Hyrule Warriors, the Zelda themed, Dynasty Warriors style arena brawler, made its debut in Japan this week. Many fans of both the Zelda franchise and the Dynasty Warriors franchise have viewed this odd collaborative title with a healthy degree of skepticism, as the two franchises do not seem like a likely mashup. Perhaps due in part to this skepticism, combined with the continued popularity of Yokai Watch 2 in Japan and the greater 3DS install base than that of Wii U, Hyrule Warriors didn’t shock with huge first week sales numbers.
The game finished its debut week in Japan in second place behind Yokai Watch 2 for the 3DS, which has been able to hold the top spot for six straight weeks in a row, with lifetime sales already over 2 million copies. Hyrule Warriors bowed with nearly 70,000 copies, a number made modest by the fact that the aforementioned 3DS game sold over 50,000 more copies in the same week after being on the market for over a month previously. In spite of this, the number isn’t that bad for the comparatively weak Wii U install base, considering the odd combination the game presents. The top 5 games of the week in Japan were as follows:
- [3DS] Yokai Watch 2– 118,526 (Lifetime sales – 2,212,518)
- [Wii U] Hyrule Warriors – 69,090 (New entry)
- [3DS] Yoshi’s New Island – 29,933 (144,162)
- [Wii U] Mario Kart 8 – 28,221 (627,635)
- [3DS] Dragon Ball Heroes: Ultimate Mission 2 – 27,273 (108,857)
Hardware sales were fairly stable week over week in Japan, with the 3DS XL seeing the only somewhat significant shift, with roughly 10,000 additional units sold week over week.
Hyrule Warriors is expected to launch in North America on September 26. Hopefully debuting in second place in its first week in Japan won’t prove to be a bad omen for the game’s overall global sales. It doesn’t seem as though it will, as the number is much more favorable if compared just with the numbers sold of other Wii U games. Though it seems to be a strange concept, it is one that could still have tons of promise, and succeed in holding off Zelda fans waiting on the first true game of the franchise to land on the struggling Wii U console. It just may not be the game changer that seemingly no one thought it was going to be anyway.