Elden Ring has sold over 12 million copies worldwide, thrashing those who felt it was too challenging and leading FromSoftware to consider the possibility of expanding the series “beyond the realm of games.”
Publisher Bandai Namco has announced that, as of March 14th, the game has sold more than 12 million units worldwide across both physical and digital platforms, with over 1 million of those sales coming from developer FromSoftware’s native Japan.
Having launched on February 25th, these sales figures average out to Elden Ring having sold an average of 705,000 copies a day.
For comparison, the Dark Souls series as a whole had sold a total of 13 million copies as of March 16th, 2016, five years after the launch of the first Dark Souls game and one month following the release of Dark Souls III.
That series would go on to sell over 27 million copies by May 19th, 2020.
This success has far exceeded Bandai Namco’s previous expectation that the George R.R. Martin-written title would sell 4 million copies by the end of March.
In their announcement, Bandai Namco also stated, “Please look forward to more of ‘ELDEN RING’ as an IP (characters and other intellectual property) in hopes of expanding beyond the realm of games,” suggesting that there may already be plans to expand the stand alone title into a full-blown franchise.
“It’s astonishing to see just how many people have been playing ‘Elden Ring,'” Director Hidetaka Miyazaki modestly admitted in response to this news. “I’d like to extend our heartfelt thanks on behalf of the entire development team.”
He continued, “‘Elden Ring’ is based on a mythological story written by George R. R. Martin. We hope players enjoy a high level of freedom when adventuring through its vast world, exploring its many secrets and facing up to its many threats. Thank you for your continued support.”
Further hinting at a possible expansion of the series, Bandai Namco President and CEO Yasuo Miyakawa echoed, “Much effort was placed into creating ‘ELDEN RING’ so that we could exceed the expectations of our fans worldwide. In like manner, we will continue our efforts in expanding the brand beyond the game itself, and into everyone’s daily life.”
“We will continue to create enjoyment and fulfillment through entertainment, so that we can come closer and connect to our fans around the world,” he added.
Prior to Bandai Namco’s announcement, The NPD Group Executive Director & Video Game Industry Advisor Mat Piscatella noted that “Elden Ring debuted as both the best-selling game of February 2022 as well as 2022 YTD [Year-to-Date].”
“Launch month sales of Elden Ring were the 2nd highest for any tracked title released in the past 12 months, trailing only Call of Duty: Vanguard, released in Nov 2021,” he divulged.
Piscatella elaborated, “After 1 month in market, Elden Ring ranked as the 5th best-selling game of the 12 month period ending February 2022. Elden Ring ranked 1st on Steam and Xbox platforms in February, while placing 2nd on PlayStation.”
The latest European Gaming Sales Data (GSD) report also revealed that, along with the being Europe’s best seller for the month of February, Elden Ring was the biggest new games IP in the region, eclipsing 2016’s The Division by Ubisoft.
According to provided figures, 44% of Elden Ring players had purchased the game on PC, followed by 27% on PlayStation 5, 16% on Xbox consoles, and 13% on PlayStation 4.
The only major territory of exception was Germany, where Pokémon Legends: Arceus both surpassed it in sales and edged out Elden Ring for the title of best-selling game on a single console.
Likewise, February saw the game surpassing titles such as Ubisoft’s Horizon Forbidden West (the second best seller), and Dying Light 2: Stay Human (the fifth).
The game also became the UK’s biggest launch for a non-FIFA or Call of Duty game, a record previously held by 2018’s Red Dead Redemption 2.
Elden Ring has even gone on to become Steam’s 6th most played game of all time based on concurrent users.
Even video game journalists, a group who regularly complained about FromSoftware’s signature and inherently challenging gameplay, seemed to be on board with Elden Ring.
Though some Western game developers criticised the game as being “poorly designed“, these complains were soon met with pushback from others, many of whom interpreted the complaints as jealousy.
These interpretations were further bolstered by the fact that said critics had worked for certain studios, such as Ubisoft and Guerilla Games, whose open-world games have regularly been accused of providing too much ‘hand-holding’ to players.
Nonetheless, players met these criticisms with everything with mockey, taking aim at everything from Ubisoft’s design philosphy, the desire of game journos and casual players for easier games at the sake of everyone else’s enjoyment, and even Elden Ring having more attractive female characters than recent Western games.
In her coverage of Elden Ring’s sales windfall, YouTuber Vara Dark noted, “Now this game has proven angry developers and journalists wrong. We’ve seen seen articles say ‘Elden Ring is too hard, and it’s going to lose players because of it.'”
“We’ve seen developers be salty their games are being overlooked because everyone is interested in Elden Ring, and I think it’s hilarious,” the YouTuber confessed. “And also great this game has proven them wrong, and shown other developers to stick to what they know how to make.”
“People were demanding FromSoftware change their recipe for games, and they didn’t, and it worked!” she exclaimed. “They know what they’re amazing at making, and I’m so glad they haven’t bent the knee to people, that are mad online.”
Has Elden Ring broken the demand for games to be dumbed down? Let us know your thoughts on social media and in the comments below.