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This page is meant to highlight how each game in the The Legend of Zelda series has sold to date. It sources information from a variety of business-focused publications and catalogues the last-known sales figure for every game in the series. Please note that some of this information (particularly for the older games) may be out of date, as a number of older Zelda titles have been re-released through Nintendo's Virtual Console (or equivalent services), and the company does not share digital sales data for these re-releases. Please do not edit this page if you are not confident in what you are doing and express your concerns on its talk page instead. Finally, if you would like a deeper understanding of why each game performed the way it did, please refer to The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History.

The Legend of Zelda - Series Sales

Understanding Sales Data

This section lists the last-known global shipment figure for every mainline game in The Legend of Zelda series. The information in this section has been sourced from a variety of financial publications, events, and developer keynotes including those held by Nintendo.

Q1. What is a global shipment figure?

The "global shipment" for a game refers to the total number of physical copies shipped by its publisher to retail stores (Amazon, GameStop, Best Buy etc.), plus the total number of digital sales to customers via console storefronts (in this case, the Nintendo eShop).

Q2. What is the difference between global shipments and sales?

When publishers use the term "sales" they are are often referring to global shipments (ie; sales to retailers). So, in the event that you hear a publisher talking about sales, it usually means global shipments.

Q3. What is "sell-through"?

Sell-through is the number of units that were actually sold through to consumers by retailers. For example; a publisher ships 10 copies of a game to Amazon and only 8 of those 10 copies are purchased by customers. That means your "sell-through" was 8 copies. (Or a sell-through rate of 80%) Very few publishers ever reveal sell-through or sell-through rate, but it plays a very important role in gauging long-term demand for a game.

Q4. Does this mean global shipments are not an accurate way to measure a game's success?

No, it doesn't mean that. Shipments are based on demand. If a publisher ships more copies of a game, it means there was more demand for it from retailers because it had a high sell-through to customers. Conversely, if a publisher ships fewer copies of a game, it means demand was less because sell-through from retailers to customers was low.

Q5. What happens if a game has a large number of shipments but low sell-through?

It depends on the region. In North America, retailers hold a lot of power. If a publisher over-ships a particular game and the retailer finds it isn't selling, the publisher can be made to buy back the extra copies. This is done because shelf space and warehouse space is valuable, and retailers don't like to hold on to excess stock if they feel it isn't going to sell. (They would much rather stock a different, more successful product instead)

In Japan, the situation is slightly different. Retailers don't have as much power in Japan as they do in North America, and are generally more careful and conservative when placing their orders. Getting publishers to buy back unsold copies is a more difficult prospect in Japan, so if a game isn't selling, the retailer usually puts a steep discount on its price and passes it off as a second-hand copy instead, to help get rid of it.[1] This is colloquially referred to as putting a game in the "bargain bin".


