Record-breaking sales of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom may be what upheld Japan’s GDP
Japan’s Cabinet Office released the first preliminary report of the country’s GDP for the period from April to June 2023. According to the report, semi-durable goods, which fall under the largest component of the GDP – personal consumption, recorded a 2.8% increase compared to the previous quarter. According to Mainichi Shinbun, the release of Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom could have been a factor that influenced this growth.
According to the preliminary GDP report for the period from April to June 2023, personal consumption in Japan turned negative for the first time in three quarters, declining by 0.5% compared to the previous quarter, reflecting a prolonged period of high living costs. On the other hand, consumption of semi-durables alone, which include clothing and entertainment-related products, recorded an outstanding increase of 2.8% from the previous quarter. According to Mainichi Shinbun, a Cabinet Office official attributed the significant growth to “new releases” of video game software.
The period between April and June saw the releases of many major video game titles, such as Final Fantasy XVI and Street Fighter 6, but particularly successful among them was The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom released by Nintendo for the Switch on May 12.
Tears of the Kingdom sold more than 10 million copies worldwide (including 2.24 million only in Japan) in just three days following its release. It also broke the Guinness World Record as the “fastest-selling Nintendo game.” As for the sales of the titles mentioned above, Final Fantasy XVI sold more than 3 million units worldwide within one week of its release (including both physical and digital copies), while Street Fighter 6 sold more than 2 million units worldwide in about a month.
In their financial results for the first quarter (April to June 2023) of the fiscal year ending on March 31, 2024, Nintendo reported that Tears of the Kingdom had sold 18.51 million copies by the end of June, which is the largest sell-through of their software since the launch of the Nintendo Switch. The company also noted that the success of the new title had a driving effect on sales of Nintendo Switch consoles, leading to the company’s highest quarterly net income ever.
Regarding the 2.8% increase in semi-durable goods recorded in personal consumption in GDP report, the Cabinet Office official cited the release of video game software as a factor, but they did not name specific titles. However, according to the report by Mainichi Shimbun, the record-breaking success of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is very likely to have been reflected in Japan’s economic indicators.
Written by. Amber V based on the original Japanese article (original article’s publication date: 2023-08-15 23:10 JST)