New Nintendo release The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is making waves in the UK gaming industry. The game has comfortably secured the title of biggest boxed launch of any game in 2023, according to figures provided and shared by GfK. GamesIndustry.biz Christopher Dring.
Compared to other notable 2023 releases, Tears of the Kingdom sold 54% more than Hogwarts Legacy, another important release of the year. However, the comparison does not provide a complete picture of the game’s overall success, as Nintendo does not share data on digital sales, and adoption of digital downloads is growing.
The comparison to Hogwarts Legacy is particularly noteworthy, with the latter launching on multiple platforms including PS5, Xbox Series, and PC earlier in the year and on last-gen consoles just last month. On the other hand, Tears of the Kingdom is exclusive to Nintendo Switch. It should be noted that Hogwarts Legacy has not yet been released on the Nintendo Switch, with a release planned for later in the year.
In terms of sales within the Zelda series, Tears of the Kingdom is currently the fourth highest grossing game in the UK. However, it failed to become the Switch’s biggest UK launch, with less success than last year’s release of Pokemon Scarlet and Violet.
However, Tears of the Kingdom holds the title of the biggest boxed video game launch of the year in the UK. Opening week sales outsold Hogwarts Legacy by more than 50%. The game also outsold the opening week sales of “Breath of the Wild,” the 2017 Zelda title, by more than 2.7 times, making it the biggest Zelda launch in history.
In terms of all-time sales, Tears of the Kingdom is the eighth biggest Zelda game, besting 2011’s version of Skyward Sword on Wii and 2003’s The Wind Waker on GameCube. When considering revenue, it ranks as the fourth biggest Zelda game, after Ocarina of Time, Twilight Princess, and Breath of the Wild.
Despite not being the Switch’s biggest launch in terms of unit sales, it was pretty close. Its opening week sales were only 12% lower than Pokemon Scarlet and Violet. However, in terms of revenue, ToTK is the biggest Switch release ever, with an 8% increase over Scarlet and Violet. This rise in revenue can be attributed to the popular limited edition Tears of the Kingdom, which carries a price tag of over £100.
The success of Tears of the Kingdom also positively influenced its predecessor, Breath of the Wild. Sales of the latter were up 31% on a weekly basis, which placed it at No. 8 in the charts for the week.