Global Sales

Main Series


Year Platform Game Global Shipments Type Source Relevance to the Brand
1986 NES The Legend of Zelda 6.51 million Top-down
[2]
The first game in the series; designed to be the polar opposite of Mario. (Learn more)
1987 NES The Adventure of Link 4.38 million Top-down
[3]
A side-scrolling game developed by a different team than the first. (Learn more)
1991 SNES A Link to the Past 4.61 million Top-down
[4]
A return to the top-down style; introduced a number of the brand's core elements. (Learn more)
1993 GB Link's Awakening 3.83 million Top-down
[5]
The first game in the series that emphasized story and eccentric characters. (Learn more)
1998 N64 Ocarina of Time 7.6 million 3D
[6]
The first 3D game in the series; laid the foundation for future 3D Zeldas until Breath of the Wild. (Learn more)
2000 N64 Majora's Mask 3.36 million 3D
[7]
The first Zelda directed by series handler Eiji Aonuma; the most different from the rest of the series. (Learn more)
2001 GBC Oracle of Seasons / Ages 3.99 million Top-down
[8]
The start of a co-development partnership with Capcom. (Learn more)
2002 GC The Wind Waker 4.43 million 3D
[9]
A controversial game whose poor sales would lead to Nintendo re-examining the franchise. (Learn more)
2002 GC Four Swords Adventures Not available Top-down A multiplayer game that sold poorly (<1 million) due to the requirement of a GameCube and multiple GBAs. (Learn more)
2004 GBA The Minish Cap 1.76 million Top-down
[10]
The final Zelda developed by Capcom, with its director joining Nintendo afterwards. (Learn more)
2006 Wii / GC Twilight Princess 8.85 million 3D
[11]
The second-most successful game in the series, owing to its mature visual style and horseback exploration. (Learn more)
2007 NDS Phantom Hourglass 4.76 million Top-down
[12]
Introduced a number of new users to the series through its intuitive touch controls. (Learn more)
2009 NDS Spirit Tracks 2.96 million Top-down
[13]
A less popular follow-up to Phantom Hourglass; involves Zelda accompanying Link all throughout. (Learn more)
2011 Wii Skyward Sword 3.67 million 3D
[14]
Designed to be less sprawling and more dense; its poor sales led to a second re-examination of the series. (Learn more)
2013 3DS A Link Between Worlds 4.16 million Top-down
[15]
Demonstrated that Nintendo could develop a non-linear Zelda and helped re-build faith in the brand. (Learn more)
2015 3DS Tri Force Heroes 1.34 million Top-down
[16]
Another multiplayer game. It performed better than Four Swords Adventures but still sold relatively poorly.(Learn more)
2017 NSW / Wii U Breath of the Wild 24.89 million 3D
[17]
[18]
NSW: 23.20 million + Wii U: 1.69 million. The new template for Zelda for the foreseeable future. (Learn more)

A note regarding Breath of the Wild: It is commonly misreported that the game needed to sell 2 million units to "break even". This is untrue and appears to be based on a statement by Nintendo that was misconstrued. The exact quote from Nintendo mentions that the company aims to have most of its games sell "at least two million units" as a general rule of thumb, in order to ensure profitability while supporting other risky endeavors.[19]


Trends to note:

• The eleven "top-down" Zelda games have sold a total of 38.3 million units worldwide. The six "3D" Zelda games have sold a total of 51.88 million units worldwide.

• The three best-selling games in the series (Breath of the Wild, Twilight Princess, and Ocarina of Time) all feature the ability to explore a vast, connected world, with Link riding on horseback. In addition, they all feature realistically-proportioned characters—including Link himself. Remarks from Nintendo suggest they are aware of the appeal of these traits.[20][21][22]

• 3D Zelda games that do not feature a combination of realistically-proportioned characters, horseback-riding, and a vast, connected world have typically not performed as well. These include Majora's Mask, The Wind Waker, and Skyward Sword.

• Nintendo has specifically acknowledged the fact that The Wind Waker is not as popular with audiences due to the fact that it does not feature a realistically-proportioned Link, and that it is unlikely to revisit a super-deformed style within a 3D Zelda game for this reason.[23][24]

• Nintendo has also acknowledged that audiences did not appreciate the removal of a large, connected world in Skyward Sword, which led the Zelda team to return to a more exploration-focused template with Breath of the Wild, similar to Twilight Princess.[25][26]

• Multiplayer Zelda games have historically not performed as well as the single player games. Four Swords Adventures sold poorly and Nintendo has not publicly revealed sales figures for the game. Tri Force Heroes has sold just over 1.34 million units globally and is presently the second-weakest selling game in the series behind Four Swords Adventures.


Remakes

Note: "Remake" in this case refers to a remaster or ground-up remake of the game in question. Re-releases through Virtual Console (etc.) do not count.

Year Platform Game Global Shipments Source
1998 GBC Link's Awakening DX 2.22 million
[27]
2002 GBA A Link to the Past & Four Swords 2.82 million
[28]
2011 3DS Ocarina of Time 3D 6.22 million
[29]
2013 Wii U The Wind Waker HD 2.31 million
[30]
2015 3DS Majora's Mask 3D 3.28 million
[31]
2016 Wii U Twilight Princess HD 1.13 million
[32]
2019 NSW Link's Awakening for Nintendo Switch 5.49 million
[33]


Trends to note:

• While Twilight Princess is among the highest-selling games in the series, Twilight Princess HD is the lowest-selling of all the remasters. Presumably, this is because The HD remaster of Twilight Princess wasn't as visually striking as the remasters for Ocarina of Time or The Wind Waker, both of which featured significant visual upgrades. Twilight Princess HD was also released on an already unsuccessful platform, towards the end of its life cycle. Additionally, Twilight Princess was already playable on the Wii U through backwards compatibility with the Wii version, which may have affected its reception.

