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Can Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom reach/surpass BOTW total lifetime sales (Switch+Wii U)? How much will it do compared to BOTW?

How much will TOTK do compared to BOTW (Switch+Wii U)?

  • It will surpass BOTW total lifetime sales (Switch+Wii U)

    Votes: 8 12.5%
  • It will surpass only the Switch version of BOTW

    Votes: 4 6.3%
  • Will get close to the Switch version, but won't surpass it

    Votes: 44 68.8%
  • Half or even less than BOTW on Switch

    Votes: 8 12.5%

  • Total voters
    64
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The Legend Of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is releasing May 12th. 2023 after years of anticipation and is set to be one of the biggest launches in Nintendo's history and the biggest launch for the series. However, the question is, how much will it do compared to it's predecessor and current best selling title in the series, Breath of the Wild? Can it surpass the game's total lifetime sales when it's all said and done?

As of September 30, 2022, BOTW has sold 27,79M units on the Switch, while on Wii U it has sold around 1,70M units as of December 2020

Here's a breakdown of BOTW sales on Switch each FY:

DateTotal salesSales in the FY
March 31, 20172.76M+2.76M
March 31, 20188.48M+5.72M
March 31, 201912.77M+4.29M
March 31, 202017.41M+4.64
March 31, 202122.28M+4.87
March 31, 202226.55M+4.27M
September 30, 202227.79M+1.22M

What is your opinion? Can TOTK surpass BOTW total lifetime sales or will it fall short ot the total?
 

Fatih_656

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I didn't expect Bocchi to post on a forum without hiding her photo but anyway, it will probably pass.
If there is a next-gen update, it's very likely
 

Aleh

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Much bigger launch, good legs, but ultimately won’t pass the Switch version of BOTW. Unlike Splatoon 3 there isn’t as much room for growth, and they both aren’t radical departures from their predecessors
 

BTB123

Can't wait for TotK
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It will sell a ton, maybe over 25M but it will fall short of BotW in the end, at least on Switch. It could have long legs on Nintendo's next gen console.
 
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Torpoleon

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I expect it to have an explosive launch, potentially over 15 million by June 30 (at least 10m), but I don't see it surpassing BOTW, even if you don't factor in the extra 1.70 million from the Wii U version.

At the end of its life, I could see the Switch version of BOTW exceeding 35 million, possibly coming close to or even exceeding 40 million sales (and then the 1.70 million from Wii U would just make it even higher). I think it really depends on what sort of impact TOTK has on sales. So far it seems to have had a positive impact. Outside the launch FY, sales have not been below 4 million. BOTW should cross 30 million by the end of this FY and then leg out another 5m+ over the next several years.

That being said, I just don't see TOTK surpassing BOTW. I know 15m for a Zelda game in less than 2 months might sound crazy, but this is a sequel to a soon to be 30 million sold Zelda game on a system that will have well over 120 million units sold by May 2023. If SV does 20m this holiday, I will have more faith in TOTK doing 15m by June 30.
 

awng782

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Depends entirely on how strong its legs are, which itself will depend on how successful Nintendo's next-gen platform is and whether it has backwards compatibility and/or a next-gen version.

Launch sales will be gigantic though as the hype is enormous. Launch quarter sales will probably reach 15M.
 

Tokuiten

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Voted "half or less of BotW 1"

This is my prediction for a software-only release.

If Switch 2 launches together with the game's release, my prediction would completely change, but I can't really reflect that in the vote here.
 
I think it depends on hardware. If its switch only I dont think it will come close, will do half. If it launches with new hardware it will come close possibly but not surpass it.

BoTW continues to be an outlier for franchise in terms of performance. I’m not sure if its gonna recapture that lightning in a bottle despite the demand for it being huge. I think its gonna be explosive out the gate and slow down due to the aging hardware
 

Joxer

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Do the people saying it will only do half of BOTW realise that it will do close to that with its initial shipment?

From then on, you also expect the sequel to one of the most evergreen single-player games of all-time and a marquee Nintendo title to just fizzle out after the first few months?
 

Pancracio17

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Yeah it depends on the next gen update/backwards compatibility, on the Switch only, BotW has too many years of sales for TotK to shorten the gap in that small amount of time.
 

PillFencer

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25m+ in 1,5 month is something neither most optimistic expect, half of Breath of the Wild LTD at its opening quarter will happen though.
It'd basically be a repeat of GTA4 to GTA5 launch (with a bit more time for TotK but probably smaller user base), so yeah it's absolutely not something that anyone can actually just expect, especially with our very limited knowledge of what the game is.

