5 lessons that Elden Ring's 12 million worldwide sales has for the gaming industry

If Elden Ring’s success required quantification, the 12 million worldwide sales would be the best number available. The game has been a massive success amongst fans and critics alike, proven by its 97 Metascore. Despite the launch day version having performance issues on all platforms, players have poured their love.

Elden Ring is not FromSoftware’s first tryst with the souls-like genre. The developers have built a reputation for developing this particular genre, but their latest creation looks like the most successful one.

The IP has become the largest new venture in gaming since The Division in 2016. Such has been the IP’s success that Bandai Namco has plans to expand it outside the realms of video games.


5 essential aspects that Elden Ring’s success shows to the gaming industry

However, the game’s success is an interesting case study for fans and developers. There’s no golden formula for making a hit video game, so what works for one game may not be for another. However, there’s reason to believe that some of Elden Ring’s practices can be useful for developers of other games.

5) Lack of microtransactions

The moment I saw update 1.03 for Elden Ring, I was like:AAA Studio? Adding new shit to their game? NPCs, new music, updated questlines? Without making any DLCs or locking them behind microtransactions? In 2022? https://t.co/ckCgoM23Zd

It’s understandable for Free-to-play games to have microtransactions. Developers have to make money for themselves in a free-to-play game, and microtransactions are the only sustainable way.

However, full-priced AAA games that have microtransactions never look good, and Elden Ring gets a brownie point in this regard.

It’s often debated that the nature of microtransactions should be the deciding factor. Gran Turismo 7 walked into hot water because it lets players buy credits directly. In its defense, it has been said that the credits can alternatively be farmed by playing. None of the cars available in the game are locked beyond the paywall.

I had no problem paying $89.99 for the collector’s edition of Gran Turismo 7, but I do have a problem with the “legends” dealership charging $12 million for a car in which the only real way to afford such is to buy into Polyphony’s use of micro transactions.

Yet, microtransactions in a $60 or $70 game keep open the chance for it to become exploitative. It only takes one wrong decision on the part of the developers to make microtransactions feel exploitative. This is a basic but essential lesson that FromSoftware gives by not incorporating it into their game.


4) Accepting the shortcomings

Elden Ring’s launch was massive for fans, streamers, and developers alike. However, the launch day version wasn’t free from problems. In a study done by Digital Foundry, version 1.03 had problems with stutters and frames on all three platforms.

What followed the incident was Bandai Namco coming out and apologizing to the fans. The publishers stated many issues that they had detected and were working to solve.

This is appreciable given that there are certain developers in recent times who have been accused of not listening to their fans. While Elden Ring had a successful launch, Bandai Namco and FromSoftware quickly acknowledged the issues and started to fix them.


3) Create a complete game

Comments like this about Elden Ring are so funny to me because yeah, Fromsoft is a really great developer.Not all AAA studios are the same, and it would be wild to expect “half the map” and microtransactions for runes from Fromsoft. Instead of buying blindly, find good devs. https://t.co/nWj27n8yCU

Performance issues aside, there has never been a plan for FromSoftware to treat the game like a live service. The recent update has made additions to the content of the game. Since the game was launched, there hasn’t been a complaint from players about unfinished content.

Fans have routinely criticized games like Battlefield 2042 for the unfinished state in which the game was released. Since its release, season one of the game has been pushed back. While the situation hasn’t been made easier due to bugs, the content in the game is always lacking.

Sometimes I wonder if EA uses an 8 year old child to come up with excuses. Loot box controversy: “They’re surprise mechanics, not loot boxes.”Criticism? Call them stupid and mock them. Battlefield 2042 flopped? ‘Halo Infinite did it!’ https://t.co/rDmCnWB3hh

It doesn’t matter if the game is targeted to be a live service. There should be enough content to keep it engaging. More importantly, it should never be released in a state where the desired quality is absent.


2) Players love challenges

Started my first playthrough of @ELDENRING and absolutely loved it. Being my first souls game was challenging but very rewarding! Can’t wait to play more 😁

It seems to be a common belief that players don’t like challenging games. If the 12 million sales of Elden Ring have proved anything, it’s quite the opposite. Players seem to like games that don’t always give out directions.

There’s a delicate balance between what’s deemed too complicated and what’s perfect. Before Elden Ring was released, there was a notion that souls-like games were on the downwind. It was thought that fans are giving up on the genre because of its difficulty.

🧐 Fromsoft made Elden Ring challenging, therefore you should challenge the game back to the best of your ability. https://t.co/Cc06icAKzU

The sales numbers have proved that many still enjoy a proper challenge. As long as they are made to think and earn the reward properly, they’re up for it. As with any other game, there will be some exceptions. The opinion of the vast majority is clear, with 12 million strong numbers.


1) Single-player games are not dead

Remember when @EA once said people don’t play single player games anymore?Maybe they would like to explain why a single player game has almost 390x the number of players compared to their flagship multiplayer game?#ELDENRING #Battlefield2042 https://t.co/g9vObzpfVI

There has been a clear emphasis on multiplayer, live service themed games. The focus of these releases is clearly towards keeping the fans engaged in multiple ways. Battlefield 2042 is a recent example where the developers decided to push with a multiplayer-only approach. Call of Duty Vanguard’s single-player campaign is pretty short and like an extended tutorial.

Elden Ring has multiplayer and even has NPCs to assist in a mission if it’s too difficult. However, the focus is clearly on narrative-driven gameplay. If the sales numbers are anything to go by, players are definitely in love with it.

I finished Elden RingI beat every BossGot every legendary item and it’s the first game where I collected all the trophies.It’s definitely the best game I’ve ever played, perfect gameplay, bomb story, visually stunning, best Bosses ever and the best open world.10/10#ELDENRING https://t.co/ycn7vGEDXE

So perhaps the industry needs to believe in single-player games once more. While there’s nothing wrong with multiplayer releases, fans are open to story-based titles.



Edited by Sijo Samuel Paul

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