ZeldaBlog

Zelda in Third Place

December 19th, 2005 at 8:19 pm by Archaic Sage

Today I was looking at Nintendo.com and I came across some interesting sales figures. Zelda is the third best selling franchise in Nintendo’s history! Just ahead of DK, and miles behind Pokémon and Mario. This makes the game an ever more formidable power in Nintendo’s control.

Source: Nintendo [as of Sept 2005]:
Total Mario series: more than 184 million units sold worldwide
Total Zelda series: more than 47 million units worldwide
Total Metroid series: more than 11 million units worldwide
Total Pokémon series: more than 143 million units worldwide
Total Donkey Kong series: more than 44 million units worldwide

Celebrations or commiserations. It’s your call. But I know I’m celebrating.

Filed under News, Nintendo, Announcements

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45 Messages from the Gossip Stones about “Zelda in Third Place”

    Comments

    Those are two fine series to be in third place to.

    I’m not so sure that Pokemon should be that far ahead. It’s not fair. All the new GB ones are all the same except for the cartridge color and I don’t know what’s so special on the 3-d ones. Zelda should be numero dos.

    Pokemon is cool and all, but it gets boring, fast.Zelda is cool, specially since you don’t need to level up (in AoL you do need to level up) plus, the monsters don’t sound like beeps, squaks, or foghorns.

    184 mill! Jeeze mario! The franchise sold more than the others only really because Nintendo puts Mario’s damn name on everything (which isn’t a bad thing, Mario is teh best!).

    Did I just hear you put Mario before our beloved LoZ!? *Battle cry* You’ll pay for your insulting words towards Zelda, traitor!!!

    I’m just kiddin’ but I still like LoZ alot more than Mario.

    I’m with phantompig, your name is hypocritical Legend of Link if you say Mario is the best. However, I’m not going to go there. I think that if nintendo sold more consoles, the Zelda Franchise would do better. With all the lousier fans moving to Final Fantasy (Which isn’t bad, I love Crystal Chronicles, but Zelda is still #1, with Fire Emblem #2), the hardcore fans are all who buy the new games. Twilight Princess’s delay may affect sales, I don’t know. But Nintendo needs something…..spectacular. The Zelda fanworld is collapsing around our ears because many like more realistic graphics. TWW was great, don’t get me wrong, just so many seemed to hate it, which I think sucks. As quite a few people know, I’m 12. But don’t kill me, I’m DEFINATLY not a n00b. I’ve been searching everywhere for that last (argh) oracle game which I just can’t beat, have been playing Oot for 3 years and still can’t beat it (lol) and love every game. Just Aol was disapointing a bit. Anyways, Pokemon does get old, FAST. But Mario, I didn’t like the well….rigidness. Zelda gives a whole overworld, and still get’s #3. But I’m with TML, celebrate that it isn’t dying alone and cold in 100th place.

    I think this means we win. Bronze or something. I’m not exactly sure how it works out. :P

    • 8. TSA says:

    You have to account for certain variables.

    1. Zelda began in 1986 and thus the market size was not the same as it was now. Pokemon started over a decade later, with an expanded market.

    2. How many Mario games counted in those sales compared to Zelda? How many Pokemon games compared to Zelda?

    3. Mario and Zelda have had wider mainstream culture support and heavier marketing than Zelda.

    4. The price of the games counted in each series compared to the other series (I’m pretty sure Zelda’s average is above Mario or Pokemon’s)

    5. Did they factor in all versions and re-releases?

    • 9. TSA says:

    Ack - I also forgot to ask what the heck does Nintendo consider a “unit” to mean.

    Also, the report does not say anything about Gross or Net Sales from each series…like how much actual MONEY was made.

    Are these worldwide sales?

    Finally, over what time period was this report supposed to be for?

    Hmm…a unit. I would think that anything that falls under a franchise would be considered a unit(I.E games, clothing, candy, etc.)