My real expectations for global sales are the same as yours, that kind of feat seems a lot more doable in Japan like the 2022 sequels have shown so far (so maybe there's a chance it gets a lot closer there?)
 

JavelinR

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I dont think I can comfortably predict ANY Zelda game hitting 30m. BotW is too much of an outlier to use as a baseline imo. If TotK passes 10m I think that's doing great.
 

cw_sasuke

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I dont think I can comfortably predict ANY Zelda game hitting 30m. BotW is too much of an outlier to use as a baseline imo. If TotK passes 10m I think that's doing great.
Would be one Nintendos biggest flops if it only sells 10m after what BotW did.
Its clearing +10m in its launch month.

TotK is an Open World Zelda - there are expectations based on BotW, its not like we are talking about a traditional 3D Zelda, 2D Zelda or some Musuou spinoff.

Nintendo is developing this game with the goal of topping BotW and selling at least on the same level as BotW, everything else doesnt make much sense considering the development time and the Switch install base.
 

JavelinR

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Would be one Nintendos biggest flops if it only sells 10m after what BotW did.
Its clearing +10m in its launch month.

TotK is an Open World Zelda - there are expectations based on BotW, its not like we are talking about a traditional 3D Zelda, 2D Zelda or some Musuou spinoff.

Nintendo is developing this game with the goal of topping BotW and selling at least on the same level as BotW, everything else doesnt make much sense considering the development time and the Switch install base.
10m being a "biggest flop" sounds ridiculous for any game. Nintendo would easily make the dev costs back twice over at that number. 10m would also be the 2nd or 3rd best selling title in franchise history. For a near 40 year old franchise! Like I said BotW is too much an outlier to use as a baseline. In addition to being a breakout hit it also has 6 years as an evergreen game for the system.
 

cw_sasuke

Member
10m being a "biggest flop" sounds ridiculous for any game. Nintendo would easily make the dev costs back twice over at that number. 10m would also be the 2nd or 3rd best selling title in franchise history. For a near 40 year old franchise! Like I said BotW is too much an outlier to use as a baseline. In addition to being a breakout hit it also has 6 years as an evergreen game for the system.
If you think that Nintendo would be happy with TotK selling less than Splatoon 2 or 3 i don't know what to tell you.

You would have to disregard the last 6 years of of sales trends and information to come to the conclusion that the sequel to BotW would be developed with such a sales target in mind.
 

Tokuiten

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Would be one Nintendos biggest flops if it only sells 10m after what BotW did.
Its clearing +10m in its launch month.

TotK is an Open World Zelda - there are expectations based on BotW, its not like we are talking about a traditional 3D Zelda, 2D Zelda or some Musuou spinoff.

Nintendo is developing this game with the goal of topping BotW and selling at least on the same level as BotW, everything else doesnt make much sense considering the development time and the Switch install base.
Do you think GTA6 would be a flop if it sold 20 million less than GTA5?
 

JavelinR

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Let's not do this, you know how bad of example GTA V is.
They're both huge outliers within their own franchises. In this scenario a comparison to GTA V isn't as weird as thinking TolK would be one of Nintendo "biggest flops" for selling as much as Twilight Princess.
Will Nintendo be hoping for more, like 15-20m? Probably, sure. But I don't see where the failure would be pointed at if it does a "mere" 10-12m. Especially with it releasing in the Switch's 7th year. Maybe a Switch 2 version can boost those numbers, if it's even part of the same sku, but as long as it has to run on the current Switch TotK won't be a showcase game for the Switch 2 the way BotW was for the original Switch.
 
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After the big success of Splatoon 3 and presumably similarly big success for Scarlet and Violet I don’t see why we are still having discussions about whether Switch sequels can match their predecessors. There is no reason to doubt that TOTK can and should be a massive release that should have no problems clearing at least 20 million lifetime. I don’t see any argument why it would see such a massive decline when every other sequel is setting huge launch records.
 

BTB123

Can't wait for TotK
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Do you think GTA6 would be a flop if it sold 20 million less than GTA5?
This example doesn't work. It's not 20M less, it's less than 1/3 of it's predecessor. You shouldn't compare the total numbers like that when GTA is on a completely different level. And GTA V has been selling for way longer now anyways.

