Zelda Link’s Awakening Proves that Nostalgia Sells

zelda link's awakening sales with the title screen


The Legend of Zelda Link’s Awakening released at the end of Nintendo’s fiscal quarter on September 20, 2019. Although the game received positive reviews, fans wondered how well the game would sell. When Nintendo released its quarterly results last week, we found out that sales of Link’s Awakening did well. In fact, the game sold even better than expected. Nintendo reported that in just 10 days, Link’s Awakening sold more than 3.13 million units. This achievement is nothing short of incredible, but in the grand scheme what does it mean?

3D console Zelda games typically sell better than the 2D handheld games. Currently, Breath of the Wild is the best-selling 3D console game with 15.22 million units sold. By comparison, Phantom Hourglass is the best-selling 2D handheld game with 4.76 million units sold. This brings us to the Link’s Awakening remake, which sold 3.13 million units in 10 days. Here is the significance of those numbers:

  • In 10 days, Link’s Awakening is already in the Top-10 of best-selling Nintendo Switch games.
  • The Link’s Awakening remake trails only Phantom Hourglass and A Link Between Worlds for best-selling handheld Zelda title.
  • In 10 days, Link’s Awakening sold more than Tri Force Heroes, Spirit Tracks, Minish Cap, Four Swords Adventures, and Oracle of Ages/Seasons.


So what does this all mean? A Gameboy remake from 1993 is already the 10th best-selling Nintendo Switch game of all time. The bottom line is that nostalgia sells. In fact, nostalgia for the Zelda series sells, and it sells very well. Time will tell if Link’s Awakening becomes the best-selling 2D Zelda game of all time, but it is well on its way. With the holiday season approaching, Link’s Awakening sales should continue its upward trajectory. The game will likely sell more than Super Mario Maker 2; however, time will tell if it remains in the Top-10. With the pending release of Pokemon Sword & Shield and Animal Crossing, Link’s Awakening could lose its spot in the Top-10. Regardless, fans of the Zelda series should be excited. A 2D Zelda title sold very well, and fans should expect more releases in the future.

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