After Nintendo announced that The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom sold an astonishing 10 million copies within its first three days of sale, it was clear that we'd start to see more instances of the game reaching incredible milestones in various global regions.
This time it's Japan's turn, and according to Game Data Library over on Twitter, the latest entry to the Zelda franchise now sits comfortably in the top ten biggest game launches of all time in the region. With 2,240,000 launch sales, it comes in 7th place, behind the likes of Final Fantasy VIII, Pokémon Black and White, and Animal Crossing: New Horizons, yet ahead of behemoths such as Final Fantasy VII and Monster Hunter: Rise.
Of course, with 4,050,000 sales, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet remains at the top of the pile, followed by Splatoon 3 with 3,450,000 sales. With such a wide gap between the first and second positions, it's probably unlikely anything will knock ScarVi off its perch for quite some time.
Nevertheless, for a Zelda game to reach such a strong position in Japan is quite remarkable. Before Breath of the Wild in 2017, the Zelda franchise was a consistent critical darling amongst fans, yet it remained somewhat of a rarity for a Zelda game to pass 10 million in lifetime sales. Tears of the Kingdom reaching such a milestone in just three days is certainly worth celebrating.
What do you make of Zelda: TotK's performance over in Japan? Do you think anything will surpass Pokémon ScarVi? Let us know.
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I went to Google 'ScarVi' to find out what it was before realising and feeling very silly.
Square Enix reads this list and gets very depressed.
In before everyone hates on Pokemon
Glad for Zelda to finally see this success. It’s great that franchises like it and Metroid are now able to be bigger than ever before and gathering more support than ever before. It’s well deserved.
Also, for what it’s worth, I’m glad “ScarVi” got its success too. Happiest I’ve felt playing a mainline Pokémon title in ages with that one
@ActionPanther I wouldn't feel silly for not immediately recognizing such a goofy amalgamation.
@ActionPanther I thought ScarVi was some Japanese exclusive. Don't you worry.
Gotta love Splatoon 3 being on the list and in second place that!
Zelda selling like Pokémon just seems surreal.
@eltomo This is exactly what I thought
TotK really blew up in Japan. Impressive, considering the series hasn't traditionally been super popular there.
@ActionPanther lol same. 'ScarVi' sounds like some weird mascot platformer. Looked at the list and thought: "...oh."
"Scar 6 has got to be the greatest shmup ever!" - my brain before caffeine
Thanks to the huge differences between the Japanese and Western markets we got all this variety available. Otherwise we'd probably have only Fifas, CoDs and the like to play. It's really to hard imagine games like DQs in lists like this one here on this side of the world
Awesome. Well deserved, amazing game. Such is the Power of Zelda!
zelda is not as popular in japan as it is in the west.. or it would be number 1 of all time..
I thought ScarVi was some sort of NDS RPG that was only released in Japan.
Anyone know how much previous Zelda titles sold in Japan in their first week for comparison? It's an incredible result for a region that typically isn't the strongest for the franchise.
Dale Zelda dale!
Also… seeing FFVIII up there makes me very happy
Neither SC/VI nor New Horizons (sorry but as a long time AC fan that game disappointed me on a spiritual level) deserve that gargantuan amount of success which will only enable the respective studios to persist in cutting corners for max profit but I'm extremely glad that TOTK has been met with roaring success in Japan considering Zelda has always appealed more to the West than its home country. That game genuinely feels like an achievement in modern game design and I'm thrilled to see how the Zelda team will built off from it in the future.
@Ralizah Glad I'm not the only one lol
@Ralizah True. That kinda changed with Breath of the Wild though. The last two games do have a more "Japanese vibe" to them as well, and is probably one of the reasons.
@Slowdive I'd say the building aspect is more Japan-centric.
Does this include digital downloads? I know Nintendo doesn't tend to release those specific numbers.
What's crazy is that TotK sold more during it's launch in Japan than most other titles in the series did throughout their whole lifespan.
What's fascinating about TotK's numbers is that unlike, say, Pokémon, Zelda games tend to keep selling as time goes on. When you look at the last six years, you see some titles - including every major Pokémon release - are really front loaded while BotW and especially MK8 Deluxe, have really long legs. The only problem is how they're going to keep shifting these evergreen titles while moving on to a next gen platform…
I love that there are three Dragon Quest titles and four Final Fantasy titles in that list.
I am shocked however at which titles from those franchises are on the list.
Also, Splatoon 3 being so high on the list. I find it much more impressive than Pokemon titles, just because the nature of a dual release for Pokemon allows the sales number to be inflated if at least slightly because they can sucker some fans into buying two games instead of one. If they actually showed up on the list as separate entries instead of one, they would be MUCH lower on the list.