@JavelinR It should be pretty obvious that TotK will be over 10M before the end of it's first quarter. It's one of the highest anticipated games of the last few years and the sequel to BotW.
There is no way after BotW had these insane legs and wom that TotK fails to attract even a third of BotW's playerbase. Now on the Switch many Nintendo games have been selling better than ever before.
Why on earth would TotK just sell slightly more than Twilight Princess in it's entire lifetime? It won't just stop selling after the Switch 2 comes out. It's not just another random Zelda game.
 
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Tokuiten

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Let's not do this, you know how bad of example GTA V is.

This example doesn't work. It's not 20M less, it's less than 1/3 of it's predecessor. You shouldn't compare the total numbers like that when GTA is on a completely different level. And GTA V has been selling for way longer now anyways.

@JavelinR It should be pretty obvious that TotK will be over 10M before the end of it's first quarter. It's one of the highest anticipated games of the last few years and the sequel to BotW.
There is no way after BotW had these insane legs and wom that TotK fails to attract even a third of BotW's playerbase. Now on the Switch many Nintendo games have been selling better than ever before.
Why on earth would TotK just sell slightly more than Twilight Princess in it's entire lifetime? It won't just stop selling after the Switch 2 comes out. It's not just another random Zelda game.
Disagree, they're perfectly comparable because of what @JavelinR already touched upon. Both are big outliers within the franchise, GTA5 at a grander scale than BotW, but BotW still reached LTD numbers that are incomparable to any other Zelda-game. I remember when Twilight Princess breaking 10 mio was celebrated as a miracle, now BotW is at over 30 mio.

I absolutely wouldn't call BotW2 a flop if it "only" reaches 20 million LTD.
 

BTB123

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Disagree, they're perfectly comparable because of what @JavelinR already touched upon. Both are big outliers within the franchise, GTA5 at a grander scale than BotW, but BotW still reached LTD numbers that are incomparable to any other Zelda-game. I remember when Twilight Princess breaking 10 mio was celebrated as a miracle, now BotW is at over 30 mio.

I absolutely wouldn't call BotW2 a flop if it "only" reaches 20 million LTD.
TP never reached 10M, not even with the HD version. Idk what you're remembering there. The discussion is about TotK only reaching 10M, not 20M.

Edit: TP is at exactly 10M when counting both versions together as of very recently when TP HD reached 1.15M. But who celebrated that?

And your GTA comparison was mostly bad because you suggested that GTA 6 selling 20M less than GTA 5 is the same as TotK selling 20M less than BotW.
 
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LoneRanger

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If it delivers in quality I can see having a very big opening.

+ launching with new HW.

Then yes, BOTW will end with around 30-32 millions by time is sequels gets out. Zelda TOTK can pull those numbers as it will likely have a more explosive opening (+10 millions first quarter) and probably the same legs.
 

m051293

Member
Opening Week:

JP: 1.50M
NA: 4.50M
EU: 2.50M
ROTW: 1.50M

WW: 10.0M Sell-through Fri-Sun.

Remaining 7 weeks following that should allow for another 5-7M in sales for a launch quarter of 17-18M Shipped. BOTW NSW + WiiU will be at just under 33M by June 30, 2023 and TOTK will be right above 50% that total.

With digital sales and backwards compatibility on next device BOTW will leg its way past 40M over coming years. TOTK quality/reception remains to be seen, but I'm pretty confident it will make it past 30M eventually as well. If reception is exceptional, maybe it catches BOTW, but these days its hard to pinpoint final LTDs because digital storefront has lengthened the sales tail of pretty much everything.
 

balgajo

Member
I see a previous popular Zelda game like TP reaching 18-20M if it was launched on Switch. So I believe anywhere between 20M to 30M to be likely. Though from what I saw until now I don’t see this game expanding the player base. Let’s wait and see more about it.
 

awng782

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TOTK selling 10M (vs BOTW selling 30M] is the equivalent of GTAVI selling 50M (vs GTAV selling 170M). Both would be seen as huge disappointments.
 

Xevross

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This is highly dependent on the Switch 2 and when it launches in comparison to TOTK, and how they deal with game versions. I think if Switch 2 is still a way off then the Switch version only of this will reach 20m+ for sure, if Switch 2 is close but its BC/ they have a TOTK native version at launch then this may well surpass BOTW total if its as good. If they somehow botch the whole transition, which I wouldn't put it past them to do, e.g. it launches just a few months before Switch 2 which has no BC and there's no TOTK version then it will fall short of 20m most likely.

I wouldn't want to try and guess which version sells what exactly in those scenarios.

