I just had the pleasure of reading an article from Zeldainformer regarding the Zelda game sales among various game systems.
It is all well and good to just show a chart with all of the games and their total sales but this article takes things a step further. Something I often wonder when I see numbers but either I don’t have the time or know how to get the answers.
So Ocarina of Time is listed as the #1 Zelda game sold with 10,960,000 units purchased. At the bottom was Four Swords Adventures with just 810,000 games sold.
There were Zelda games I had never heard of listed, like Link: Faces of Evil for the Philips CD-i game console. You can see the cutscenes from the game on youtube. Warning–they are a bit cheesy.
When looking at units of Zelda games sold per console it is interesting to see that 2 of the lesser popular consoles, the N64 and Gamecube, had the highest percentages. For instance nearly 1 in 4 N64 owners purchased a copy of Ocarina of Time. I suspect that in many cases, Zelda’s release on those consoles might have been the impetus for the purchase of those consoles. Though I don’t have any numbers to back up my hypothesis.
The article does not provide any numbers for total rentals nor are they able to show used game sales. I don’t hold this against the author nor do I believe this necessarily affects things greatly. Unless there is data that exists that shows that Zelda games are more/less likely to be rented than purchased or that the games are more likely to be purchased used than new.
Ready for the next Zelda game? Here’s a gameplay preview of the new Legend of Zelda for the Wii U:
I would really like to see these same numbers for Final Fantasy games. I’ve encountered a number of Final Fantasy franchise fans that started with Final Fantasy 7.