More than 50 percent of the Skyrim launch units were sold within the first 48 hours and Bethesda have been receiving large re-orders from major retailers in North America, Europe and Australia. Online activity has seen Skyrimconsistently beat Modern Warfare 3, with the game setting a record of over 280,000 concurrent players on Steam within its first 24 hours of release.
Although we're always subject to PR when it comes to sales numbers, there are a few things to consider.
Activision claims that it has set a new record in entertainment by raking in over $400 million sales within the first 24 hours of Modern Warfare 3's release. It's also good to note that this figure is made up of U.S. and U.K. sales and doesn't include the rest of the world, while Bethesda's sales figure refers only to 'launch units' and is a global figure.
But what's interesting about Skyrim's performance is that, generally, the game appeals to more hardcore gamers while Modern Warfare 3 has a huge casual gamer attraction. Seeing Skyrim pull in these numbers can only be a good thing – if role-playing games (RPG's), which are generally much more in-depth than straight first-person shooters (FPS), can pull in the big money, that would encourage developers to continue creating RPG-like titles.
It also might mean that Skyrim has been successful, to some degree, in attracting more casual gamers – something it seems the developers were definitely aiming for, with the PC version being mainly a console port. Bethesda are getting really good at this, with each Elder Scrolls and Fallout release attracting greater mainstream attention.
Skyrim has been performing well in the critical arena, although strange bugs in the PC version keep cropping up. Do Gaming will have its review of the title up soon.
Ryan Peter has been an avid gamer for over 25 years, seeing the industry evolve from King's Quest to what it is today. He is the deputy editor of Do Gaming and a writer of fantasy and sci-fi. His books are available at Amazon.com.