Horizon Zero Dawn Is Standing Up to Zelda Better Than Expected

Even with its record-breaking reviews, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild couldn't beat Horizon: Zero Dawn on several sales charts.

This past week saw the release of two behemoths of games -- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Horizon: Zero Dawn. Both titles were praised for their luscious open-world environments, captivating stories, and enthralling gameplay.

Nintendo’s newest entry into the Legend of Zelda series broke records on Metacritic for the largest number of perfect scores along with placing second place on the highest rated games of all time list. Even with these accolades, Horizon managed to sneak it’s way to the top of the UK and Australian sales charts as the highest selling game of the week.

Horizon may not have received the same amount of immense praise as Breath of the Wild, but the game was still adored by gamers across the world, earning a nine out of ten here at GameSkinny, and averaging a score of 89 on Metacritic. This, coupled with tactical marketing, pushed Sony’s new franchise to the forefront of thousands of gamers’ minds. Releasing just three days before the launch of a brand new Nintendo console and a legendary established franchise, Horizon had quite the uphill battle to the top of the sales charts.

If it didn’t release right alongside the Nintendo Switch, Horizon would have fared even better. Although Breath of the Wild is also available on Wii U, The Switch version accounted for nearly 80% of the copies the game sold overall, meaning that a majority of purchasers bought it with the system -- spending nearly $400 on the total package.

The Switch also sold more in its launch weekend than any other system in Nintendo history in several regions, sparking fierce competition, and really showing the selling power of Zelda. However, with over 50 million PS4’s in circulation worldwide, it’s no wonder many decided to go with Horizon over dropping a significant amount of money on a launch console.

Success stories like this one send out an important message to the gaming industry -- takings risks with new franchises is worth it. The fact that a brand new IP stood up to such an iconic and long-awaited franchise installment is incredibly impressive and hopefully, influences more developers to follow suite and create unique experiences.

Not only is Horizon a brand new IP, but the game is presented in a completely distinct setting and the combination of its gameplay and themes makes it one of a kind. Games like Death Stranding and Days Gone show that Sony is dedicated to supporting new titles that can take the world by storm.

With Horizon beating out No Man’s Sky as the biggest new IP launch, this trend of successful new franchises will hopefully continue for a long time.

Associate Editor

Published Feb. 1st 2018

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