Hyrule Warriors Sold Through Just 57% Of Its Shipment In Japan

By Ishaan . August 22, 2014 . 4:02pm

Hyrule Warriors was released in Japan last week, and the game sold 69,090 copies in its first week. Japanese sales tracker Media Create reported today that the game sold through just 57.33% of its shipment.


As we stated in our previous report on the subject, trying to compare Hyrule Warriors to other Warriors spin-offs in Japan is a little pointless. For starters, the other collaborative Warriors games are all based on popular franchises, such as One Piece or Gundam. That leads to opening sales figures like the ones below:


One Piece Pirate Warriors: 655,774

First of the North Star: Ken’s Rage: 385,295

Dynasty Warriors: Gundam Reborn: 126,019


The Legend of Zelda—at least on home consoles—is nowhere near as popular as any of the aforementioned franchises, seeing as how they’re all multimedia properties with a great deal of public awareness about them. While the portable Zelda games start out fairly strong and consistently sell over 500,000 copies in the long run, the console titles are often much slower burners in comparison.


Hyrule Warriors is also nothing like your traditional Zelda game. It plays just like any other Warriors game for the most part (albeit with a few Zelda-inspired touches thrown in), which means that it isn’t necessarily something that would appeal to the Zelda audience, which is more keen on exploration and puzzle-solving.


Gameplay is especially important to Zelda, since it is a videogame franchise, first and foremost. Unlike franchises like Gundam and One Piece that are more reliant on their characters and stories, Zelda relies primarily on its characteristics as a videogame. Thus, a change in genre, even when dealing with a spin-off title, can have quite the effect.


The Wii U having a low userbase—around 1.8 million units in Japan—doesn’t help either. Perhaps Hyrule Warriors would have found a larger audience more quickly after the actual Zelda game for Wii U had had a chance to attract fans of the franchise to the Wii U. It should be interesting to see if the game does any better in the West, where The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD has close to 1 million copies.


Sales data acquired from past Media Create archives.

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  • HarakiriKami

    Wind Waker’s first week sales were 31k btw.
    Zelda Musou’s fist week sales are double that.

    They shipped about 120k units, which is what Samurai Warriors 3 on the Wii’s launch sales were in Japan.

    • 60hz

      ya don’t say! interestings.

    • subsamuel01

      Zelda has never really been that popular in Japan. I’m sure the game will do much better in North America, and Europe.

      • AkuLord3

        Well Japan is never own for double dipping, not many people are going out to re buy the game again and no idea if download sales about it since you could get it bundle with the Wii U. Not saying it make a big difference but still

      • HarakiriKami

        Zelda still does anywhere from 300k-700k sales there

  • Snorlaxation

    Don’t worry Nintendo. It’ll sell way more over here.

  • pokeroi

    Considering how Zelda is popular in Japan, I think Nintendo is already cheering.

    • Jey

      zelda.. popular in japan?

      surely you mean VERY unpopular.

      Seriously tho i wonder why japan doesnt like Zelda. They have very questionable tastes. I for one couldnt care less about One piece or gundam nor Fist of the North star

      • landlock

        Well those 3 are huge anime and manga series that more then just a gaming audience are interested in. Zelda hasn’t got a chance against them.

      • pokeroi

        Zelda needs anime, manga and more sexy ladies. And catch and train monsters.

        • AkuLord3

          2 of those are already been done

          • pokeroi

            Not enough…

      • AkuLord3

        More popular than Sonic…so yeah PRETTY POPULAR (does more than 200k so that’s good)

      • 9breaker

        Questionable taste? It’s a different culture and you needn’t express your own lack of care about different series that aren’t even related to video games just to make some point.

  • KingGunblader

    Looks like they were anticipating a lack of demand (at least compared to other Musou titles). Good on them for not going overboard with the shipment.

  • subsamuel01

    The Wii U install base, and the fact that Zelda isn’t that popular in Japan makes this believable. I’m sure the game will sell a lot better internationally, especially for everyone who’s been waiting for something to play since MK8 was released a couple months ago.

    • How is Zelda not popular in Japan? It’s not even a legit Zelda game just a reskin of Dynasty Warriors.

      • Ecchitori

        I guess what he meant to say is Zelda is more popular outside Japan if you compare the amount of fans and sales.

        • Does that one million for WW HD apply for Japan or the West?

          • Ecchitori

            Worldwide, I think. So it applies to both.

          • landlock

            Still since it only sold through 57% of stock Nintendo must have been expecting better.

          • gwardyjay

            The article says that one million is specifically from the west.

