Skyward Sword and Ocarina of Time 3D each Pass 3 Million Sales

Mases HagopianJanuary 16th, 2012 by Mases Hagopian

In the latest sales figures over at VG Chartz, the Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword has worked its way up to 3,178,433 total sales across all regions. In the most recent week ending January 7th, the game picked up an additional 68,304 sales. So while sales numbers come in on a bit of delay, this means that Skyward Sword actually broke the 3-million mark before the end of 2011. On a similar note, the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D also recently hit the 3-million mark for the Nintendo 3DS, now totaling 3,032,946 lifetime sales. However, these numbers are not all sunshine and rainbows, so go ahead and make the jump to see the negative side of things.

Skyward Sword is the fastest Legend of Zelda title to date to reach the 3-million sales mark. It’s unclear how close behind Twilight Princess was, as VG Chartz doesn’t have complete week by week data of the GameCube version. However, with Twilight Princess, it was a game that came out at the very beginning of a systems life cycle. As gamers started purchasing Nintendo Wii’s in 2007, 2008, and 2009, Twilight Princess was always a constant seller whenever a new console was purchased. With the Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, this isn’t the case at all. The Nintendo Wii is on its way out and most gamers that wanted to play the console just for Zelda, likely picked up the system years ago or even for this last holiday season.

Nintendo Wii console sales are down and there isn’t going to be that constant trickle of sales over the long haul for Skyward Sword like there was for Twilight Princess. It’s still a relatively new game and with recent special deals pricing the game at $39.99, the game still sold over 60,000 units in this last week. I can see that number cutting in half over the next several weeks, and then leveling off somewhere in the 10,000-20,000 range of weekly sales for the next several months. I think by the time the end of 2012 comes around, the game will get a 2012 holiday season push in sales, but I think the 4-million mark is going to be the ceiling for sales numbers. By this time next year the Nintendo Wii will be an old console and all focus will be on the Nintendo Wii U.

It’s strange, but despite the record speed of sales for Skyward Sword, because of its late release in the consoles life cycle, I don’t think it will enjoy the long lifetime sales like other Nintendo Wii titles enjoyed. Such games as Super Mario Galaxy, New Super Mario Bros, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and even Twilight Princess released within the first several years of the consoles life cycle, so they were able to enjoy those constant sales numbers as new gamers purchased the system. If only Skyward Sword released in 2008 or 2009… then I think it could have challenged as one of the highest selling Zelda games ever.

On the Ocarina of Time 3D side of things, I think the exact opposite. The game is currently behind Skyward Sword when it comes to lifetime sales, but I think in the long run, Ocarina of Time 3D will run well passed Skyward Sword in sales. The Nintendo 3DS is still a relatively new console, and with each new purchaser of the handheld, this gives a high chance that a copy of Ocarina of Time 3D will be purchased. For every new sale of a Nintendo 3DS in 2012, 2013, 2014, etc… a portion of those gamers will be purchasing some of the older titles, including Ocarina of Time 3D. Thus I predict sales numbers to keep escalating.

So what does this mean going forward? For one I think that Nintendo is certainly going to want to get a Legend of Zelda title out more quickly for the Nintendo Wii U. If the system releases in 2012, I think a new Zelda game has to be out by 2014, which fits their 3 year statement that they made. On the Nintendo 3DS front, I think they are in no rush to get a new game out on the system as Ocarina of Time 3D will hold its own for much of 2012, and I think the next handheld title is likely to come sometime in 2013. Who knows, maybe they’ll quickly followup a handheld title in 2013 with Majora’s Mask 3D in 2014.

Perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself, but based on the sales numbers and some logical thinking, these are the conclusions I’ve come to. What are your thoughts? What do you think of my analysis of the sales numbers? Do you think we’ll be getting a new Zelda 3DS title in 2013 and a Wii U title in 2014? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: VG Chartz

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Categorized under: Sales, Skyward Sword
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  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    I didnt say the poison F-word

  • TyDoMaster

    It needs to get re-released as a Wii U launch title.
    Then It would be the best selling Zelda ever.

    • Anonymous

      Nonsense. Although I liked the game a lot, I do want something that is up to the WiiU’s hardware capacity.
      Just like Zelda always had.

    • Croxyndorf

      ss should stay a wii exclusive only.

      • Anonymous

        I would have to disagree. Think about a kid who buys the Wii U as his/her first console and gets interested in Zelda. Shouldn’t this person have a chance to play SS without having to buy another console?

        • MaxGoldhand

          Actual you  can play Wii-Games on the U so that schouldn’t be a problem. Most people (better: most kids) won’t buy outdated Wii-Games but they wouldn’t have to buy another console…

          • Anonymous

            Oh, I thought he meant it should not be available in any form on the Wii U

        • awsomeMrlink

          I thought you needed a Wii and Wii U to play Wii U games so……

          • o0o

            …?! No, the Wii U is a completely different console!

