I don't think Zelda is actually quite that popular compared to Mario and Pokémon. It's still near the top of course.
I actually agree with this. Most of the people I know that grew up with Nintendo consoles/handhelds have played Mario, and/or Pokémon. The Zelda games aren't really that common on most peoples's video game libraries when compared to Mario, and Pokémon. Admittedly, I also never grew up with Zelda games either. I definitely was aware that the games existed though, that's for sure, so it's obviously very popular, just not as popular as the other two. Between Mario, and Pokémon, it's hard to tell. I don't consider casuals to be a part of any fanbase. A fanbase is a group of fans of a series that have a lot of knowledge of their favorite series, while a casual will just play casually, and move on to the next big release (or won't buy a new game for atleast another year). Casuals don't go on forums talking about a series they just kind of like. Both Mario, and Pokémon have a ton of casual fans. A large portion of the sales from both series are probably from adults trying to find a distraction for their kids to enjoy. If I had to guess though, I would say the Pokémon fanbase is bigger than Mario. There's a lot more discussions, and activity going on in any Pokémon game board compared to Mario's game boards.
When did "casual player" become an insult? -Taizuku The real question is "When did hardcore gamer become a compliment/aspiration?" -JMBoote