Picture: Elden Ring
It was announcement earlier today than Elden Ring, FromSoftware’s Game of the Year 2022 for many people (including most employees of this website), has sold 20 million copies worldwide since its release a year ago. It’s a lot.
You might be wondering why am I reporting this on Kotaku, a website that in 2023 generally couldn’t care less about sales numbers, especially when featured in a publisher press release?
That’s because I think Elden Ring, a nail-biting action/RPG that’s essentially a single-player experience, is making a hell of a point by releasing and selling 20 million copies in 2022-23. This shows publishers and people who control their purse strings, that not every video game released in the modern era has to be a forever game, a live service time that not only demands our constant attention, but constantly demands money while it does so.
You buy Elden Ring, you play Elden Ring, you rinse Elden Ring and you’re done! There are no DLC packs, no season passes, no multiplayer modes selling skins for $2. What you paid for is what you got. For many people raised on less exploitative games, or tired of the demands of modern gaming (or both!), Elden Ring was, conceptually, a near perfect video game experience.
I know it’s far from the only one. It’s not like every game ever released these days is a live service leak. Indeed this GOTY list I linked to above is dominated by standalone single-player experiences.
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But none of them have sold 20 million copies. That’s what makes Elden Ring’s sales so important. They don’t just show a traditional video game can do well, they show it can be an absolute blockbuster. While nailing down specific sales figures in these days of digital shopfronts can be hard, 20 million puts the game in the same ballpark as Modern Warfare 2 And EA’s FIFA Seriesan extraordinary achievement for a game that’s as tough as hell and enjoyed a fraction of the promotional budget than those behemoths – two full-priced retail games that then try to scam players for even more money on the road – have received.
Do you know what else is in this sales stage? Cyberpunk 2077 – which, admittedly, had its issues and also an astronomical marketing budget – sold over 20 million copies. God of War Ragnarok, another very single-player experience released in 2022, has itself sold over 10 million copies (to Sony’s credit, much of their proprietary strategy, from Horizon to The Last Of Us, follows a similar path). Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, the first single-player Star Wars game in a very long time? Oh hey, it also sold for over 10 million, making more than enough to warrant a big-budget sequel coming out very soon.
These huge sales figures are not only success stories for the companies involved, but also a sign for other publishers that perhaps the people who buy and play games are tired of this obsession with ripping us off at every turn and to rip our hearts out in a desperate attempt to prolong our time with them. I understand that companies know that a live service game can potentially make more money than a regular game – look at FIFA, which has made billions in digital card sales on top of its retail profits – but it is not guaranteed. Not all games have to do this. We don’t have the time or the money for that.
Sometimes people just want to play a video game, finish it, enjoy it for what it was, and then move on with their lives. And these folks are showing that there’s enough to not just buy a few million copies of these games, but turn them into absolute blockbusters.
Article source https://kotaku.com/elden-ring-sales-figures-20-million-god-of-war-jedi-1850147702