          • JonathanisPrimus

            Winder Waker HD didn’t even sell 75k in Japan.

      • Erde

        That’s funny as Dynasty Warriors is very popular in Japan. Some of their titles sell as much as Zelda does (on home console).

  • Well they have a guaranteed sell over here with me~.

    • Kornelious

      Me too :D

    • Warboss Aohd

      And My Axe

      • Derek E Nay

        And my bow.

  • Kornelious

    I wouldn’t worry about it, it’ll sell many more once it hits the west…..which is also why they should give us a Limited Edition as well! X(

    • landlock

      I’m not sure it’ll sell that well. NOE don’t seem that sure either they’ve knocked the price right down to £29.99.

  • NintendoPSXTheSecond

    Tsk tsk, the Japanese just can’t appreciate gorgeous story telling and art styles in stuff like the Legend of Zelda. I feel bad for them.
    EDIT: Wow people seem to really like responding to me for some reason. Guess I’ll just slip back to ZeldaInformer.

    • landlock

      I really enjoy the Zelda games but gorgeous story telling? really? Well every ones entitled to an opinion.

      • TheSegaMan

        I’m confused by these comments. Do people actually think Zelda games don’t have good stories? Some of them are meh sure but this is the first time I’m hearing this.

        • landlock

          There alright Mojora’s Mask was one of the better ones. For the most part though I don’t play the Zelda games for the story. Since the games are all over the place in terms of the series as a whole when it comes to the story.

        • Alos88

          They’re decent enough, but the stories themselves are hardly a major selling point imo.
          Link always goes on a journey, but he rarely grows or matures as a character from it.

        • SeventhEvening

          Twilight Princess had me suddenly realize I’m fighting and even that isn’t doing anything with a resistance force that is resisting…. nothing. The villain plunged some parts into the shadow realm, but after you clear that up, he just sits in the castle behind a barrier. Everyone in town is happy living their lives and no one seems to be suffering. And they had awesome potential for changing the story with Zant, but then the surprise twist was “Ha! No! It’s the same story as before! Nothing’s changed! Now let’s recycle a few boss fights”

    • Nee Nee

      Over exaggerating much?

      • NintendoPSXTheSecond

        Not really. Nope.

        • King Dedede

          Honestly, Zelda games have fairly weak fairly weak stories-telling.

        • Sentinel

          While a lot of Zelda games are overall basic in their stories, I do think some are told very well.

          Wind Waker is one of them. The story isn’t surprising, but it’s told very well. One of many reasons why it’s my favorite Zelda game.

    • KingGunblader

      “Gorgeous storytelling?”

      Okay then.

    • Yan Zhao

      There’s a lot of great things we can say about the Zelda franchise. But story-telling was never its strong point.

      • DivinePhoenix69

        To be fair while Zelda’s story isn’t the greatest it’s still alot better compared to most of what Japan puts out nowadays.

    • 하세요

      “You’re the chosen hero.”
      “What’s like, my backstory?”
      “You’re the chos-”
      “I go-I…I got that. But what exactly am I doing?”
      “Beat bad guy with naughty powers. Oh, a wench with another triangle shard will help like, 30 hours in.”
      “Who exactly is this bad guy?”
      “Just know he’s been doing it for like, a long ass time.”
      “DOING WHAT?!”
      “Go forth, hero.”
      “…fine, tunic me.”

      Legend of Zelda in a nutshell. Love the series, but let’s get serious. There’s no real character development to even set a “gorgeous story.”

      • James Reilly

        Essentially my first thought hearing someone praise the Zelda “story” lol. Zelda does many things right but story is hardly one of them. You might as well praise Call of Duty for the gorgeous story telling while your at it.

    • darke

      Now, now. You know if you’re going to be that sarcastic on the internet, people are still going to take you seriously anyway if you don’t have a ‘/sarcasm’ tag at the end of your post.

      • 하세요

        He/she comes from a site where they do nothing but praise LoZ. Not used to the other side of the fence where others can actually see flaws the series.

    • Manny Being Manny

      the lack of story telling and character development is one of the reasons I think Zelda struggles in Japan. I mean hell, there still isn’t voice acting and its 2014.

      • Slickyslacker

        That’s something TLoZ has done without, though. Giving the characters voices beyond sound effects would be upsetting, wouldn’t it?

        (I’m looking at you, Phillips CD-i.)

  • TJChan01

    I hear it gets very repetitive. Well, that’s most Musou games anyway. Idk, sales figures might not do it any justice.

    • 하세요

      Repetition is somewhat subjective. It can be said for almost any game.