Link's Awakening for Nintendo Switch is the only Zelda remake/remaster to sell more than the original game it was based on. This is partly because it was released after Breath of the Wild (which introduced a large number of new players to the series) and partly due to the strengths of the Switch as a software-selling platform. Finally, the game also features the most significant visual upgrade of any Zelda remake to date.


Spin-offs

Year Platform Game Global Shipments Source Notes
2008 Wii Link's Crossbow Training 5.79 million
[34]
2014 Wii U Hyrule Warriors 1 million
[35]
2019 NSW Cadence of Hyrule Not available
2020 NSW Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity 3.7 million
[36]


Japanese Sales

Important facts to know about sales data from Japan:

• All figures in this section account for retail sales only. Digital sell-through data is not consistently available.[37]

• All Japanese sales data has been provided by videogame publication Famitsu, which tracks games sales across a wide range of Japanese retailers. (Archived by Game Data Library)

• Unlike global sales data, this data represents sell-through to actual customers, not just shipments to retailers.[38]

• Some of the ancillary notes mentioned against each game are observations using figures from a separate sales tracker, Media Create.

• The Japanese videogame market is much smaller than North America or Europe, which is why sales appear lower in comparison. Over 70% of Nintendo's revenue is from overseas.[39]


Main Series

Year Platform Game First Week Sellthrough Life-to-Date Sellthrough Notes
1986 FC The Legend of Zelda Not available 1,690,000
1987 FC The Adventure of Link Not available 1,610,000
1991 SFC A Link to the Past Not available 1,160,000
1993 GB Link's Awakening Not available 540,000
1998 N64 Ocarina of Time 386,234 1,143,570
2000 N64 Majora's Mask 314,044 601,542 Marketed in Japan with the tagline "This time there's a fear in Zelda."[40]
2001 GBC Oracle of Seasons 190,029 372,690
2001 GBC Oracle of Ages 191,802 373,352
2002 GC The Wind Waker 287,346 742,609 The first Zelda impacted by "gamer drift," the ongoing decline of the Japanese games industry.[41]
2004 GC Four Swords Adventures 54,782 127,399
2004 GBA The Minish Cap 92,882 235,400 Released late in the GBA's life, a month prior to the Nintendo DS.[42]
2006 Wii Twilight Princess 145,068 624,109 Lower long-term sales in Japan due to the Wii audience being largely made up of casual players.
2006 GC Twilight Princess Not available 70,000 The GameCube only sold 4 million units in Japan, and Twilight Princess was released very late in its lifecycle.[43]
2007 NDS Phantom Hourglass 288,282 902,386 Sold better than most Zelda games in Japan due to its accessible touch controls. Popular with women.[44]
2009 NDS Spirit Tracks 320,940 740,109 Was greatly over-shipped in Japan and quickly discounted by retailers.[45]
2011 Wii Skyward Sword 194,894 349,143
2013 3DS A Link Between Worlds 225,418 425,729 Saw a conservative first shipment after Spirit Tracks was over-shipped and Skyward Sword saw low sales.[46]
2015 3DS Tri Force Heroes 58,594 156,544
2017 NSW Breath of the Wild 193,060 1,877,859 Designed with western tastes in mind, but a major success in Japan as well.[47]
2017 Wii U Breath of the Wild 45,052 128,450 The Wii U only sold 3.3 million units in Japan, hence the low sales of most Wii U software.[48]


Important facts to know about the Japanese videogame market:

• In the early 2000s, Japan's videogame industry began to decline. This phenomenon was referred to as "gamer drift"—audiences drifting away from playing games.[49]

• Nintendo has pointed to gamer drift as the cause behind persistently low sales of Zelda and other games in Japan, starting with The Wind Waker.[50]

• Throughout the Wii era, Nintendo was under the impression that Japanese players didn't enjoy getting lost, which led to the company developing games with simpler environmental layouts designed to combat gamer drift.[51][52][53]

• This theory has been disproven of late. Of all the Zeldas, Phantom Hourglass and Breath of the Wild have been the most effective at combating gamer drift, as demonstrated by their sales.

