Hyrule is becoming a pretty crowded place these days.
Nintendo, on Wednesday, announced The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, its long-awaited next entry in the Zelda franchise, has sold more than 10 million copies globally in its first three days of availability. (U.S. sales have topped 4 million.)
That makes Tears of the Kingdom the fastest-selling Zelda game in the series’ 37-year history. It’s also the fastest-selling game to date for the Nintendo Switch, topping Mario Kart and Animal Crossing: New Horizons, which was a smash hit during the heart of the pandemic.
“Many players are returning to Hyrule with all its new mysteries and possibilities, and … we can’t wait to see what they’ll create in the game and the stories they’ll share next,” said Devon Pritchard, Nintendo of America’s executive vice president of sales, marketing and communications in a statement.
Tears of the Kingdom is not only the most anticipated Nintendo title of 2023, it could well be the most anticipated video game period. Reviews have been overwhelmingly positive, with scores frequently coming in at 9/10 and higher. Analysts say it’s a catalyst for the company.
“Nintendo has the potential to beat out its guidance as the highly anticipated new Zelda game should help to spur on hardware sales and potentially deliver software sales upside,” said Nick McKay of Wedbush in a note to investors.
The direct sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Tears of the Kingdom encourages players to create their own pathways as they progress through the game using their imagination to invent solutions.
While sales of the game have been steady, there’s no word yet on whether its release has stimulated hardware sales for Nintendo. Switch sales have stagnated in recent months as the console ages.
Smash titles, though, tend to reinvigorate consumers, even those who only play sporadically.