    I’m not sure what you mean by time period but it says those results were from Sept. 2005.

    TSA said:

    Ack - I also forgot to ask what the heck does Nintendo consider a “unit” to mean.

    Finally, over what time period was this report supposed to be for?

    Unit would I imagine be a single game in the form of a cartridge or disc.

    And I think those statistics are since the launch of their respective genres, over their entire lifetime. Because Mario Bros. 3 I remember sold between 30 and 50 million back in the day.

    TSA makes a good point, when Zelda and Mario were released, “Gamer’s ” were getting their lunch money stolen and shoved into lockers. When pokemon thunder-shocked it’s way onto the scene, Gameboy’s were in a significantly larger amount of stocking’s than home consols. Also, the Pokemon games on a whole are a lot less complicated, and for that matter, difficult than Zelda titles. Therefore, when mom and dad went christmas shopping, they said, “Let’s by tommy Pokemon, it’s a fun and easy game he’ll know how to play.”

    All i’m saying is, pokemon Blue version: Finished in 9 hours. The ledgend of Zelda:30 hours and still kicking. (That’s the re-released version on GBA mind you.)

    • 13. TSA says:

    Does a re-sold game count as a “unit”, or just original sales.

    Did they start counting games from 1985 until September 2005, or did they begin at a later date? If it was worldwide, did it begin in 1983?

    That clarifies more what I was asking about with those two questions.

    I should imagine that any unit they sold, be it a re-release or not would count as a sale, as they’ve made money from it.

    Furthermore, I’d also assume, that as it is worldwide sales (as it states in the table, which I copy and pasted from Nintendo), it’s from the start of each series.

    I think its done very well considering what it was actually up against. And as pointed out, Pokemon came at a time when the market was gearing up, it was also on gameboy therefore cheaper and more kids were likely to have a GB than any other console. Anyway don’t diss pokemon - it was a good game AND it saved Nintendo’s skin. If it hadn’t been for pokemon, they might have gone the same way as SEGA (RIP).

    TSA said:

    Does a re-sold game count as a “unit”, or just original sales.

    Did they start counting games from 1985 until September 2005, or did they begin at a later date? If it was worldwide, did it begin in 1983?

    Again, my hunch:

    (a) I would reckon only new games. I don’t think a game company would care about resells quite so much since they don’t make money the second time around.

    (b) I would imagine starting the first day Super Mario Bros. was sold; whether it’s worldwide (likely) or State-side (unlikely), I can’t tell you.

    By re-sell, I believe that would mean ports and remakes. As such, I don’t see why it wouldn’t count.

    As much as I like Mario I have to admit that I would love to see a Zelda game be a launch title for a new Zelda Console, now that would send pre-orders through the roof.

    I invoke the power of a grade school rhyme: First is the worst, second is the same, third is the one that WINS THE GAME.

    That is all.

    phantompig said:

    Did I just hear you put Mario before our beloved LoZ!? *Battle cry* You’ll pay for your insulting words towards Zelda, traitor!!!

    I’m just kiddin’ but I still like LoZ alot more than Mario.

    I like Zelda more than Mario by far! When I said “Mario is teh best!”, I just wanted to make clear that I dont hate Mario when I said before: “Nintendo puts Mario’s damn name on everything”. Super Mario land is my 2nd favorite game next to either the Zelda 64’s or WW. ;)

    I don’t agree that Zelda being a launch title would send pre-orders through the roof. I’m not even that excited by TP if I’m blatantly honest. It’s about time that Nintendo made some REALLY good decent games like they used to; all my favourite cube games are by other software houses. Zelda is a STRONG franchise with a lot of fans but there’s no way it could survive without Mario, Pokemon etc.

    Zelda’s number 1 in my book, pokemon is -1,000,0000,000.