• Despite being a sprawling and open-ended adventure, Phantom Hourglass was popular with a wider audience due to its accessible touch controls and by being on the Nintendo DS.[54][55]

• Similarly, Breath of the Wild succeeded in Japan despite being a larger, more sprawling game. Part of the reason for this is that the game was released on a portable platform; however Nintendo has also since acknowledged that the concept of being lost in a game's environments can make for an engaging experience.[56]

• Over the last two decades, the only platforms that have consistently managed to combat gamer drift in Japan are portable devices (Nintendo DS, PSP, 3DS, and Switch) as demonstrated by hardware sales in the region.[57][58]

• The vast majority of Japan's software sales in the videogame space have also come from portable platforms during this period.[59]


Remakes

Note: "Remake" in this case refers to a remaster or ground-up remake of the game in question. Re-releases through Virtual Console (etc.) do not count.

Year Platform Game First Week Sellthrough Life-to-Date Sellthrough Notes
1998 GBC Link's Awakening DX 49,513 314,309
2003 GBA A Link to the Past & Four Swords 84,107 293,989
2011 3DS Ocarina of Time 3D 182,998 636,571 Saw a relatively small first shipment in Japan, possibly due to the way Spirit Tracks was over-shipped and quickly discounted. As LTD sellthrough shows, though, the game went on to see healthy long-term sales.[60]
2013 Wii U The Wind Waker HD 31,154 63,786
2015 3DS Majora's Mask 3D 236,536 448,258 Sold very similarly to A Link Between Worlds in Japan, both in terms of pre-orders and sales figures, indicating an overlap of audiences.[61]
2016 Wii U Twilight Princess HD 53,620 89,809
2019 NSW Link's Awakening for Nintendo Switch 141,375 274,208
2021 NSW Skyward Sword HD 159,089 159,089


Spin-offs

Year Platform Game First-Week Sellthrough Life-to-Date Sellthrough
2008 Wii Link's Crossbow Training 89,879 227,621
2014 Wii U Hyrule Warriors 78,773 126,700
2016 3DS Hyrule Warriors Legends 54,856 107,312
2018 NSW Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition 21,064 54,021
2020 NSW Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity 173,215 341,519

