This is the point where it becomes an argument about common sense.
The original definition of 'niche' is the first one that was listed. In a building, a niche is a small subsection of a subsection (a room or corridor). That's why it is reasonable to conclude that a niche has to refer to something that is very small. All of its synonyms indicate the same.
So when the term is applied to markets (definition 3), the logic remains the same. I mean, I explained it in the previous post. If the term would be used to describe anything, it would provide no distinction anymore and the term becomes meaningless and therefore redundant.
At this point it all comes down to individual perception of what is mainstream and what is not. My perception is Zelda is not as mainstream and/or lacks brand recognition in comparison to many other franchises. Don't like it? Oh well.
I disagree with your argument here. Niche isn't about what is mainstream and what's not. When talking about games, it's about the business definition of the word.
This means specialized markets. Given how the game has changed in its life, I think we can already say that it does not qualify as niche. This is, in particular, the case for its latest release in which this thread is about.
edit: I'm coming back to edit my post because I kind of have a feeling you wont fully understand what I mean, so I'll give a couple examples of what I mean.
Last edited by MDMAlliance - on 13 January 2018
Etrian Odyssey, niche series. Generally stays the same, but has a dedicated audience. Is not the defining game of its genre.
Atelier (whatever games they have), niche series. I haven't played much of it, but I can tell it generally keeps to its own formulas, but it still sells enough to justify more releases.
Legend of Zelda, not a niche series. The game gets experimented on and still manages to sell numbers to justify future releases. Latest one marks its furthest departure from its formula while still remaining true to its genre. Not a niche given the changes.