I knew it was going to be a decent game and a fun little celebration of the Legend of Zelda franchise, but I never expected Hyrule Warriors to actually move the Wii U off store shelves. However, here comes Japan to shatter all expectations of a game many initially thought was just a joke.
Hyrule Warriors released on Aug. 14 in Japan, one day after the beginning of the summer Obon holiday, meaning there were plenty of lazy gamers who wanted to sit around in their nice, cool apartments and play something new. Why not a Wii U and this crazy new Zelda game?
Tsutaya, one of Japan’s largest retailers and generally a decent model for trends at large, is reporting that four times the amount of Wii U software was sold over this summer vacation than last year’s thanks to Hyrule Warriors presence. Not just software, but Hyrule Warriors has also boosted Wii U sales as well, meaning that weeks and weeks of non-stop hype must have paid off for Nintendo.
When you think about it though, this shouldn’t have been too much of a shock. Zelda might not have the same holding power on the younger generation as it does older gamers, but the fanbase is still there. More importantly though, the Dynasty Warriors is also still enormous in its home country, and no game from the series had yet found its way to Nintendo’s console. Those massive floodgates have finally been opened, and hopefully the success Hyrule Warriors has seen will continue.
Who knows if American gamers will buy into Hyrule Warriors the same way Japan has? It seemed like a goofy idea at first, but months of hype have shown an unprecedented level of effort put into what amounts to a simple tribute game. This could lead the way into Nintendo’s other major holiday tribute game, Super Smash Bros, and put Nintendo back in the black for its investors.
Hyrule Warriors will be released for the Wii U on Sept. 24 in America.