      “All you do in Pokemon is level up and breed.”
      “All you do in Final Fantasy is level up and spam your highest spells.”
      “All you do in Monster Hunter is slash your sword over and over.”

      It all depends on whether not you enjoy that repetition that matters. All I do in Katamari is roll in circles. Nothing else. I can play it all freakin’ day.

  • Niceneasy92

    I wonder why Zelda isn’t very popular in Japan?

    • Warboss Aohd

      it’s not reliant on overused tropes and doesn’t really pander to anyone? AKA a reason why it’s good?

      • John Smith

        Maybe the Japanese are more hesitant to accept things that are different, and prefer to get more of the same?

        • Warboss Aohd

          then how do we expect the medium to evolve if people just demand more of the same?

        • SeventhEvening

          Wait…. wait… Accepting things that are different, prefer to get more of the same? Zelda’s tropes, gameplay and progression have barely changed for decades. The story is almost identical every time and when it looks like something interesting like Zant appears, “oops, fooled you! it’s actually just Gannon again, here’s the same three boss fights you’ve gone through in three other games”

          You could make an argument about the Japanese being hesita….. Wait, Zelda is the same thing every time and the western game industry produces a new, barely changing Assassin’s Creed or COD every year without any change and Western gamers buy that up every time. No, I can’t see how the Japanese are more hesitant to accept things that are different.

      • darke

        I’d say the opposite myself; it’s seriously reliant on tropes as old as the series itself.

        And the only pandering it does is to the people who are already interested in it and grew up with Zelda.

        Like that Oreshika game, it’s be interesting to see how many people bought it simply because it’s the next entry in the Zelda franchise rather then because they thought it’d be a good/fun game to play.

        • Warboss Aohd

          they change it up somewhat each time.

          granted not much, but more than other series do.

          • SeventhEvening

            More than what other series? Western Series like Assassin’s Creed or COD? Than Mario? Because Zelda doesn’t change as much as Metroid. Or Castlevania. Or the Tales of series. Or Final Fantasy. Or Metal Gear. Or Resident Evil.

            Are you comparing it to niche titles like Neptunia, which is pure fanservice and pandering? Mechanically Neptunia has changed more than Zelda and has experimented with different gameplay styles more than Zelda has in a decade, and it’s not even a series I’d consider good.

            Zelda’s great and all, but it is one of the most trope-filled, slowest changing gamings to come out of Japan. Don’t act like it’s something it isn’t.

      • Fen Y


        Not reliant on overused tropes, not pandering???


        I love the series, but seriously, Zelda is practically the definition of overused tropes (both story and gameplay design) and pandering to OoT fanboys.

  • Eder García

    predictable, not only Zelda is not that big in Japan, also the Musou audience is not on Nintendo consoles, but at least HW is helping the WiiU hardware sales

    • CozyAndWarm

      Hopefully they give the Musou audience a chance to grow on Wii U with future DW entries or something.

  • chocodino

    this game was obviously created to make “Zelda” more popular in japan and “Warriors” more popular everywhere else [something that can hurt both franchises on their respective popular places]

  • Dianatos

    Since the Warriors games aren’t too popular outside of Japan, I doubt it’ll sell well anywhere else either

    • Warboss Aohd

      it’s Zelda, it’s gonna sell alright.

      • Adrian Duran

        but it’s on Wii U

        maybe during Winter when everyone buys it with Smash

        • Warboss Aohd

          that seems likely.

      • Go2hell66

        But its also dynasty warriors…

  • Warboss Aohd

    i’m willing to bet it will do better in the west for the sole fact it’s Zelda.

  • Aqua King

    Probably because this was released on the WII U.

    • CozyAndWarm

      Best-selling current-gen console over there. If any dev is looking for the best sales in the horribly declining console market in Japan, Wii U is the best they’ll get.

  • AkuLord3

    People need to read and understand things better. Yeah Zelda isn’t a big seller in japan but its still BIG over there and there are many factors that show why it didn’t do well its first week (and not sure why not selling big on the first week means OH NOES, i get it but calm down). It will sell as enough for a Wii U game over there.
    Besides you think Zelda isn’t popular, you should see Sonic numbers over there OOOOOOOOOOOO. No wonder Sega doesn’t give us their other games, they need the sonic money from us.

  • Leonard Norwood Jr.

    Well I do want to know why exactly Zelda isn’t so popular in Japan, I’ll take any factor to it knowing that the Zelda franchise always hinges on us buying the games and then some, doesn’t matter what country the games goes out to. Same as other games. Still I’m going to get this game anyhow.

  • Spirit Macardi

    Whatevs. Still buying it day-one myself, and I’m sure I’ll love the hell out of it.

