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Elden Ring isn’t even close to being the year’s most popular game

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It is impossible to bring down the live-service executives.

image credits: gamesrsdar

Despite its popularity, Elden Ring isn’t close to being the most popular game of the year, and it’s unlikely to do so by the end of 2022.

According to Mat Piscatella, executive director of market research firm NPD and video game industry advisor. When Piscatella released a list of the top 10 most-played games in the US during the first quarter of this year on Twitter(opens in new tab) (thanks, GamesRadar(opens in new tab)), Elden Ring’s commercial success was put into stark contrast.

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Minecraft, GTA 5, and Fortnite are among the games on the list, which have dominated the gaming industry since their release. Massive brands and household names, such as Call of Duty: Vanguard, Warzone, and The Sims, sit beside them.

Along with Animal Crossing: New Horizons, two sports games – NBA 2K22 and Madden NFL 22 – cracked the top ten. Half of the top ten most-played games of the year so far, according to Piscatella, were not launched this decade, and Elden Ring isn’t one of them.

Elden Ring is said to be placed 20th, behind multiplayer games like World of Warcraft and Rocket League, as well as significant single-player titles like Skyrim. Piscatella’s list omits absolute values for the game’s projected player counts, as well as the sample size utilised to get the results.

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Be prepared to be startled

Elden Ring may have sold over 13 million copies, wowed critics, and swept the globe, but it’s hardly surprising that it hasn’t topped the list of most-played games. Not only did it come out in February of this year, but the best-selling games are those that are able to establish themselves in the gaming zeitgeist while appealing to a wide range of customers.

“The major evergreen games, as well as the massive live-service games with deeply entrenched social hooks,” Piscatella says, “are gravitational wells for player attention, time, and spending.”

“New games, big and small, confront a difficult hurdle in breaking through.” (opens in new tab)

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Elden Ring’s position may improve by the end of the year, but it is unlikely to crack the top ten. It’ll never have the cross-audience appeal of Fortnite or Among Us because it’s essentially a single-player game designated for mature audiences. While its Invasion feature is a unique approach to social gaming, the lack of live-service elements capable of attracting players on a regular basis through seasons of new material means the game’s peak sales time has passed.

There are, however, a few surprises on the list. Despite Activision’s displeasure with the game’s sales results, which were down 36.1 percent from 2020’s Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, Call of Duty: Vanguard made it into the top 10.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ popularity is likewise rather astounding. New Horizons was launched over two years ago, despite being a beloved series that resonates with folks who aren’t normally grouped into mainstream gaming culture. It tells a lot about the appeal of social simulation games, as well as the commercial boost it received during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, that it still has such a large user base.

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Remember that this list only includes the top popular games in the United States. The popularity of games in other regions would be quite different, albeit Elden Ring is unlikely to make the top ten.

Elden Ring almost includes weapon durability, didn’t you know?

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