References

  1. "In that case, these copies sit on store shelves for a short while. If retailers notice they aren’t selling, they cut their price very quickly and toss them in the used games section. (See next question for related details on this topic.) However, sometimes, depending on the size of the retailer and the game publisher in question, the retailer might be able to make the publisher buy all these extra copies back. However, this practice is far less common in Japan than in North America." —Ishaan Sahdev (Where Does Videogame Sales Data Come From?)
  2. Eiji Aonuma, The Evolution of a Franchise: The Legend of Zelda, GDC Vault, published 2004, retrieved August 20, 2020.
  3. Eiji Aonuma, The Evolution of a Franchise: The Legend of Zelda, GDC Vault, published 2004, retrieved August 20, 2020.
  4. Eiji Aonuma, The Evolution of a Franchise: The Legend of Zelda, GDC Vault, published 2004, retrieved August 20, 2020.
  5. Eiji Aonuma, The Evolution of a Franchise: The Legend of Zelda, GDC Vault, published 2004, retrieved August 20, 2020.
  6. Eiji Aonuma, The Evolution of a Franchise: The Legend of Zelda, GDC Vault, published 2004, retrieved August 20, 2020.
  7. Eiji Aonuma, The Evolution of a Franchise: The Legend of Zelda, GDC Vault, published 2004, retrieved August 20, 2020.
  8. 2020 CESA Games White Paper (CESA) pg. 242
  9. 2020 CESA Games White Paper (CESA) pg. 241
  10. 2020 CESA Games White Paper (CESA) pg. 247
  11. "『ゼルダの伝説』シリーズ最多の、世界累計販売本数885万本(※)を誇る『ゼルダの伝説 トワイライトプリンセス』が、フルHDとなってWii Uで甦ります。" — Nintendo, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD, Nintendo.co.jp, published 2015, retrieved August 20, 2020.
  12. 2020 CESA Games White Paper (CESA) pg. 241
  13. 2020 CESA Games White Paper (CESA) pg. 243
  14. 2020 CESA Games White Paper (CESA) pg. 242
  15. 2020 CESA Games White Paper (CESA) pg. 242
  16. 2020 CESA Games White Paper (CESA) pg. 249
  17. 2020 CESA Games White Paper (CESA) pg. 247
  18. "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 22.28 million pcs." — Nintendo, Top Selling Title Sales Units, Nintendo Investor Relations Information, retrieved May 6, 2021.
  19. "In striking that balance, while it's important that we do not overextend by putting an excessive amount of content in our games, the only solution is how to make software that sells well. There will be big hits somewhere in our business, and they support the games that fail and allow us to take on other challenges. So our basic premise is to create software that will sell in the range of at least two million units. We simply couldn't recoup our costs if we only released games in Japan that had sales of around 300,000 units, so the global market is our standard." —Shigeru Miyamoto (The 76th Annual General Meeting of Shareholders Q & A)
  20. "Now that we have finished, I feel that with a generation accustomed to watching epic films like Lord of the Rings, when you want to design a convincing world, that sort of vast scale becomes necessary. But it's a fact that putting it all together was a challenge, and I sensed how much I still had to learn as a director." —Eiji Aonuma (Make it 120% Zelda!)
  21. "Well, [it might not be the answer you're looking for], but actually, that kind of reaction was partially expected. I worked on editing that trailer myself, and I specifically wanted people not to realize it was a Zelda game at the very beginning. What we showed was simply a horse, gradually building to the close-up, and then people finally realize it's Link, it's a Zelda game. If people didn't get excited then, I was in trouble. [Laughs] I knew that there was a demand for a photo-realistic Zelda - that we couldn't deny." —Eiji Aonuma (Interview: Electronic Gaming Monthly June 2005)
  22. "I'm working on a new Legend of Zelda game now. One thing I've realized as I've been working on it is that a lot of the things I want to do with this new 'Zelda' game are things I thought of while making Twilight Princess. I can't talk specifics, but to me, Twilight Princess was a starting point, making it possible to do what I'm doing now." —Eiji Aonuma (The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Retrospective – Episode 4: Reborn on Wii U)
  23. "We encountered an awful lot of problems from the drastic leap we took with Wind Waker. I think we will be a bit more careful in the future, but if we find a new approach that not just the developers, but also the users would enjoy then I think we will want to break new ground again. But we haven’t found such an approach yet." —Eiji Aonuma (Aonuma: Nintendo will be “a bit more careful” choosing Zelda art styles in the future)
  24. "The Wind Waker art style in its depiction of form, feel of materials etc. is very stylized. One of our goals was to have the art intuitively suggest possible physics and chemistry gameplay based on the player's own experiences in the real world. The problem with The Wind Waker art style was, the lies it told were too big. There was also another concern with The Wind Waker art style. The concern was if older players could look at the screen for just an instance and understand everything they were seeing, they might feel the art was intended for children and was not for them. So, basing the art on something easy to tell lies with, like the Wind Waker art, we could more easily guarantee function more conforming to playability and more easily construct the reality within the game. Above and beyond that, we needed to suggest things anyone could do in the real world, so we needed a certain level of realism and we needed an information-dense, mature art style." —Satoru Takizawa (Breaking Conventions with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild)
