The game's success can be seen in terms of critical reception, as it currently sits as one of the most highly-rated games on Opencritic. However, perhaps the most impressive indicator of Elden Ring's success is its sales. On March 16, Bandai Namco announced that in less than a month since its release, Elden Ring had sold over 12 million copies globally, with 1 million of them sold in Japan. This is impressive on its own, but Elden Ring's achievements become even more awe-inspiring when the game's sales are compared to previous FromSoftware games.
Elden Ring is by far FromSoftware's bestselling title, and comparing it to previous titles from the studio helps to put the game's level of success into context. Dark Souls 3, the most recent entry in the popular Dark Souls series, was released in 2016. By 2020, the game had sold over 10 million units, a feat that Elden Ring achieved in less than a month. In fact, the entire Dark Souls series has sold 27 million copies, meaning that Elden Ring has almost matched half the lifetime sales of the series in but a few weeks. Elden Ring also dwarfs Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, which was released in March 2019 and managed to sell over 5 million copies by July 2020.
Not even FromSoftware and the game's publisher, Bandai Namco, anticipated the monumental success of Elden Ring. Before the game's launch, Bandai Namco had told investors that the game can be expected to sell about 4 million copies in its first month. In a press release, FromSoftware and Bandai Namco attributed Elden Ring's astronomic success to its global release in fourteen languages, George R. R. Martin's contribution, as well as FromSoftware's "expertise in developing pulse-pounding, action-based titles." Commenting on Elden Ring's success, Hidetaka Miyazaki, who is the game's director, has extended thanks to gamers and admitted that it has astonished him to see just how many gamers have jumped into The Lands Between.
FromSoftware is a studio that has managed to establish itself within mainstream gaming despite not making use of many of the trends that have come to characterize triple-A games. Elden Ring continues this pattern, presenting an uncluttered map, ruthless boss battles, and no difficulty settings. Regardless, Elden Ring has been a resounding success, proving that there is a market for games that deviate from the norm and make no attempt to handhold players.
To the satisfaction of many, FromSoftware recognizes that Elden Ring has resonated with gamers, and it has told gamers that they can look forward to the IP "expanding beyond the realm of games." Whether this entails books, films, television shows, or something else entirely has yet to be confirmed, but it is clear that this is not the last that gamers will see of Elden Ring. In many ways, Elden Ring marks a new era for FromSoftware. No longer can the studio be seen to serve only a niche group of interests. As Elden Ring's sales reveal, the game has allowed FromSoftware to reach far more gamers than ever before.
Elden Ring is available now on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.