You do realize the previous record holder was Twilight Princess, directed by Aonuma? And this transition towards more puzzle elements and a less open world design predated his time. Ocarina of Time was the template for every Zelda that came after. Changes to the formula made to facilitate the transition to 3D during an era of extremely limited 3D hardware are the foundations of the 3D Zelda formula from OoT to SS. Not Aonuma's insidious influence.
Also, you are aware that Zelda as a series was a 4 to 7 mil series more or less from day one. The decline you speak of was not much of one. Wind Waker out sold Majora's Mask and near matched Link to the Past, for example.
Also the whole "going back to its roots thing" is an interesting perspective but there's far, FAR more to it than that, design wise. And the heavy puzzle element is still there but in a very different way.
Also, all that aside, even if we go with your "Zelda needed to be fixed!" mantra and give credit nearly entirely to this "return to its roots" explanation, this is still incredibly shocking. The original Zelda couldn't even outsell Super Mario Bros 2, much less Super Mario Bros 1 or 3. And no other Zelda came close to matching contemporaneous Mario games either. For Zelda to beat the best selling 3D Mario game of all time and blow past 15 mil, more than doubling the sales of previous top sellers in the series, is an incredible leap. The Zelda brand is far stronger than it has ever been, far eclipsing Twilight Princess, Ocarina of Time, or even the original Legend of Zelda. There's no comparison.
So no, can't agree with much of anything you posted as it is mostly demonstrably inaccurate or oversimplified.
It's declined because you don't count the expanded market and population growth. Worse, count two separate SKUs like one ( Gamecube and Wii). First, Nintendo sells, NES and SNES era, the majority in the US and Japan. All other territories are minority sales. Second, Zelda II has problems in the production of cartridges (NES have major problems in that, in the later life cycle). N64 and Gamecube era Nintendo tries to expand the market, because of that you must count the population grows in the US and other territories. Mario Kart has constant growth, excluded the Gamecube, Wiiu, and 3DS (consoles have design flaws and game direction errors and affected sales), while Nintendo doesn't make errors, have constant growth, SNES, N64, DS, Wii, and Switch (Mario kart on the switch will surpass the Mario Kart Wii). In a market grow, Zelda must sell better, with a Zelda respect the original, it's not the case in Skyward Sword. It's the worst mainline Zelda in sales. Second, TP Zelda benefited from the Wii fever and Wii Sports, even considering the expanded market, it failed to sell much more than the original Zelda. Another problem, the Zelda after OoT was stuck with a formula that not only completely distorted their origins but also impacts the franchise's growth. Speechless that got stuck in this model due to Aonuma's decision, all games are worse versions of OoT, without the brilliance of it (with the exception of the water temple that was made by Aonuma). Sales need context, take out the context makes sales meanings nothing. It's not an oversimplification, but market analysis.
The new Zelda drives Switch sales and mixes the classic Zelda plus modern Pc games. It's the textbook back to the roots.
Last edited by Agente42 - on 12 May 2020