in the region since Ocarina of Time – and both of those games had launches in the 250,000-300,000 range. Breath of the Wild was the best-selling Zelda game in Japan of all-time, and it hadn’t even cracked 2 million a year ago. That means that Tears of the Kingdom essentially outsold its predecessor in a matter of days. There’s commercial success, and then there’s this. 

Amusingly, Tears of the Kingdom is only the fourth best Nintendo Switch launch, with Pokémon Scarlet & Violet, Splatoon 3, and Animal Crossing: New Horizons having the three best launches in JP history. But Zelda can take pride in standing with the likes of Monster Hunter, Dragon Quest, and Final Fantasy in JP launches – truly the uppermost echelon there is. 


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Written by Amelia Fruzzetti

A writer and Nintendo fan based in Seattle, Washington. When not working for NinWire, she can be found eating pasta, writing stories, and wondering about when Mother 3 is finally going to get an official localization.