Elden Ring is not only a game of the year contender for 2022, but it’s also a surprise success. Anyone who paid attention to the lead-up will argue that a game involving Hidetaka Miyazaki, From Software, and George R.R. Martin was going to be a smash hit, but even the game’s biggest optimists likely didn’t expect Elden Ring to become one of the biggest games we’ve seen in years. Despite the name, this was in every way just an open world Souls game. The Souls series, while popular, have always held something of a niche status: Extremely popular among its fans, but not always approachable to newcomers.
While you could argue that Elden Ring still isn’t the most approachable game ever made, that didn’t seem to matter much when it came to sales numbers. People went out and bought Elden Ring in droves, and soon, the internet was filled with comments, memes, and videos about the game. It was an obvious hit, and after a recent sales call from Bandai Namco, we now know just how large the game ended up being.
— ELDEN RING (@ELDENRING) April 19, 2022
What is it that made Elden Ring so successful? There are plenty of things you can point to, like the open world format, the few but very necessary quality of life changes, or just how beautiful this game can look sometimes. It’s likely a mix of all three, plus some more details we haven’t even mentioned or thought of.
At the end of the day, it’s just a really fun video game. Despite how challenging it can be sometimes, there is enough in there to keep the player pushing forward for sometimes hundreds of hours. We can spend all day thinking about why it is that Elden Ring sold 13 million copies in a month, and is still being played by many players today, but sometimes the simple solution is the best one.