    • The Watcher

      for the first month. lol

  • TalesOfBS

    Should i remember Japan (and everyone here) that if they don’t buy this game, they will not get Fire Emblem Warriors right?

    Anyway, considering the types of games that sell most nowadays in Japan, i think they should have put Cia and her two huge Cias on the cover. Probably it would have sold better.

  • Yan Zhao

    These numbers were kind of expected in Japan for the reasons stated in the article. I have a feeling this will be the one Warriors game that will sell better in the West due to the Zelda brand alone since Zelda is very popular in the West while DW isnt.

  • Quan Chi

    They should have made it cannon by making it a new zelda game with new characters that focused on the great war storyline of the zelda timeline.

  • Go2hell66

    Legend of Zelda is not popular!?
    *mind explodes*

    • Fefen Ardiansyah

      in japan? no its not really as popular as other nintendo franchise

    • decus

      even in america? No, it’s not really as popular (sales numbers) as other nintendo franchises.

    • Vash bane

      you’ll be surprised lol I remember a few people who played legend of Zelda and forgot all about it a week or 2 later. then you show them a vid of Zelda and they go

      “really? that was the legend of Zelda? but that was a guy you told me Zelda was a woman >:(”

      I…I think I face palmed so many times that day lol

      and guess what now some still think link was Zelda XDD

  • Jero

    Uh… that’s… not really good, I thought the game was hot shit.

    • Ruins72

      4 days, not a week. Same thing happened with monster hunter 4, released mid-sales week.

  • Anontastic

    Huh, this is weirrrrrd… Or is it?

    I mean, think about it: You have two hugely popular franchises, but when you look at it, is there really any market overlap? They’re two completely different styles of games, and that’s very obvious, so it’s not as if all the Zelda fans are gonna come running when the series’ gameplay is what keeps them coming back in the first place. Also, Zelda is a 1st party Nintendo franchise for Nintendo systems, and to my knowledge, Dynasty Warriors has been predominantly (if not entirely) on Playstation up until now. This game isn’t quite a system seller by any stretch, so even DW fans who might be interested might not own a WiiU to play it on.

    TL;DR: Appealing to the wrong fanbase using the wrong franchises on the wrong system. Didn’t work.

    • FivePointedTheStar

      I agree with you. I think the simple fact Hyrule Warriors ended up on the Wii U alone is enough to say that sales for the game would be quite low, whereas the Playstations have always been the core console for Musou games.

    • Kaien

      It worked at some extent. I was expecting a lot worse. The first exclusive Musou on a console with a lacking lineup can’t sell like a PS3 Musou.

    • decus

      Hugely popular is a bit of an overstatement for both, but especially for Zelda. Suffice to say that I won’t be shocked if it outsells Wind Waker HD in japan by the end of its run given it’s already close! Not sure on how it’ll compare in the west, but probably won’t do quite as well.

    • I’m sad that a paragraph gets a TL;DR.

      You should be more confident. If someone can’t make it through the preceding 5 sentences, screw them ;)

    • idrawrobots

      I thought the idea was quite ingenious. In Japan Muso games are pretty popular but Zelda is not as much. This game could maybe take a person that enjoys Muso and get them interested in the Zelda series. On the flopside Zelda games are popular in the West, and Warriors games are not as much.
      The thing I find strange in peers and friends is that people seem to be more interested in the idea of Zelda more than the actual games. I heard many people upset that Skyward Sword had motion controls only, and wanted to be more like Link to the Past. Then Link to the Past gets a sequel and some people seem not to play it because it’s on a handheld. Perhaps something with the characters that people enjoy but in a completely new gameplay style will resonate with Zelda fans in the West and get them interested in playing other Warriors games.

  • DivinePhoenix69

    I’m not really suprised tbqh. Oh well this is still a day one purchase for me.

  • Suzaku

    Poor market share meets a crossover of two franchises with little market overlap?

  • lyhthegreat .

    yea i read somewhere that japanese are mosly not big fans of the zelda series unlike in the west…

    • I think that’s correct. I think Siliconera had written before how the west brings more numbers for Zelda than Japan, especially on the console side.

      • ben

        Zelda is really popular. Just not as popular as some manga franchises . Manga spin off is far bigger than game spin off.

  • sakanaとkoeda

    Thanks for the article and analysis. I thought this game was just a bunch of hype personally; so I agree that this result was expected.

    • Ruins72

      this was in 4 days, not a week.

    • otakumike

      At the end of the day this is another “warriors” game. You’ll either hate the repetitive nature of it or love it. I do agree it’s as overhyped as one piece was though.