@Cashews I get what you mean, as Minecraft is a big deal in Japan.
@hashkey In Pokemon's case that's probably mostly because they keep pumping out new ones every two seconds. It'd be interesting to see what they could do with the series if they actually took their time like the Zelda team rather than going with a quantity over quality approach. Can't argue with the sales numbers though I guess.
@Browny what is shocking? Square Enix has not been relevant since the PS2/NDS era - this list paints a clear picture of that fact. XVI is going to bust too. They are building a game few people are talking about on a system with a relatively small install base.
That release date for Dragon Quest VIII is wrong. No way a PS2 game came out in 2014.
isn’twasn’t nearly as popular in Japan as in the West.
It seems that the series has finally found the domestic favour it arguably deserves!
@somnambulance Glad for you, but it is the first ever Pokemon game where I didn't even finish the story. I just got bored by 3/4 of the main game. Sadly I will never be as happy as I was playing older Pokemon titles. They just somehow looked much better in 2D and the difficulty was not so boring.
Blows my mind that a PSP game is still in the top ten. Pouring one out for my white PSP1000!
MH Rise released in 2001, apparently. Just noticed lol.
@Slowdive TotK had a significantly larger launch in Japan than even BotW, though.
Shocking I suppose is more towards the Dragon Quest entries rather than the Final Fantasy entries.
The PSX era games are kinda obvious. XII being on there over X is a bit more surprising.
In regards to Dragon Quest however, I totally get IX (huge deal back in the DS era), and VIII (again, huge leap forward for DQ), but VII? Somehow I thought it'd be III or V, heck even VI. Never would I have guessed VII be so high on the list.
Modern day Square is a different beast altogether, that much is true. I don't think Final Fantasy XVI will bust, but it won't be the juggernaut its predecessors were. Or the sales titan Square hopes it will be.
Hugely impressive feat for a Zelda game. Over there I believe BotW helped pave the way for TotK even though that was not as popular out of the gate. It took a few years and many streamer hours to at least get people warmed up to the open world Zelda idea. That said, GTA VI might be the first one to break the 2M launch over there based on the same principle, as there are so many popular streamers/vTubers playing it. We’ll have to see.
Further interesting, not a single first party recent gen playstation exclusive on that list. It’s like the super-hyper-realistic graphics that players in the West are drooling over aren’t swaying the Japanese market, Lol. Heck, the whole list is game>graphics (as in the game itself, not necessarily gameplay), and MH World is probably the most detailed looking one on there.
@Browny I also find it curious that Final Fantasy X, XIII, and XV didn’t make it as high as the other titles (not sure where they are, they certainly did not shift over 1.84M copies at launch) Maybe they don’t like their RPG’s with too much modern/futuristic settings and realistic graphics?
Love to see not only that Tears of the Kingdom did so well at launch in Japan, but also that 7 games in this top 20 are on Switch, almost half are Nintendo games and most of them are also on Nintendo consoles!
@Browny That's all I meant really. SE is becoming notorious for over-stating projected sales. I'd bet whatever they have XVI at is likely out of reach.
I'm surprised about X as well. To the point where maybe this list is wrong. X was the last game I can remember that was universally praised - and it really lacked nothing Japanese people don't adore.
edit: ah. Check this out:
It appears Zelda knocked X off!
@Diowine To each their own, but I dunno. ScarVi had one of the better Pokémon storylines. The gen 4 remakes had me feeling sour and SwSh was Pokémon by the numbers, but I felt like it did something different. Now, granted, nothing as good as Arceus or Black/White, but still a step up for me in the mainline games. Best since gen 5 for me, which is still the peak of the series for storylines (outside maybe Arceus, but that’s not a mainline game. I really loved Arceus).
Shout out to all those Monster Hunter titles on that list. Japan loves to hunt and I'm glad Western gamers have jumped aboard also
@FirstEmperor It did, you just got the dates messed up. It originally came out in 2005 for PS2 (2006 for Europe,) and then was ported to IOS and Android in 2014, and then remastered for 3DS in 2017.
@Jimmy_G_Buckets 15 years from now when I reflect on the Switch I will think of Animal Crossing, Zelda (even though it really isn't my thing) and Monster Hunter Rise of the system's defining games.
@WeLiveInASociety I got nothing messed up. The tweet shown in the article clearly labels DQ8 as the PS2 release.
We have to remember Pokémon is big in Japan for good reasons. For zelda to knock off the top charter would've a big under taking if they were to come close.
