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‘Tears of the Kingdom’ Has Already Broken a Zelda Series Record

Key art for 'The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom'

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is everything I dreamed it would be. To wait for a game for four years—an entire bachelor’s begree’s worth of time!—and then have it actually deliver on the sky-high expectations cultivated in that long wait (after its massive hit predecessor Breath of the Wild, no less) is borderline miraculous. That ridiculous achievement is definitely not going unnoticed. Nintendo announced today that Tears of the Kingdom is officially the fastest-selling game in Zelda franchise history.

Over its first three days, TotK sold 10 million copies. In three days! That puts it neck-and-neck for Nintendo’s all-time record with Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, which broke Nintendo’s previous three-day sales record last year. But there’s a number of reasons TotK‘s victory here is notable. For one, unlike Scarlet and Violet, it’s not glitchy as hell on launch. Thank you, producer Eiji Aonuma, for pushing the release date back and making that extra time count!

Furthermore, of that 10 million, 4 million came from the Americas alone. That makes Tears of the Kingdom the fastest-selling Switch game of all time for specifically the Americas. And it’s notable that TotK breached all of this as a $70 game.

The game closest to this mark so far this year, Hogwarts Legacy (sighhhh), sold 12 million copies in 14 days (according to Forbes). But Hogwarts Legacy is available on three completely different systems: the PlayStations, the XBoxes, and PC. Tears of the Kingdom is a Nintendo Switch exclusive. TotK will surely eat Hogwarts Legacy and its record as a delightfully steamed, leaf-wrapped breakfast.

It seems like Tears of the Kingdom is going to also be eating last year’s best-selling game for breakfast, too. Surprisingly, that honor went to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. While TotK didn’t clear its three-day record, Modern Warfare 2 (again according to Forbes) sold $1 billion worth of copies in its first 14 days. If TotK sells another 4.3 million copies in the next 11 days, it’ll clear that hurdle. Seems likely. And again, Modern Warfare 2 is available on multiple platforms.

My point in talking such capitalism is to emphasize to you that 10 million copies is a very, very big deal. It’s a lot of games, and it supports my anecdotal evidence that everyone is playing this game, which is that every time I logged into my Switch over the weekend, every single one of my friends was also playing TotK.

At this rate, Tears of the Kingdom will almost certainly eclipse its predecessor, Breath of the Wild, to become the best-selling Zelda game of all time—which is notable, because leading up to its release, a lot of fans were concerned that TotK was shaping up to be the final Zelda game. If there were ever a sliver of truth to that supposition, this might become one of the few instances where capitalism was actually helpful.

(featured image: Nintendo)

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Kirsten (she/her) is a contributing writer at the Mary Sue specializing in anime and gaming. In the last decade, she's also written for Channel Frederator (and its offshoots), Screen Rant, and more. In the other half of her professional life, she's also a musician, which includes leading a very weird rock band named Throwaway. When not talking about One Piece or The Legend of Zelda, she's talking about her cats, Momo and Jimbei.