      • Anonymous

        they aren’t going to release it for Wii U. Unlike Twilight Princess, which gained basic motion controls and pointer aim, skyward sword has nothing to gain from a Wii U release

      • SuperDBZ99

        I think there should be an HD collection for Wii U including Windwaker, Twilght Princess and Skyward Sword.

    • Raider

      I think a lot of people here are forgetting that Nintendo has announced that the Wii U can play Wii games and will use the Wii controller. Now unless I’m getting my information from the wrong place, that means Skyward Sword could possibly still be selling even after the Wii U is released.

      • ZeldaMac

        Yes.  I believe SS will get another good go-around when the WiiU releases for the backward compatibility of the system.

  • zora dude

    I bought it on the day it came out :3

    • Emiel Haakma

      Me too!

      • Anonymous

        Who didn’t?

        • communist


          • Nen desharu


          • Sdbeeler1

            Same Here

        • You-Know-Who

          Me, by the time I got to the store, it was closed. I got it the next day, though (although it was a monday so I had to wait ’till friday to play)

    • angelinkLDS

      I got the Wii U the day it came out :O I mean I will buy it the day it comes out :D

    • Anonymous

      so did I. Pre-ordered with Gold Wii remote

    • LinksDestiny

      Same here. Preordered the bundle 8D


    That’s pretty good.  How about approaching the almost 8 million the N64 version of Ocarina of Time sold? ;) 

  • Anonymous

    Well, as they said in an article a few months back, an earlier unfinished game is worse than a late finished game. About OoT 3D, as long as the 3DS is popular, so will OoT 3D.

  • Stephen

    I think Skyward Sword will be helped by the Wii U playing Wii games. Plus the Wiimotion+ will become the standard and only Wiimote you can buy.

    • Lyle91

       I don’t have a working Wii so I also have yet to buy Skyward Sword.  When I get a Wii U at the end of the year I plan on getting Skyward sword with it.

  • Jacob Welch

    That is ridiculous.

  • Anonymous

    So long as it doesn’t stop Nintendo making them, I don’t care how popular or unpopular Zelda games are. I will continue to buy them, play them and love them.

    • Guest

      While I agree with you, and will also always play Zelda games as long as they are being made, realistically the popularity of Zelda is important. If the games stop selling well, Nintendo may put the series on hiatus, or stop making Zelda games altogether. Though I really hope that doesn’t happen.

  • Samba Yamessou

    if nintendo are smart they’ll release at least one of their top first party game at launch of the wiiu. my vote is a zelda title of course.

    • Mr. Resetti

      I agree, they should release a first party title with Wii U and I’d love it to be zelda but I doubt they will, unless they have secretly been re-making a previous zelda game with HD graphics then I doubt  they will have a tLoZ by launch :'(  but, on the bright side of things, Pikmin 3 could be out in 2012, years ago I heard about it being confirmed for development for Wii so they have to have it almost complete for Wii U. And if Pikmin doesn’t float your boat (shame on you if it doesn’t :D) A Mario game shouldn’t be far away, maybe a Mario party or a new Kart or Galaxy or 3D land HD …. So many possibilities…can’t wait for E3 announcements.

    • YourAvgZeldaDude

      If I remember correctly, Gamecube had a few really good launch titles, the most important one being Super Smash Bros Melee. The Wii had Wii Sports (which came with all Wiis) and Twilight Princess (which is a Gamecube game imported over to Wii). I hope the Wii U has some good games at launch. I believe at E3 2012 we’ll all get blown away by some amazing games.

    • o0o

      Most likely Mario. The next console Zelda won’t be released for another 2-3 years, sadly.

      • Anonymous

        I would much rather wait than have an unfinished/poor Zelda game

        • Guest

          I agree.

      • Lyle91

        I was actually thinking we’d get a Metroid game.

  • Twilight+Sword

    Well Zelda Twilight Princess was the most memorable game for me I love it a lot. Skyward Sword is a great game but not as memorable for me, but I still love it a lot. Super Smash bros brawl is great for when I want to be Zelda/Sheik, Ike, Link , Marth and fight my sister an brothers without hitting them. I don’t know how mario galixy got there just looking at it make me want to puke, and it is soooooo unrealistic it lacs logic running round and round in curcles on tinny spheres that gravity wouldn’t work on. That’s why I love Zelda sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much it is awesome it is realistic it makes sence and it has an awesome in depths plot line, and the facted that Zelda had an impact on my life… I just LOVE the legned of Zelda

    • Elijah

      Mario games are not supposed to be realistic, they are supposed to be fun.

