For a while now, Bandai-Namco has been attempting to really break into Western markets with games that can reach multiple kinds of players. Now, with the success of From Software’s latest title Elden Ring, it seems they’ve finally hit that sweet spot, despite From Software’s reputation for their games’ difficulty level.
Elden Ring is only the latest From Software RPG, known for their punishing difficulty levels and large (yet still niche) audience. However, the increased types of builds that were viable in Elden Ring, along with its open world, aesthetic, and buzz, helped the game to break past Dark Souls 3’s sales numbers.
In just three weeks, Elden Ring was able to sell 12 million copies. This is in direct contrast to Dark Souls 3 and its 10 million copies, which it took four years to reach. However, the most important thing wasn’t Elden Ring’s sales numbers, but the fact that Elden Ring sold that fast at all.
Much like other Bandai-Namco titles like fighting games, sports games, and more, From Software’s titles have been a constant niche market; popular, and well-regarded, but nowhere near the level of more wide-reaching games. Elden Ring’s success marks a significant shift for Bandai-Namco, and quite possibly for From Software as well.
Bandai-Namco has also been making big shifts into new IPs over the past several years. While Elden Ring is essentially a Souls game, the genre of the “Soulslike” as a whole is still very niche, as many people who play games aren’t really up for the sort of intense difficulty these kinds of games put them up against, regardless of how good the games themselves are.
Elden Ring’s success might just make these sorts of games much more profitable for Bandai-Namco, and also serves as a good amount of vindication for the company’s pivot towards new IPs. We’ll likely see a lot more of them coming out in the next few years, and hopefully many of them will be just as successful as Elden Ring.