‘Horizon Zero Dawn’ Beating ‘Zelda: Breath of the Wild’ Sales In The UK Shouldn’t Surprise Anyone

Sony’s new PS4-exclusive Horizon Zero Dawn has come out on top of the UK physical sales chart for the week ending March 4, beating the Nintendo Switch launch title The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild in the process. While this news may come as a surprise to some given the amount of hype that both the Switch and Zelda have generated in recent months, it really shouldn’t.

Horizon and Zelda ranked No. 1 and 2 in the charts, respectively, and although Zelda was also available on the Wii U, data from Sales monitor Chart-Track notes that 80 percent of the game’s sales were on the Switch.

Despite being very different games in their own right, many can’t help but compare Horizon and Zelda to one another, as both are ambitious, AAA open-world adventure games released three days apart. In fact, that right there is a major contributing factor in Horizon’s sales dominance, as the game has been available for two days longer than Zelda (Horizon released on March 1 in the UK, as opposed to Feb. 28 in North America), so it had more time to move units.

However, even if Horizon hadn’t had the two day head-start, it would have been difficult for Zelda to come out on top. As of Jan 1., Sony had sold 53.4 million PS4s worldwide and the console is still on pace to outsell the PS2, the best-selling console of all time. The simple fact of the matter is that there are significantly more PS4s in the wild than Switches or Wii Us and when you factor in Sony’s aggressive marketing campaign for Horizon and the game’s overwhelmingly positive review scores, Zelda was always going to have a tough time coming out on top, despite Horizon being a new IP for Sony.

This isn’t meant to be any sort of knock on Zelda’s quality, as it is by pretty much all counts an exceptional game and arguably even better than Horizon (although again, it’s unfair to compare the two as they very different games). However, I’ve been seeing a lot of comments online about how it was a mistake for Sony to release Horizon in the same week as Zelda and that the former is destined to be this year’s Battleborn, with Zelda taking the position of Overwatch in this comparison (in other words, Horizon is doomed to fail or be overshadowed). Zelda may very well end up outselling Horizon as Nintendo pumps out more Switch consoles in the coming months, but as this UK sales data shows, this is not a David vs. Goliath situation by any stretch of the imagination.

It will be interesting to see if North American sales data tells a similar story if and when it is released. In the meantime, you can find the full UK top list below. It should be noted that three Switch titles made it into the top 10, which shows that attach rates for the console seem to be strong so far.

  1. Horizon Zero Dawn
  2. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  3. Grand Theft Auto V
  4. 1-2-Switch
  5. For Honor
  6. FIFA 17
  7. Super Bomberman R
  8. Rocket League
  9. Sniper Elite 4
  10. Battlefield 1


Nick Steinberg (@Nick_Steinberg)

Nick Steinberg (@Nick_Steinberg)