    People, don’t dis Pokemon. They really are an enjoyable seires of RPGs. I’m surprised that so many units of Pokemon games were sold, considering Zelda has been around much longer. As for Mario’s numbers, I’m not surprised at all. That little plumber can’t stand to not be in a Nintendo game for a long period of time. Look at the portrait behind Link and Zelda on top.

    Nintendo, if they could pull out something…well, incredible, that would drive sales from Hyrule Castle to Death Mountain. Honestly, it may be that Mario and Pokemon take less effort time to make. Pokemon and Mario are fine, I just find that they don’t have that classic feel that I get with Zelda. So…..does anyone have any ideas that Nintendo could make an incredible, one-of-a-kind game? And how much did the Wind Waker’s graphic style affect income/ net profit?

    Well guys, I think we all know that the only way to win in this game is to start buying all the Zelda merchandice we can get our hands on. I’ll start in Canada. Who’s with me? :D

    • 26. Uppa says:

    I guess I’m alone, then. I like Pokemon and Mario a little bit more than Zelda. For me, I was able to experience each genre as a young child, and I can gauge what I believe to be better by the excitement I felt when witnessing each series. Zelda was marvellously enjoyable, but Mario 64 (my first Mario game) simply captivated me with its soundtrack and atmosphere. Pokemon allowed me to fully immerse myself in the quest, I couldn’t imagine myself as Link, at least not as well as Pokemon, that is. It’s very close, though, but Zelda’s formula has becoming rather tiring. Not that Pokemon or Mario haven’t, but I can still ‘be’ the main character in Pokemon, and I’ve known Mario longer than Link. This is why I can’t wait for the Revolution, and I’m glad that Twilight Princess will be the last Zelda game in its current form. I just hope that the new Zeldas are wildly different.

    spikerman said:

    Zelda’s number 1 in my book, pokemon is -1,000,0000,000.

    Oh that is just harsh. I really like Pokemon. I am with you Archaic Sage, those are two great franchises to lose to!

    Ok the CUBE games have been lacking in a way but I do think that TWP will change that, it may be the last CUBE game but its one hell of a game to go out on.

    I wonder where Legend of Zelda would rank if we divided the sales by the number of games (or units, whatever) available for the franchise.

    whats up with Pokemon beating Zelda? i mean, i like pokemonm, but, jeez, this is ZELDA we’re talking about!

    phantompig said:

    I’m not so sure that Pokemon should be that far ahead. It’s not fair. All the new GB ones are all the same except for the cartridge color and I don’t know what’s so special on the 3-d ones. Zelda should be numero dos.

    You said it!!

    Darth Citrus said:

    Well guys, I think we all know that the only way to win in this game is to start buying all the Zelda merchandice we can get our hands on. I’ll start in Canada. Who’s with me? :D

    lol. oh, DC, you make me laugh!! I’ll take care of Kentucky (noethern, mind you)! who’se with ME?!

    Archaic Sage said:

    I should imagine that any unit they sold, be it a re-release or not would count as a sale, as they’ve made money from it.

    Furthermore, I’d also assume, that as it is worldwide sales (as it states in the table, which I copy and pasted from Nintendo), it’s from the start of each series.

    I covered this on my site 3 days ago. it is worldwide sales and its not from the start of each series but from September 2005.
    Of coruse I could be wrong but thats what my source(Nintendogal.com) said.

    Darth Citrus said:

    Well guys, I think we all know that the only way to win in this game is to start buying all the Zelda merchandice we can get our hands on. I’ll start in Canada. Who’s with me? :D

    I got dibs on Florida! Heh, heh…those kids won’t know what hit em’ when I bring down my wallet.

    bob23 said:

    its not from the start of each series but from September 2005.

    Impossible. There is no way that Mario could have sold 100-some million units in just the past two or three months. The statistics STOPPED, not started, at September 2005, so the stats are computed from the birth of the genres until 9/2005.

