May 17, 2023 - Technology

Nintendo's Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom sells 10 million copies in 3 days

Video game screenshot of a shirtless warrior named Link

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. Screenshot: Nintendo / Axios

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is the fastest-selling game in the Americas for any Nintendo system ever, and one of the hottest games worldwide for the Switch.

Driving the news: Nintendo revealed initial sales figures today for the acclaimed action-adventure game: 4 millions copies sold in the Americas; 10 million sold overall around the world.

The big picture: Nintendo did not release revenue totals, though they are likely to be in the high nine figures, dwarfing opening weekend box office for any 2023 film and surpassing other hot entertainment tickets like Taylor Swift's newest tour.

  • Tears of the Kingdom's haul could be about $700 million, though the game has sold at a range of prices.
  • It sells for $70 a copy, but a deluxe edition is priced at $130. It's also available at an ostensible discount via a special $100 Nintendo price promotion that requires ordering Zelda alongside a second game.

Between the lines: Tears of the Kingdom is on track to potentially become 2023's best-selling video game.

  • The leader going into last weekend was February's Harry Potter spin-off Hogwarts Legacy. The Warner Bros. release sold 12 million copies on Xbox Series consoles, PlayStation 5 and PC in its first two weeks. Earlier this month, Warner said the game has now sold 15 million copies, generating more than $1 billion in sales.
  • Nintendo is also competing with itself, in a way. November's Pokémon Scarlet and Violet paired releases also sold 10 million copies in their first three days. As of the end of March, those games have sold 22 million copies.

Be smart: Games that come out for platforms with massive installed bases have a chance of reaching gigantic sales milestones quickly.

  • The Switch, in its seventh year of release, has sold more than 130 million units, according to Nintendo.
  • A decade ago, Take-Two Interactive was able to boast $1 billion in three-day revenue for Grand Theft Auto V, which launched on the Xbox 360 and PS3, two popular consoles both more than half a decade old.

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Go deeper: Listen to the Axios Today podcast, where host Niala Boodhoo and Stephen Totilo talk about Zelda's new game that has been smashing records.

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