My prediction will be Nintendo don't mess this up and it sells around 25M total.
 

m051293

Member
Opening Week:

JP: 1.50M
NA: 4.50M
EU: 2.50M
ROTW: 1.50M

WW: 10.0M Sell-through Fri-Sun.

Remaining 7 weeks following that should allow for another 5-7M in sales for a launch quarter of 17-18M Shipped. BOTW NSW + WiiU will be at just under 33M by June 30, 2023 and TOTK will be right above 50% that total.

With digital sales and backwards compatibility on next device BOTW will leg its way past 40M over coming years. TOTK quality/reception remains to be seen, but I'm pretty confident it will make it past 30M eventually as well. If reception is exceptional, maybe it catches BOTW, but these days its hard to pinpoint final LTDs because digital storefront has lengthened the sales tail of pretty much everything.

Even more confident in this now that Pokemon was able to crack the 10M mark. TOTK will blast past SV's 6M outside of JP figure with ease IMO. Enough to get it to at least 10M WW as well.
 

Kmds

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Even more confident in this now that Pokemon was able to crack the 10M mark. TOTK will blast past SV's 6M outside of JP figure with ease IMO. Enough to get it to at least 10M WW as well.
See in the US that might be true, but that's definitely false in Europe, Japan and Asia as Pokemon is still bigger than Zelda in those regions.
 

Damage2

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Breath of the Wild its not going to sell 45 million, it just now reached 30 million and being an exclusive game to Nintendo plataforms its always going to limit the Sales and legs, the price never dropping too.

I think that the only sequel that sold better that the first game it was Red Dead Redemption 2, but that happened because:
- It was a prequel to the first game, so you didnt need to play the first game to enjoy the story or gameplay to the fullest
- There was a big jump from the first game, both in graphics, gameplay and world
- It was the first game post GTAV, so a lot of people wanted to see a next gen Rockstar game or just buy the game to get some Shark Cards for GTA Online
 

Tbone5189

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Breath of the Wild its not going to sell 45 million, it just now reached 30 million and being an exclusive game to Nintendo plataforms its always going to limit the Sales and legs, the price never dropping too.

I think that the only sequel that sold better that the first game it was Red Dead Redemption 2, but that happened because:
- It was a prequel to the first game, so you didnt need to play the first game to enjoy the story or gameplay to the fullest
- There was a big jump from the first game, both in graphics, gameplay and world
- It was the first game post GTAV, so a lot of people wanted to see a next gen Rockstar game or just buy the game to get some Shark Cards for GTA Online

Not 45mil? Hmmm I mean 45mil is too much but possible imo. The game is at 30mil, sequel is coming out that can boost sales and the ga,e wont stop selling for years. Personally said 35mil years ago but I'll go with 40mil
 
Why though? Literally not a single sequel of a switch game is expected to sell less than the original, even less chances than it sells half of the original.
I don't think of it that way. Every one of these sequels needs to be evaluated separately.

Kirby - The game is a new direction that the Kirby franchise needed.
Splatoon - This franchise was still unknown by the mainstream in 2017. Splatoon 3 is the first entry that the mainstream has gotten a good look at.
Pokemon - Sw/Sh was a disappointing entry on a very popular system. S/V is being received much better, so it shouldn't be a surprise that it is selling better than Sw/Sh.

The situation with BotW is very different. Lots of people rank it as the greatest game of all time. Not just the greatest Zelda game, but the plain GOAT for all games. That is impossible for a sequel to live up to. On top of that the Switch has other Zeldas like Link's Awakening and Skyward Sword which have not sold anywhere near BotW. It is not the Zelda name that has selling power. It is specifically BotW that has the selling power.

In order for TotK to sell like BotW it is going to have to be as good as BotW (or better) and that is expecting far too much.
 

wolftendo

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Kirby - The game is a new direction that the Kirby franchise needed.
Splatoon - This franchise was still unknown by the mainstream in 2017. Splatoon 3 is the first entry that the mainstream has gotten a good look at.
Pokemon - Sw/Sh was a disappointing entry on a very popular system. S/V is being received much better, so it shouldn't be a surprise that it is selling better than Sw/Sh.
Splatoon 3 also had to fight against the "it's the same thing" alegations, and some people still argue that it is not fundamentally different than its predecessor. While I disagree, I can see where they are coming from.

SV also had to deal with the framerate problems and bugs, though to be fair, the vast majority of pokemon fans don't care about the game metascore or whatever DF had to say about the game. It's probably going to become the highest selling game that DF had recommended not to buy due to it's botched release state.
 
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