Posted by: seanmalstrom | October 1, 2016

Email: Zelda’s True Popularity

Here is an in-depth email. The information below was sent to me in a text file. WordPress is really bad about formatting.

Image result for zelda

Hey, I thought you might find this potentially insightful. I came across this old text file I had been writing a while ago wherein I analyzed the sales of Zelda games through time against population changes in the USA and Japan.

I seem to have reached Wind Waker before my comments petered off, but there’s some surprising things you can discover with these numbers. Of particular interest was how even with the cartridge shortage, Adventure of Link still outperformed Majora’s Mask by quite a bit. There’s also a potential hint as to the nature of Wind Waker’s popularity despite it being so poorly performing. You can also begin to see Japan’s population stagnation on a time line.

Anyway, I hope you get some insight from it and something for your brain to chew on. I found it fascinating as I had forgotten I was writing it! Feel free to post it , as well, if you feel it can foster productive thoughts.

Series Average: 3.73635M
.
The Legend of Zelda 1987
Units Sold .. ~6.5 Mil
USA Population …. ~240,132,887
JAP Population …. ~121 482 000
Games sold to % of total population … 1.8% of the population with +2.156M
(+0.6%) people from 1986.
.
Loz sold to 301.48% of these 2.156M new people! It grew the brand and then some!
This was a cold market to Zelda, remember this.
.
———–
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link 1988
Units .. ~4.38 mil
USA …. ~244,498,982
JAP …. ~122 578 000
Pop+ … USA +4.366095M (+1.82%)
JAP +1.105M (+0.9%)
(+1.49%)
GxPop% … 1.19% (-.61%)
% Difference sold from last game … -32.62% with cartridge shortage and +5.5M
people.
Series Avg to this point: 5.44M Units
.
Still 4.38 million with an extra 5.5M people isn’t bad. That’s most of those new
people. 79.64% of them.
.
—————
A Link to the Past 1991
Units .. ~4.61 mil
USA …. ~252,153,092
JAP …. ~123 964,000
Pop+ … USA +7.65411M (+3.13%)
JAP +1.386M (+1.13%)
(+2.4%)
GxPop% … 1.23% (+.04%)
Dif% … +5.25% with +9.04M people. 51% of the 9.04M
Series Avg to this point: 5.17M
.
————–
Links Awakening 1993
Units .. ~>3.83 mil
USA …. ~257,782,608
JAP …. ~124 829 000
Pop+ … USA +5.629516M (+2.23%)
JAP +865,000 (+.7%)
(+1.73%)
GxPop% … 1% (-0.23%)
Dif% … -16.92% with +6.49M People. 58% of the new people.
Series Avg to this point: 4.83M
.
————–
Ocarina of Time 1998
Units .. JAP ~1.14 (820,000 in 39 days)
InNAT ~7.6 (2.5M in 39 days)
USA …. ~270,248,003
JAP …. ~126 400 000
Pop+ … USA +12.465395M (+4.84%)
JAP +1.571M (+1.26%)
(+3.67%)
GxPop% … 1.92% (+0.92%)
Dif% … +98.43% from LA, +60.66% from aLttP, with +14.035395M People
Series Avg to this point: 5.38M
54.15% of the +14M since aLttP. Pretty good.
So to grow as well as Ocarina, aLttP would have to sell 4.9M units in its time
(it sold 4.61M).
.
Or for Ocarina to grow as aLttP it needed only sell 7.16M (it sold 7.6M).
That’s not a huge difference really. Ocarina sold 3.15% better than A Link to
the Past. Go Figure.
.
However, there were 30M more people than from LoZ. So Ocarina sold to 25% of
these 30M added since 1987, not bad at all.
.
BUT for Ocarina to have had the same impact on the new population that the
Original LoZ had, it needed to have sold 42.3M Units! HOLY FUCKING SHIT. LoZ was
a goddamn phenomenon!
.
For Loz to do what OoT did, it only needed to sell 1.17M units. Whoopdy doo, go
Ocarina.
.
That said, Ocarina Still sold to MORE of the total population than LoZ did. It
simply did not grow the series anywhere close to those levels. It’s the best
sales-performing Zelda since the first.
.
————–
Link’s Awakening DX 1998
Units .. ~2.22M (-5.38M from Ocarina, -1.61M from LA)
GxPop% .. 0.56% (-1.36% from Ocarina, -0.56% from LA)
Dif% …. -42.04% from LA, -70.79% from Ocarina
.
————–
Majora’s Mask 2000
Units .. ~3.36 MIL
USA … ~281,421,906
JAP … ~126 843 000
Pop+ .. USA +11.173903M (+4.13%)
JAP +443,000 (+0.35%) <–[ouch! This is where Japan begins to noticably
stagnate]
(+2.93%)
GxPop% … 0.82% (-1.1%)
Dif% … -55.79% with +11.616903M people.
Series Avg to this point: 5.05M
The First Aounuma Produced Zelda:
.
Holy shit. That’s +36.92M people from AoL. Keep in mind that there’s almost 37
MILLION more people than were around in 1988 at this point. 3.36M Units is 9.1%
of these 37M people. It is 28.92% of the 11M people added since Ocarina. AoL’s
4.38 million units was 79.64% of the increased population from LoZ! That’s HUGE.
For Adventure of Link to do as badly as Majora’s Mask, it would have had to sell
only 1.59M units (it sold 4.38M, nearly 3 times that amount).
.
For Majora to do AS WELL as Adventure of Link, it would have had to sell 9.25M
Units! More than ANY ZELDA EVER.
.
To have the same increase from Ocarina as Ocarina had from A Link to the Past,
Majora would have had to sell 12.2M units.
.
Majora’s Mask dropped the ball BIG TIME. Oh, but that’s right, Adventure of Link
is the Black sheep.
.
——————–
Oracle of Seasons/Ages 2001
Units … ~7.92m together, 3.96m apiece
USA ~285,082,000
JAP ~127 130 000
Pop+ .. USA +3.660094M (+1.3%)
JAP +287,000 (+0.23%)
(+0.97%)
GxPop% … 0.96% (+0.14%) each, 1.92% (+1.1%) together
Dif% … +17.86% each, +135.71% together, with +3.947094M people
Series Avg to this point: 5.45M
.
The First Capcom Zelda’s:
.
So this is interesting, individually each game sold to 100.33% of the 3.95M
people since Majora. Together however, they sold to 200.65% of those people! As
a combined unit, these games almost reached the level of tLoZ in terms of
penetration.
.
To reach Loz levels, they would have needed to sell 11.9M Units between them
S of the population than Ocarina did.
.
This odd phenomenon my help explain why one of the least favorite Zelda’s (Wind
Waker) is also one of the most vocally popular.
FSA 2004
~377,000
USA ~293,046,000
JAP ~127 680 000
TMC 2004
~1.42m
TP 2006
~8.39m
USA ~298,593,000
JAP ~127 710 000
PH 2007
~4.96m
USA ~301,580,000
JAP ~127 750 000
LCT 2007
~4.8m
ST 2009
~3.19m
USA ~307,007,000
JAP ~127 550 000
OoT3D 2011
~3.1m
USA ~310,500,000
JAP ~127 770 000
SS 2011
~3.69
WWHD 2013
~1.22
USA ~315,091,138
JAP ~127 150 000
ALBW
~2.41

 

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