Hogwarts Legacy and The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom capitalized on existing franchises with massive fandoms, selling more than 22 million copies combined in the first two weeks and breaking records in the industry.
No.1 (so far): Hogwarts Legacy sold more than 12 million copies and made more than $850 million in the first two weeks after it was released on Feb. 7—256% more than estimated, according to the marketing lead from Warner Bros. Games.
The game, which immerses players into the ever-popular world of Harry Potter, maintained i’s popularity despite early calls to protest the release over series author J.K. Rowling’s history of controversial statements about trans people (she was not involved in the making of the game).
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom sold 10 million copies in its first three days on Nintendo Switch after it was released on March 3, according to Nintendo, making $700 million and marking it as the fastest-selling game in the history of the Legend of Zelda series.
The games ranked in the third and fourth spots are also from legacy franchises: Star Wars Jedi: Survivor joined a massive existing catalog of video games based on the George Lucas series, and Resident Evil 4, a remake of the 2005 game, sold four million copies in its first two weeks.
This list of bestsellers counts new, 2023 releases provided by Circana, which monitors physical video game sales, through May 27.
The Top Five Video Games
1. Hogwarts Legacy by Warner Bros. Interactive
2. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom by Nintendo
3. Star Wars Jedi: Survivor by Electronic Arts
4. Resident Evil 4 by Capcom USA
5. MLB The Show 23 by San Diego Studio and Sony Interactive Entertainment
The rankings released by Circana do not include digital sales of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, a number that may likely push the game over Hogwarts Legacy in rankings. Nintendo (Zelda) only shares its physical sales data, but Zelda has been the No. 1 seller in the Switch eShop for more than a month. Physical game sales are largely considered an outdated way of ranking a game’s popularity-the digital entertainment and retail association said earlier this year that 90% of games sold in the UK were digital downloads, with only 10% of games sold in disc-based copies.
The list of this year’s highest-ranking games not limited to 2023 new releases showed several from last year still have a hold on players. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, a sequel to the 2019 reboot released in October of 2022, was ranked third on the list of most popular games in the first half of the year, followed by FIFA 23 (released in September) in eighth place AND Madden NFL 23 (released last August) in 10th.
What To Watch For
An animated Zelda movie? Reporter and film critic Jeff Sneider said in June that Universal was reportedly closing a “big” deal with Nintendo for a Legend of Zelda movie developed by animation studio Illumination, which also made this year’s highest grossing film so far: The Super Mario Bros. Movie.
‘Hogwarts Legacy’ Is Europe’s Biggest Non-FIFA Launch Ever (Forbes)
‘Hogwarts Legacy’ Sold 256% More Than Estimates At Launch (Forbes)
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‘The Legend Of Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom’ Sells 10 Million Copies In 3 Days, A Stunning Record (Forbes)
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