  25. "A lot of the fans that played Skyward Sword said that they were really bummed out that they couldn’t find the hidden element of the game. A lot of the users, when they looked at the map, they said, ‘OK, there’s these places I can go, but how come I can’t go over here?’ I’ve always thought that when creating a 3D game where it’s easy for users to get lost, it’s really important to tell the users what they need to do. But then, after creating this larger world, I realized that getting lost isn’t that bad. Having the option to do whatever you want and get lost is actually kind of fun. I think fans that enjoy a more linear type of gameplay will also enjoy this type of gameplay." —Eiji Aonuma (How The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is learning from Skyward Sword's haters)
  26. "I'm working on a new Legend of Zelda game now. One thing I've realized as I've been working on it is that a lot of the things I want to do with this new 'Zelda' game are things I thought of while making Twilight Princess. I can't talk specifics, but to me, Twilight Princess was a starting point, making it possible to do what I'm doing now." —Eiji Aonuma (The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Retrospective – Episode 4: Reborn on Wii U)
  27. Eiji Aonuma, The Evolution of a Franchise: The Legend of Zelda, GDC Vault, published 2004, retrieved August 20, 2020.
  28. 2020 CESA Games White Paper (CESA) pg. 243
  29. 2020 CESA Games White Paper (CESA) pg. 240
  30. 2020 CESA Games White Paper (CESA) pg. 243
  31. 2020 CESA Games White Paper (CESA) pg. 242
  32. 2020 CESA Games White Paper (CESA) pg. 251
  33. "The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening: 549 (units in ten thousands)" — Nintendo Co., Ltd., Fiscal Year Ended March 2021 Financial Results Explanatory Material, Nintendo Investor Relations Information, published May 6, 2021, retrieved May 6, 2021.
  34. 2020 CESA Games White Paper (CESA) pg. 241
  35. "Hyrule Warriors, the amalgamation of the Legend of Zelda and Warriors franchises, has shipped 1 million units globally on Nintendo’s Wii U console, Koei Tecmo have announced. The vast majority of that shipment is presumably from the U.S., where Hyrule Warriors sold 190,000 units in its first week. In Japan, the game saw a far slower debut, selling just 100,000 units in its first full month."Hyrule Warriors Ships 1 Million Units Worldwide!, Siliconera, retrieved August 21, 2020.
  36. "「ゼルダ無双 厄災の黙示録」 370万本/全世界" — Koei Tecmo Holdings, 【IR情報】「2021年度3月期決算説明会資料」を掲載しました, IR, published November 24, 2020, retrieved November 29, 2020.
  37. "The data on this page contains all the data found on the subpages of Software by Platform, it exist to showcase all the information in one page if needed. As with the information of those pages this one contains official shipment data for games released before 1996 and Famitsu data for those released later. Digital IS NOT included."Game Search, Game Data Library, retrieved May 31, 2021.
  38. "The data on this page contains all the data found on the subpages of Software by Platform, it exist to showcase all the information in one page if needed. As with the information of those pages this one contains official shipment data for games released before 1996 and Famitsu data for those released later. Digital IS NOT included."Game Search, Game Data Library, retrieved May 31, 2021.
  39. "Nintendo distributes its products globally with overseas sales accounting for more than 70% of its total sales, and the majority of monetary transactions are made in local currencies. In addition, the Company holds a substantial amount of assets in foreign currencies; fluctuations in foreign exchange rates have a strong influence not only when accounts in foreign currencies are converted to Japanese yen but also when they are revaluated for financial reporting purposes" — Nintendo Co., Ltd., Annual Report 2020 for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020, Nintendo Investor Relations Information, published July 20, 2020, retrieved August 21, 2020.
  40. "I don't know what the marketing copy was in the US, but in Japan if you translate the phrase that Majora's Mask was marketed with it means 'This Time There's a Fear In Zelda.' That was a phrase that our past president had thought up. It was basically this idea that Majora's Mask was darker. Maybe darker is not the right term. But there was this weird vibe to the game and a strange mystery to it that was really different from what you experienced in other Zelda games." —Eiji Aonuma (Interview: Eiji Aonuma)