    • You-Know-Who

      Walking into random people’s houses and taking their money isn’t realistic, unless Link’s commiting robbery.

    • Anonymous

      Just imagine each floating object in Galaxy is it’s own controlled gravity well, suddenly it makes a lot more sense, especially since they pull you back to them no matter how far you jump. (unless there’s another nearby object)
      Also, can you find a single Mario game in existence that is even kind of realistic?

    • I hate CoD fanboys

      Me too, but Mario and Zelda are supposed to be fun, not realistic. Thats why I hate those CoD whores.

      • Mr. Resetti

        Same here, those graphics whores can’t say anything about tLoZ or Mario being unrealistic because CoD isn’t even realistic: Multiplayer – hose down an enemy with machine gun fire for 30 seconds then they just turn around and blow your head of with a pistol.
        – single player campaign- “Get on that machine gun” kill some enemies rocket hits the machine gun, blows it up but you walk away in one piece.that happens loads of times in each game not just once.
        -Aside from that CoD is good.

    • Guest

      mario is still awesome, the game is NOT suposed to be realistic bro, its a platformer. if mario were realistic then it would freakin suck.

    • Anonymous

      Zelda isn’t realistic. And Super Mario Galaxy is a great game. Thats why they made Super Mario Galaxy 2. An what Mario game is realistic? Its a game about a Plumber fighting walking mushrooms and turtles to save a princess from a turtle/dragon thing, not to mention he can jump five feet straight up

  • Twilight+Sword

    Is the Ocarina of Time bundle a limited edition or just a specal ediction? I would really like to know. and what’s a good price for it.

    • BlueNovas

      Special edition and I got it at Gamestop for $199 

  • Anonymous

    It is still very impressive that Skyward Sword reached over 3 million sales in less than 10 weeks, where as Twilight Princess reached 2 million in 11 weeks.  

    I think SS will sell around 4.5 million, and that to me is fine.  That’s still really good for a Zelda title.  The fact that it can sell that many so quickly at the end of the system’s life cycle says a lot.  

    Most importantly, remember what Nintendo said – they debated releasing SS earlier to make more money, but instead, they chose to spend that extra time to polish the game because it is more important to make the fans happy than make more money.  

    That to me is what really matters, and why SS was able to now be considered by many to be the best in the series. 

  • Son of a Zora

    I think that your predictions is pretty accurate, and I totally want to get a 3ds and Skyward Sword.

  • Robotortoise

    So know we know: Zelda games need to be released at the beginning of a console’s lifespan to enjoy huge sales.

    …and remakes work too.

    My solution? Zelda Wii U HD collection FTW, baby!

  • Thareous

    I’d expected Skyward Sword to sell more. It was basically Nintendo’s biggest contribution to the Zelda Anniversary and should have been more well-received. In fact, based on my own feelings toward SS, it deserved to sell more and surpass all of its biggest competitors, such as Modern Warfare and, yes I’ll say it, Skyrim.

    • Nen desharu

      I also expected SS to sell more (especially given that it has a broader demographic).  The other games you mentioned have much larger advertising budgets.  Only if Nintendo increased their advertising budget (and focused on gameplay) will SS be competitive.

    • Plokos

      Skyrim sucked man. I played it for about 5 hours and couldn’t get into it. Zelda all the way.

    • Guest

      considering skyrim is on PC, PS3, 360 i doubt zelda would sell more, but im impressed with SS so far since it has 3 mil in such a short time. 

      as for MW3, this age is the age of violence and “mature” gaming so these douchebags will keep on buying it :(

      • Nen desharu

        Sad but true.  Do not forget that the former also falls under the same category of the latter, in terms of making “The Itchy and Scratchy Show” look like a Kirby game.

  • Guest

    3 Million for a remake! That’s pretty amazing. Hopefully this will encourage Majora’s Mask 3D!

  • You-Know-Who

    I always wanted to see MC remake into 3d graphics and more kinstone pieces for more pieces of hearts!

  • fused_shadows

    I know a guy who bought a Wii just so he could play SS. He got Brawl too, but that was just so he could have two games.

    I believe that the next zelda game will be a 3DS title released 2013 around October-December. It matche sup with most of the Zelda games so far; being about 2 years apart. I hope for a Zelda Wii U in mid-to-late 2014. Any later and I think the same thing that might happen to SS will happen to it.

  • Darkone

    You can’t blame a game coming out at the end of a consoles life cycle as the reason it sold poorly, yes SS did sell poorly, it’s not the games fault or Nintendos fault, it’s just the fact that so many big name games came out around the same time, they all got lower sales than expected.