    I asked earlier, what did Wind Waker’s graphic style do to total sales? And I can definatly take care of Virginia, DC area. In fact, I’m cracking open my piggy bank- computer bank account to see if I’ve got enough for TP, or maybe for my birthday. Is TP going to be another $49.99 game?

    The Missing Link said:

    bob23 said:

    its not from the start of each series but from September 2005.

    Impossible. There is no way that Mario could have sold 100-some million units in just the past two or three months. The statistics STOPPED, not started, at September 2005, so the stats are computed from the birth of the genres until 9/2005.

    Yeah your probably right. :P Still cant belive pokemon sold 143 million units.

    I don’t think people realize how freakin’ successful Pokemon has been. They sell mass. Despite the fact that Pokemon is out of the mainstream limelight, it remains a strong seller for the Big N to this day.

    I can say that the reason that Mario beat Zelda is because Mario is for all ages including younger people who probly can’t play zelda , Mario is also more known around the world , Mario is Nintendo’s mascot and they self promot him a lot and there are heaps of 2nd and 3rd party developers who make different mario games such as Paper Mario , Mario Party , Tennis , Golf , Soccer and Base ball on top of Nintendo’s games like Mario Kart and also games like mario 64 and sunshine. As for Zelda , Zelda games take longer to make than mario games and the only 3rd party company they have is Capcom.

    Mario and Pokemon beat Zelda because they have more games and Pokemon is for all ages and so is mario. Zelda should beat Mario because Mario makes sport games of it and they are fun but who would want to be Mario in a sports game it gets annoying.

    I’m hearing alot of bewilderment over the success of Pokemon, and to a lesser extent, mario. the thing you need to relize is that on a hole, Mario and Pokemon are much more visible to the public’s eye. Zelda? vidiogames, small amounts of merchandise, and a short lived cartoon and comic book. Mario, on the other hand, has videogames, a larger Merch. Section, a season-spanning TV show, and the added bonus of being Nintendo’s official Mascot. And on the final other hand, Pokemon. Videogames, the longest Running television show, trading card games, more Merch. Than the other two combined comic books, probably more stuff I’m forgetting, and a theme park in Japan. Yes people, There is a full, six-flags sized, theme park in Japan devoted solely to Pokemon. So in terms of pure exposure (which I’m sure translates into unit’s sold on some level.) Pokemon takes the cake.

    By the way, I’ve got Texas, just point me in the direction of a good store. or Ebay, I can cover that too ;)

    Darth Citrus said:

    Well guys, I think we all know that the only way to win in this game is to start buying all the Zelda merchandice we can get our hands on. I’ll start in Canada. Who’s with me? :D

    I gots Cali! Oh crap it is so big! I had better tell my cousins in Tahoe! Ok I’m takin’ the western half, and they’ll take the eastern half! ;)

    The funny thing about Zelda is that its got a massive online following as say opposed to Mario, even though Mario is more recognisable. I remember in my intorduction at work saying that I ran a Zelda website and only one person on my team knew about it even though all the lads loved videogames. Hardly anyone who’s not a major Nintendo fan knows Zelda, and I even known Nintendo fans who don’t KNOW Zelda.

    There’s nothing wrong with Pokemon. Pokemon was Nintendo’s lifeline when for some bizairre reason, no-one wanted the excellent N64 :( Although admiteddly Nintendo don’t really try with their games anymore. The cube titles have been under par considering. All my favourite cube titles are by other developers.

    Ill handle the North West of England area for Zelda merchandise… but to be honest ill be lucky to find any.

    I wish there were some Nintendo shops outside of London…. erm at least I think theres one in London.

    I’ve been wanting to buy one of those Link lollipops that are found in video game shops. Buy Zelda merchandise? Nintendo I don’t think get the money this way, but, if we want to buy lots of Zelda things, To E-Bay!! *sings Batman theme*

    Six more pots until the 50th Post award!Comeon peoples, lets get going with the Blogging.Thats alot of copiesf for any one of those games.

    There are Link Lollipops now Kojinka?