While sales tallies are still being calculated across the globe, it’s clear that open-world, action RPG Elden Ring is a hit for Bandai Namco and developer FromSoftware. At launch, the game quickly became the most viewed title on OpenCritic, surpassing both Cyberpunk 2077 and Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Several publications handed the game a perfect score, with The Guardian hailing it as “an unrivalled masterpiece of design and inventiveness,” despite the fact that the PC version was criticized for its performance initially.
In the US, Elden Ring topped the charts in February and became the best-selling game year-to-date, according to The NPD Group. And in the UK, sales tracker GfK reported that Elden Ring has become the fastest-selling “Souls” game in FromSoftware history, beating titles such as Dark Souls, Demon Souls, Bloodborne, and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Elden Ring has eclipsed Dark Souls 3 by 26%, according to GfK, although exact sales numbers were not provided. It’s worth noting that GfK is tallying physical sales only, not digital downloads on PC or consoles. According to GSD, digital downloads accounted for over 68% of Elden Ring‘s sales, and as reported by GI.biz, the game was the biggest UK video game launch since Call of Duty: Vanguard.
Looking at PC game sales on Steam, Elden Ring’s first week saw the game’s various editions occupy several of the top-selling slots. The game’s player count on Steam also was almost six times higher than FromSoftware’s previous high (Dark Souls 3).
Elden Ring likely benefitted from its association with Game of Thrones scribe George R.R. Martin, who crafted the history and narrative foundation for the game (not the full story), but it is director Hidetaka Miyazaki’s ability to fine tune his formula that has given the game its legs. The game is by no means easy, but Elden Ring has made the trademark challenge of “Souls” games more approachable for first timers. It combines Souls-like action-oriented gameplay in a vast and rich open-world that some critics believe will have game designers considering their approach to the genre in the same way that Breath of the Wild moved the needle.
Like Nintendo’s epic, Elden Ring will keep players occupied for a long time (up to 80 hours). According to Interpret’s New Media Measure®, heavy gamers (those who play 10+ hours weekly) tend to gravitate towards both role-playing and open-world games, which makes Elden Ring a great fit for their gaming preferences. The only genre to rank considerably higher is the first-person shooter, bolstered by blockbusters like Call of Duty and Halo.