Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom Pre-Orders Open, Confirming $70 Price Tag

While the Nintendo Direct for February 8, 2023, may have gone heavy on the remakes, remasters, and expansion packs, the venerable gaming company delivered more than enough news and new releases to keep things interesting. In particular, Nintendo fans got more than they've ever seen of "Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom," the eagerly awaited followup to the beloved — but now nearly five years old — "Breath of the Wild."

There was plenty of "Zelda" news for Nintendo diehards to digest, but two major takeaways have likely taken precedence. First, per the Nintendo eShop, the game will retail at $70. That's a serious price tag for a standard, no-frills, digital-only purchase, and it may well indicate Nintendo's pricing strategy going forward. Second, it appears "Tears of the Kingdom" will be at least partially voice-acted rather than relying on the series' usual text bubbles and speech-ish vocables, and one big name sounds like he'll be part of the cast.

Crossing the gaming streams

The new name is Matt Mercer, who will be lending his basso profundo to the villainous Ganondorf. Mercer, an accomplished voice actor, may be better known these days as the DM of Critical Role, a weekly "Dungeons and Dragons" live stream with fellow voice actors that helped jumpstart the popularity of tabletop actual plays on streaming services. Given that Critical Role is, per a recent leak, the highest-earning channel on Twitch (via Business Insider), Nintendo's casting choice is likely to please fans and engage new players.

Crowd-pleasing plays like that may be a necessity for "Tears of the Kingdom." Leaving aside Nintendo's $199 collector's edition, $70 is a serious sum for a game on release, especially given Nintendo's reputation for never lowering prices, above all in the American market. The trailer went heavy on that kind of fan engagement, teasing a more active Princess Zelda and a potential return of the evil moon of "Majora's Mask." There was plenty of new alongside the old, however, including wild new vehicles and new settings throughout Hyrule. The official release date for "Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom" is May 12, 2023. Pre-orders are open now.