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Tears of the Kingdom sold 10 million copies in just three days

Tears of the Kingdom sold 10 million copies in just three days


On six-year-old hardware, locked at 30fps, in a cave, with a box of scraps!

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Photoshopped graphic from Tears of the Kingdom featuring the hero, Link, holding up a glowing copy of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
Image: Nintendo / The Verge

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom has become the Zelda franchise’s fastest selling game. According to Nintendo, the game sold 10 million copies worldwide in the three days after it launched on May 12th. Just to give you an idea of where that stacks among the Switch’s best games, Breath of the Wild, in its six-year lifetime, has sold almost 30 million copies, while Mario Kart 8 has sold 53 million copies.

So to recap, Tears of the Kingdom has sold a third of the copies of its predecessor and 20 percent of the bestselling Switch game of all time in just three days.

This is a game selling on six-year-old hardware locked at a quaint 30fps that largely takes place in a setting players have seen and explored before. Nintendo is Nintendo, sure, and the company has the sort of “magic” — if not a sharp business acumen — that other publishers try but cannot hope to recreate. But these kinds of numbers over this short a time period should say something about how players will respond to simple premises executed extremely well. And it’s single-player, too! Not a battle pass in sight!

With the out-the-gate-success of Tears of the Kingdom, Nintendo’s racking up dubs this year with the Mario movie making a smooth billion and the opening of Super Nintendo World in Los Angeles. Time will tell if Tears of the Kingdom will unseat Mario Kart 8 as the Switch’s bestselling game, but I don’t think we’ll have to wait long to see.