  41. "The need to innovate gameplay was not limited only to Zelda. Nintendo recognized the problem of gamer drift and our philosophy was a new style of gameplay was needed to breath life into the market. Our answer to this was the invention of a certain system. As you are all aware, the system we called 'Connectivity' linked the Game Boy Advance to the Gamecube, allowing the Game Boy Advance to be used as a controller with its own screen. We implemented this system of Connectivity in The Wind Waker as the Tingle Tuner, and several other titles took advantage of Connectivity as well. However, there wasn't any one title that used Connectivity as its central game mechanic, and Miyamoto felt no one had conveyed to gamers just how much fun Connectivity could be. So, work began on a multiplayer Zelda game that used Connectivity as its main game system, and I was made producer on this title." —Eiji Aonuma (Reflections of Zelda)
  42. "2004年11月4日発売(ゲームボーイアドバンス)"HISTORY, Nintendo, retrieved May 31, 2021.
  43. "2007"Hardware by Platform: Nintendo GameCube, Game Data Library, retrieved August 22, 2020.
  44. "And actually, if you look at the registration on Club Nintendo, although The Legend of Zelda series has traditionally had more of a male audience, on the Nintendo DS, it seems as though lots of women are also enjoying it." —Satoru Iwata (New Puzzles and Drama)
  45. "Once again, A Link Between Worlds demonstrates the lesson Nintendo and retailers learnt from The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, which was released in 2009 for the Nintendo DS. Spirit Tracks received a shipment of over 600,000 copies, but only went on to sell through half that amount at launch. Due to the number of unsold copies sitting on store shelves, over the next few weeks, the game’s price dropped considerably, going as low as 2,000 yen in less than two months at some stores." — Ishaan Sahdev, No, Zelda Isn’t Dead In Japan… But It Could Do Better, Siliconera, published January 10, 2014, retrieved April 14, 2020.
  46. "By the game’s second week on store shelves, A Link Between World’s total sales were at 297,215 copies, with sell-through at 96.84% (as of January 5th, 2014). Presumably, Nintendo have sent a second shipment out to retailers since, and judging by the sell-through percentages, the game appears to be doing well, relative to expectations." — Ishaan Sahdev, No, Zelda Isn’t Dead In Japan… But It Could Do Better, Siliconera, published January 10, 2014, retrieved April 14, 2020.
  47. "I think the base of our secret sauce has always been Ocarina of Time. But this time, the change in flavor will be like going from Japanese food to Western style food. Perhaps, players will be surprised. Please look forward to it, because I think we’ll be able to make ‘something new’ like Ocarina of Time was." —Eiji Aonuma (A Brief Update on Zelda Wii U)
  48. "2017"Hardware by Platform: Wii U, Game Data Library, retrieved August 22, 2020.
  49. "The need to innovate gameplay was not limited only to Zelda. Nintendo recognized the problem of gamer drift and our philosophy was a new style of gameplay was needed to breath life into the market. Our answer to this was the invention of a certain system. As you are all aware, the system we called 'Connectivity' linked the Game Boy Advance to the Gamecube, allowing the Game Boy Advance to be used as a controller with its own screen. We implemented this system of Connectivity in The Wind Waker as the Tingle Tuner, and several other titles took advantage of Connectivity as well. However, there wasn't any one title that used Connectivity as its central game mechanic, and Miyamoto felt no one had conveyed to gamers just how much fun Connectivity could be. So, work began on a multiplayer Zelda game that used Connectivity as its main game system, and I was made producer on this title." —Eiji Aonuma (Reflections of Zelda)
  50. "As some of you know, at E3 2004 we unveiled the game that would become Zelda: Twilight Princess—the realistic Zelda game. We announced that it was being developed by the team that had been developing Wind Waker 2. Actually, there’s a reason that decision was made at the time that it was. At one point, I had heard that even Wind Waker, which had reached the million mark in sales, was quickly losing steam, and that things were sluggish even in North America, where the market was much healthier than in Japan. I asked [Nintendo of America] why this was. What I was told was that the toon-shading technique was in fact giving the impression that this Zelda was for a younger audience, and that for this reason, it alienated the upper-teen audience that had represented the typical Zelda player. Having heard that, I began to worry about whether Wind Waker 2, which used a similar presentation, was something that would actually sell. In addition, because we knew how difficult it would be to create an innovative way of playing using the existing GameCube hardware, we knew what a challenge it would be to develop something that would sell in the Japanese market, where gamer drift was happening. That’s when I decided that if we didn’t have an effective and immediate solution, the only thing that we could do was to give the healthier North American market the Zelda that they wanted." —Eiji Aonuma (Reflections of Zelda)
