With record-setting sales for both the “Zelda” franchise and Nintendo in its first three days, “The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom” is every bit the phenomenon fans hoped for. It arrives six years after “Breath of the Wild,” which snatched up countless Game of the Year accolades and player hours. The latest game, available only on Nintendo Switch, further expands the kingdom of Hyrule and many critics have hailed it as a new zenith for the series.
These games typically have long legs, with sales extending deep into the holiday season. Two weeks after its release, here’s what interest in “Tears of the Kingdom” looks like based on CivicScience consumer-reported data. Just 4% of U.S. adults polled have already played the latest “Zelda” game – but triple that figure still plan to play it in the future. Daily and weekly gamers widely over-index in intent to play, but more casual gamers fall under the Gen Pop’s interest levels. Nevertheless, while some game sales can be frontloaded in the early weeks, that very much does not seem to be the case here.
“Tears of the Kingdom” could provide yet another boost to Nintendo Switch sales.
One in five Nintendo Switch owners have already played “Tears of the Kingdom,” and another third plan to play it in the future. But intent to play is even higher among Nintendo Switch intenders – nearly half of them (47%) plan to play the game in the future.
Some event games can move the needle enough for gamers to purchase a brand new system, and six years into its lifespan, that might still be the case for the Nintendo Switch. More than half of all U.S. adults who plan to buy a new gaming console primarily to play a single game (57%) also intend to play “Tears of the Kingdom.” Nearly one-quarter of adults who claim to have done this already also intend to play “Tears of the Kingdom,” so a fair chunk may have pre-emptively bought their Switch for this moment.
Could “Zelda” be Nintendo’s next box office hit?
Following the runaway success of “The Super Mario Bros. Movie,” you could make a fairly safe bet that more Nintendo big-screen offerings are on the way. And why not “Zelda”? According to the latest CivicScience data, over one-quarter of U.S. adults are at least ‘somewhat likely’ to see a ‘Legend of Zelda’ movie adaptation – to say nothing of the kids they might bring along. In comparison to another enormous franchise, these interest levels come in lower than early CivicScience tracking for “Avatar 3,” but that’s also a sequel to two of the three highest-grossing global releases ever. A “Zelda” movie would still put up huge numbers.
So there are highly promising signs ahead for the future of “Zelda” this year – and potentially in the years beyond on the silver screen. Want to know more about entertainment and gaming industry insights before anyone else? Get in touch.