@somnambulance yes, and honestly I am happy that people enjoyed the game so much. Just not my cup of tea, maybe I am older haha because for me Pokemon peaked in the 3rd Gen at Emerald.Will definitively be finishing it, sometime after TOTK
@FirstEmperor Oh wait, that’s my bad. It says 2014 when it should say 2004 since it first came out in Japan. I didn’t check the release dates in the tweet. Sorry, you were right.
What a great success for Nintendo. Congratulations, Nintendo. Especially the Zelda team. Great work and it sells great too.
Seeing Dragon Quest 9 on there warms my heart. What an amazing game 😁 the series as a whole deserves more love in the West
@WeLiveInASociety No worries, and thank you for the correct release dates.
This game is a home run on most fronts. My only nitpick honestly is just the controls feeling very complicated for the first few hours. Zelda was never a massive seller in Japan, it's very pleasing to so it sell so well domestically.
From this list i have:
5. Final Fantasy VIII
And I did not like this game. In fact i like the card game inside this game. But its the only thing I like in Final fantasy VIII.
Now i see that i don´t like japanese RPG (or RPG in general)..
Hahabba me too, i was like, why didnt i hear about this game 😅🤣 and i was like oh.. duhhh.. 🙃
RIP FFX. Outdone by Zelda in Japan.
How the turntables...
Not sure if this is clickbate or an honest omition but ..
"Launch window" is generally 10-14 days, although if AC:NH has 2.6 million sales in Japan, that's what it sold in it's first MONTH. It sold 1.8 million in it's first week.
So given TOTK isn't even a week old, it's on track to absolutely dominate.
@HeadPirate AC:NH will always be an untrackable sales anomaly. As it became a worldwide pheenom - because of an international lockdown - it's sales increased exponentially as time went on.
It did not take a traditional path of big release week - slowly declining sales.
Not sure what that has to do with Japan only launch window sales numbers ... the thing we are talking about?
It dropped off pretty hard in Japan ... 1.8 million in the first 7 days, only 800,000 more over the next 21.
This chart is also ... just wrong. It list AC:NH first month sales but 3.45 was Splatoon sales total after 3 days. AC:NH doesn't include digital sales, Splatoon, Pokémon and TOTK all do.
It's almost like we shouldn't "report" on unsourced tweets from random people.
yeah, the abbreviation is stupid, not us 😂👍
"It's almost like we shouldn't "report" on unsourced tweets from random people."
yeah, i second that. NLife must have low confidence in their ability to get enough real stories, or else they would leave twitter alone entirely. nothing good comes from there anymore.
Glad to see I'm not only one confused by ScarVi.
I had the same feeling recently when I heard someone refer to Call of Duty as COD...like the fish.
@HeadPirate This is including digital. It sold 1.8 million physical in the first few days.
@-wc- Headpirate doesn't know that Animal Crossing's number includes digital. The tweet didn't make a mistake there.
@Cashews still in awe on how well Monster Hunter Rise works on switch. Sure it is now ported to multiple platforms but having a game that stacked on the Switch is really a milestone.
It dose not.
It is the month long total sales in Japan, no digital. 1.8 million, like I say in other posts you didn't bother to reed before "WELL ACTUALLY"'ing me, is the physical total sales after 7 days. it sold 800,000 additional physical units that month.
Digital sales of AC:NH in Japan were never released. While I have no problem (and in fact am grateful) when people correct me, check your own info before just confidently telling people I'm wrong.
No organization outside Nintendo gets telemetry on digital sales, unlike retail sales which are tracked by distributors. We only know the digital total if Nintendo is nice enough to give us a number and tell us it includes digital. While they have done that with Splatoon and Pokémon, they did not do that with AC:NH. We also know TOTK includes digital because, again, Nintendo told us.
The only accurate information we have is that Pokémon and then Splatoon 3 are Nintendo's fastest selling games of all time in Japan after both 3 and 7 days. Nintendo told us each broke that record when it happened. While they said they were actually the fastest selling GAMES of all time, not just Nintendo games, they do not have access to the full sales data from other publishers and have no way to verify that claim. It's PROBABLY accurate for consoles, given the info available, but several 1000 yen mobile games have sold faster, according to their publishers.
It's also safe to say that TOTK did not break the 3 or 7 days sales records in Japan given Nintendo has not announced that, and that's generally not something you keep a secret (it's already 2am on Saturday in Japan, as of writing this)
Everything else on that list is some guys best guess, and is verifiably inaccurate.
Splatoon and The Legend of Zelda are two different breeds. This was somewhat expected. A Zelda player has most likely been exposed to Splatoon. A Splatoon player probably does not return said characteristic.
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