    Plus the fact that BF3 was such a surprise hit, dominating the multiplayer FPS market out of virtually no where, and Skyrim was such an amazing installment in TES series out on every console but Wii, it’s just natural that a game that was hardly advertised, for one console kind of got ignored at first, I would expect sales to continue growing until they catch up with TPs sales towards the end of the year.

    • Anonymous

      What are you talking about?  SS did not sell poorly.  None of the previous Zelda titles sold over 3 million in just 8 weeks time.  SS is actually selling successfully and faster than any of its predecessors.  TP sold 2 million at 11 weeks. 

  • zeldamaster123


  • Kikirini

    Well… I bought a Wii just for the sake of playing Skyward Sword.

    …even if I wanted one for the longest time, anyway. xD;;;

  • Guest

    well thats nintendos fault for releasing it so late, but i cant blame them too much…

    also many people complain about the motion controls (which i dont understand) i see people giving the game a 6/10 cause they couldnt work with the motion controls. thats pretty sad since i loved the motion controls and it felt so easy to perform. 

    good luck skyward sword, hope it reaches the 6 million mark at the minimum. 

  • shawkat

    well i know a guy who wants skyward sword but doesnt have a wii so hes gonna get it on wii u. i know thats only one guy, but im sure there are many others in the same situation

  • Anonymous

    This is for all you Halo and CoD fanboys out there who thinks zelda sucks, F*** OFF!!! Zelda FOREVER!!!

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  • K2L

    It’s quite sad tha SS only managed to sell as much as MM and TWW, two of the worst-selling games in the series (despite being cult favorites). Honestly, they had asked for it: Delaying the game further and further led it to the quasi-end of the Wii cycle, and having to compete against several other anticipated gaes. Hopefully Nintendo will start planning their releases more inteligently in the future. That is, of course, if they pretend to keep into the hardware market.

    • Guest

      Do you have a time machine and are telling us from the future that Skyward Sword’s sales will instantly stop after the posting of this article?

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  • Anonymous

    Well, the problem with SS is that it is too expensive! TP has the Nintendo Selects going for it, making the game 20$ cheaper than SS. This is the same reason why Super Mario Galaxy is so high in sales. If SS were a Nintendo Selects title it would sell way more. Also:
    “In the PAL region which covers most of Asia, Africa, South America, Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific and most of Western Europe, Twilight Princess is the best-selling Zelda game ever. During its first week, the game was sold with three of every four Wii purchases.The game had sold 4.52 million copies on the Wii as of March 1, 2008,and 1.32 million on the GameCube as of March 31, 2007.”

    • Moribund Cadaver

      SS is priced the same as any new title, and its sales are actually healthier than Twilight Princess during the same time frame at the launch of the Wii itself. Consumers are capable of determining that Nintendo Select titles are discounted *because they’re old games*. Not because they’re priced at twenty bucks for no apparent reason.
      There’s no way Nintendo could have afforded to release Skyward Sword at the same price as Select imprint Twilight Princess anyway. It’s kind of a huge game, and quite expensive. They do need to make money.

  • Anonymous

    This is across all regions right? It’s a bit sad though that Skyward Sword didn’t fare well in its home country.

  • Moribund Cadaver

    Many people have had their sales expectations affected by living in an age of sales hype: big publishers tout how leading games sell four, six, eight million copies in X weeks.

    However, as has been observed, these sales are in line with or better than Zelda sales. And that’s with all the game’s challenges! Such as being released at the end of the console’s life cycle, and the cynicism surrounding motion controls.

    Another thing to remember: the big games typically promoted as having mega sales are usually heavily front loaded. Their huge sales are, in part, due to the massive media blitz that has become the norm for modern game. The sales of most of those games drop off sharply after the first three months. Nintendo titles tend to be evergreen and keep selling for years.

    With Wii U supporting Wii software and peripherals Skyward Sword will keep selling on Wii U. Over its lifetime it may very well outsell Twilight Princess or Ocarina of Time. I believe some of its initial sales may be muted due to the attempts at hostile word of mouth by bitter fans who want to convince everyone the game “ruins” Zelda by changing the formula and by having full motion controls.

    But the quality of the game is unmistakable. It has very positive word of mouth from people who have actually played it and bothered to try and play it right. It will continue to be recommended by players in the coming months and years.

    And let us hope the sales of Ocarina of Time 3D promote a Majora’s Mask remake. If there’s ANY game that deserves a detailed remake it is Majora’s Mask. The notion of that game with frankly terrible N64 technical limitations removed is formidable. 

  • Walter Bomba

    That’s pretty much the exact same thing I was thinking, 3DS game in 2013 and Wii U Zelda in 2014, I wish it was a lot sooner though aha.  :(

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