  • darke

    It’ll be interesting how well the musou-like Neptuina U does on the Vita. Neptunia games seem to sell about 60k+, though the PP spinoff didn’t go much higher then 40k from memory.

    At least that’s one musou-alike that Hyrule Warriors should be able to beat the Japanese sales numbers of. :P

    • Kayseur

      Re;birth 1 sold 31k, Re;birth 2 sold around 28k, so did Black Heart and PP.

      Don’t expect U to do much better, even if it’s musou-like/lite.

      • darke

        The rebirths are just remakes though. Are you sure those numbers for PP are right though? I was sure I read something on siliconera or one other of the japanese focused gaming sites that it was over 40k in total for sales, not just first week.

        • Kayseur

          Well, yes, I’m talking about first week numbers, just as Ishaan is talking about first week sellthrough. All of those games are probably 40k+ or 60k+ by now, but otherwise those numbers are correct (they’re from Media creates).

          And while Re;Birth are remakes, it still reflects the Vita fanbase towards Neptune games. Especially since all Neptune games so far have similar figures. I read somewhere that those games actually sold better in the west anyway. I’ve got nothing to back this up, but it might be true because from the japanese numbers I have, they hardly do much better on PS3 in comparison with its larger userbase.

          • darke

            Right, but first week numbers are pretty worthless for Nintendo games since they tend to be slow burn, so I’m trying not to compare them at their worst.

            Anyway, it will be interesting if U gets a musou bump, but I’m expecting it to sell as well as the others in the Vita really. (Then again, the *Warrior games on the Vita only sell between 40k-100k or so in total anyway, if I remember correctly, which covers the usual range of Neptune games plus more.)

  • Quinton Bowman

    pretty much knew it wasnt going sell well…Dynasty warriors aint that good… and when I heard about this and seen the gamplay it look like Dynasty warriors with a zelda reskin…. that is all….

  • It’s a spinoff of a franchise that’s not hugely popular in Japan, released on a system that’s not hugely popular anywhere. Nothing too shocking here.

  • garf02

    but 57% in 4 days is a good number, not counting whatever was sold online

  • The Watcher

    Bigger numbers in the west inbound. People need something to play on the wii u. It’s dry out in these streets and that Mario Kart 8 Flood has been drying up about now.

  • otakumike

    I’ve never seen people so conflicted in the comments. The game will sell well in the west because Zelda. It won’t sell because Dynasty Warriors. It won’t sell because WiiU. It’ll sell because starving for games.

    I’m excited to see the sales figures in the west.

  • JenkPac Shakur

    A good sign that no one wants Aonuma’s dreck or garbage spin off Zelda games. The true Zelda fans reject Aonuma Zelda and reject Zelda spinoff games and the poor sales figures reflect this.

    • Guest

      But it’s not a spin-off. It’s more a tribute game, dude. I’ve been a huge Zelda fan for almost the entire 27 years (27 years in America, 28 years in Japan) it’s been out and gaming longer than many gamers are old.

      If anyone could be called a “true fan,” it’s the hardcore gaming veterans like myself, with nearly three decades under my belt. It doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy someone’s one-time smash-up tribute to the franchise. Chill with the elitism.

      The game’s seeing low sales merely because both The Legend of Zelda and Dynasty Warriors franchises have niche markets to begin with, coupled with the fact that Wii U has a low user base.

      By the way, calling Aonuma’s work as “dreck” shows your failure as a fan. Clearly, you’ve never played Majora’s Mask or Wind Waker–some definitive entries in the Zelda franchise.

      But you’re so pretentious in holding your taste as law, you’re closed-minded to some well-crafted original experiences. Not that there’s even much any objective means by which to measure a “true” fan, since you’re basing that on your own subjectivity.

      • taienquinn

        Agreed at this point Aonuma had presided over the vast majority of the Zelda games at this stage… and was the lead dungeon designer on Ocarina… guess some people just don’t know their stuff.

  • Eh, this is to be expected, given the fact it’s on Wii U. The install base on that is rather low comparatively, so they’re probably relying on that slow burn that nintendo games seem to have.

    Plus, you’re throwing around numbers like that, but nowhere does it it say that these are Wii U numbers – it seems to be numbers for multiplat games, which kinda makes sense.

    I think we’ll get a better feel for the game overall when it hits the west, though. And an even better idea of how well it did a few years from now.

  • Bernadet Gnuyen

    lol very bias article. Hyrule warriors out sold the last 3 warriors games already, in fact its warrior concept makes all warriors games look like a bad sketch XD

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