  51. "Actually, there was a time when I thought it might be impossible to make a 3D action game that would be so accessible, anybody could easily pick it up and enjoy the experience. When you’re playing on a 3D plain, it’s so easy to lose track of where you are in the field. And if the camera moves automatically, there are people that would get 3D sickness. So during the development of Super Mario Sunshine, we prepared several different camera modes that the players can choose from. However, this burdened the players with an additional task; they had to decide on the camera angle before they could go into gameplay." —Yoshiaki Koizumi (Listening to Many Voices)
  52. "It seems a lot of people are saying things like 'Unlike 2D Mario, I get lost in 3D Mario' and '3D Mario is more difficult than 2D Mario, so I can't do it,' and I had a feeling that you were determined to do something about that sometime." —Satoru Iwata (Playing a 3D Game Like It's 2D)
  53. "Usually, when we make a Legend of Zelda game with a continuous body of land, we need an overlapping part to join one game field to the next. This time, we made all kinds of gameplay for the forest, volcano and desert areas, and needed to create roads for going back and forth among those places. Every time, it was quite a struggle to figure out how to handle those roads. [...] But the first thing we thought of this time was that perhaps we didn’t need those roads." —Eiji Aonuma (Inspired by Course Selection in Super Mario)
  54. "And actually, if you look at the registration on Club Nintendo, although The Legend of Zelda series has traditionally had more of a male audience, on the Nintendo DS, it seems as though lots of women are also enjoying it." —Satoru Iwata (New Puzzles and Drama)
  55. "At first, we had the idea of creating a good game in a short time. We thought Brain Age was our rival. Brain Age’s like that smart transfer student. The Zelda Team’s not in the top places, but it studies hard. And then comes this transfer student and easily gets the first place without studying. That’s very frustrating. After three long years, we finally finished Twilight Princess and the transfer student’s the one that’s smart and cool and gets the firs place? Damn it (laughs)!" —Eiji Aonuma (The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass interview with Eiji Aonuma)
  56. "A lot of the fans that played Skyward Sword said that they were really bummed out that they couldn’t find the hidden element of the game. A lot of the users, when they looked at the map, they said, ‘OK, there’s these places I can go, but how come I can’t go over here?’ I’ve always thought that when creating a 3D game where it’s easy for users to get lost, it’s really important to tell the users what they need to do. But then, after creating this larger world, I realized that getting lost isn’t that bad. Having the option to do whatever you want and get lost is actually kind of fun. I think fans that enjoy a more linear type of gameplay will also enjoy this type of gameplay." —Eiji Aonuma (How The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is learning from Skyward Sword's haters)
  57. "[Nintendo DS] Total hardware sales: 32.990.000 [Nintendo 3DS] Total hardware sales: 25.150.000 [PlayStation Portable] Total hardware sales: 19.690.000 [Wii] Total hardware sales: 12.750.000 [PlayStation 3] Total hardware sales: 10.400.000 [PlayStation 4] Total hardware sales: 7.850.000 [PlayStation Vita] Total hardware sales: 5.990.000 [Wii U] Total hardware sales: 3.340.000"Hardware totals, Game Data Library, retrieved May 31, 2021.
  58. Nintendo, Consolidated sales units, number of new titles, and sales units forecast (March 2021), Nintendo (PDF), published May 21, 2021, retrieved May 31, 2021.
  59. Software Data, Game Data Library, retrieved May 31, 2021.
  60. "Following a rather bitter experience with The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, Nintendo sent out a substantially lower number of copies of Ocarina of Time 3D to Japanese game stores for the game’s launch last week. Going by sales tracker Media-Create’s report, their estimates were right on the money. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D sold 164,110 copies in its first week in Japan. Media-Create say this amounts to 90.02% of all copies of the game that were sent out to retail shops for selling." — Ishaan Sahdev, How Did The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D Do In Japan?, Siliconera, published June 24, 2011, retrieved August 20, 2020.
  61. "Majora’s Mask 3D saw 79,000 pre-orders while A Link Between Worlds saw 75,000. Additionally, Majora’s Mask sold through 85.92% of its shipment at launch, while A Link Between Worlds’ sell-through was 83.47%. Given the similarities in the pre-orders and launch sales for both games, one can assume that Majora’s Mask 3D has successfully captured the Zelda fanbase in Japan." — Ishaan Sahdev, The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D Sees A Strong Launch In Japan, Siliconera, published February 24, 2015, retrieved August 20, 2020.
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