Skyrim Has Sold More Copies Than Every Halo, Zelda, Gears Of War Game


Is that a clickbait headline? Maybe a little, and for that, I apologize. The impetus for it was Matt Peckham’s piece for Time that gave some context to the fact that “Skyrim” has now passed the 20 million mark for copies sold, putting it into the top 20 best-selling video games of all time (console or PC) and passing some pretty surprising classics in the process.

Specifcally, Peckham notes:

"Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros. 3 sold 18 million copies, while Super Mario World grabbed just a tick more at 20.6 million. None of the Halos are in that list, nor any of the Gears of Wars. Not a single Zelda game’s ever come close, and the top-selling installment in Sony’s bestselling PlayStation 2-exclusive franchise, Gran Turismo 3 (and remember that the PS2 is the bestselling game console in history), couldn’t crack 15 million copies."

As he points out, that’s significant because “Skyrim” is an RPG, a genre not always known for its copy-moving appeal across all demographics.

It may also be a factor in Bethesda’s decision to release “The Elder Scrolls Online” as a full-priced game with a subscription plan.

The thought is that even though “ESO” is an MMO and not a single-player game like “Skyrim” and its predecessors, the “Elder Scrolls” brand is powerful enough to pull in more people willing to take the plunge than the number of gamers reluctant to shell out money on a monthly basis. I’m not personally certain this will be the case, but numbers like the ones “Skyrim” has posted at least make that argument more convincing.


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