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Default Skyrim - 20 Million Copies Sold

January 29th, 2014, 10:34
Gamespot has news The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has been bought over 20 million times.

Bethesda Game Studios' acclaimed single-player role-playing game The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has now sold more than 20 million copies since launch in November 2011.

Bethesda announced the news as part of a recent press release, but did not say if the sales figure refers to sell-in (shipped) or sell-through (sold). We've asked a Bethesda representative for comment.
More information.

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January 29th, 2014, 10:34
No info on which port sold best?

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January 29th, 2014, 11:01
Bodes well for the initial sales of ESO
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January 29th, 2014, 11:45
I'm curious - what % of the sale price typically goes back to the developers? I mean how much money have the people who made the game actually made off these 20 million copies? Many were sold at heavily discounted prices, for example….
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January 29th, 2014, 12:07
Originally Posted by booboo View Post
I'm curious - what % of the sale price typically goes back to the developers? I mean how much money have the people who made the game actually made off these 20 million copies? Many were sold at heavily discounted prices, for example….
Bethesda is their own publisher so you could say 100% in theory. Of course how they decide to do things internally, I guess only they know.

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January 29th, 2014, 12:15
It depends on the developer contracts.

Most cases, the developers are paid "normal" wages for the actual development by the publisher - as in they're being funded. Then there can be all kinds of arrangements with a bonus depending on sales - and I bet high-profile people like Todd Howard and his team get extra pay in one way or another.

As for Bethesda, I don't know the internal structure or the position of Howard and the leads. Could be they're responsible for their own wages, though I doubt it.

But one of the key problems with the publisher model is that a big hit doesn't mean developers are rewarded accordingly. The publisher gets most of it in the vast majority of cases - and people who think they're "supporting" any game direction in particular by buying games are more or less deluding themselves.

Suits will try to research market trends and that's what's going to decide future directions.

But I do believe Bethesda is a special case, because they've pretty much had one major hit after another - and they might have a unique internal structure.
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January 29th, 2014, 12:16
Originally Posted by NyxVampiria View Post
Bethesda is their own publisher so you could say 100% in theory.
Do you really think distributors like Amazon sell their products for free ?
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January 29th, 2014, 19:56
Assuming the average sale of the game was 30 bucks times 20 million copies sold equals $600,000,000. I know there's a ton of cost to throw in there but my god, that is a bucket full of money.

Now let me do some reaching and come up with these figures. let's pretend development cost were 100 mil, marketing cost another 50 mil, and production cost another 50 mil and Bethesda made off with $300,000,000. For one game.

BTW, wiki reports that Bethesda estimated they made $450,000,000 million in the first week. It wouldn't surprise me to find that all the big Hollywood and
Gaming industry companies all share the same accountants.
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January 29th, 2014, 22:56
I'm sure these numbers don't even count the DLC's either and the development costs of those are miniscule compared to the main game. These guys are rolling in cash and can afford the 200 million bomb that might be ESO.

I imagine Beth's contracts with Xbox and Playstation don't allow them to admit that the game sells much better on PC.

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January 30th, 2014, 09:24
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
But one of the key problems with the publisher model is that a big hit doesn't mean developers are rewarded accordingly. The publisher gets most of it in the vast majority of cases - and people who think they're "supporting" any game direction in particular by buying games are more or less deluding themselves.
It doesn't matter whether the makers of the game see more money or not. If their product is a hit, they will find it much easier to make another game.

And all entertainment industries follow trends to a fault. If something sells really well, others want to jump into the bandwagon. The success of Skyrim means more open world RPG's, many of which will be similar to Skyrim in one way or another.

Of course one single sold game won't change anything either way, but the principle of "support" is perfectly sound.
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January 30th, 2014, 09:38
Originally Posted by tuukka View Post
It doesn't matter whether the makers of the game see more money or not. If their product is a hit, they will find it much easier to make another game.
You mean like Dragon Age 2 after Dragon Age - and Mass Effect 2 after Mass Effect?

Yeah. That's my point.

And all entertainment industries follow trends to a fault. If something sells really well, others want to jump into the bandwagon. The success of Skyrim means more open world RPG's, many of which will be similar to Skyrim in one way or another.
Skyrim isn't just good because it's an open world RPG - it's good because it's good.

Getting more of the same doesn't mean anything, except that you're more likely to be sick of it sooner.

The only reason Beth gets to choose TES/FO is that they're part of the company funding the game and they have a 100% track record. Good games aren't always successful - and in fact, many of the best aren't.

The principle of support is fine, yeah, but it doesn't apply to the developers and good game design here.
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January 30th, 2014, 17:43
A good number showing that Steam is widely accepted.

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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February 1st, 2014, 19:27
Originally Posted by crpgnut View Post
I'm sure these numbers don't even count the DLC's either and the development costs of those are miniscule compared to the main game. These guys are rolling in cash and can afford the 200 million bomb that might be ESO.
Could be the demise of the TES series. Been thinking of that since I read they sold 15 millions copies.

In this industry, the only reason to invest more is that you're going to reap more. Providing more means to a team so they could carry out their gaming vision means nothing.

They now must avoid to alienate the Skyrim fans in all sorts of ways, which is going to limit their capacity to evolve the series.

It is going to be made harder as so far, the TES series was self referencing.

TES online relies on a fundamentally different approach (like for example, providing a power incentive to exploration) and all the fans of the TES online are going to welcome the next TES with the TES online as the reference.

A lot of means, expectations hard to delineate because of a split fan base, a team that might want to push forward their vision… Might be a lethal cocktail.
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February 2nd, 2014, 11:49
Originally Posted by joxer View Post
No info on which port sold best?
Nothing official, but Statistic Brain seems to have pretty solid data about it.

Originally Posted by ChienAboyeur View Post
They now must avoid to alienate the Skyrim fans in all sorts of ways, which is going to limit their capacity to evolve the series.
Don't see it that way. Elder Scrolls Online (ESO) isn't about evolving TES games, but branching out into a new field. The goals gamers likely have in ESO (high-end raids / PvP) are non-existant in TES. I don't see where a World of Warcraft evolved a possible (as unlikely it is) future Warcraft singleplayer game either, so why should ESO?

Besides, Oblivion didn't led to a demise of TES despite all it's flaws, so I don't see how ESO can achieve that.

Originally Posted by ChienAboyeur View Post
TES online relies on a fundamentally different approach (like for example, providing a power incentive to exploration) and all the fans of the TES online are going to welcome the next TES with the TES online as the reference.
Yes, which is why it doesn't need to evolve the singleplayer experience of TES.
First and foremost ESO has to convince TES gamers to not only give it a shot but to stay. And there's a lot of sceptics out there who doubt it can, seeing it heading towards F2P within 1 year.
So first ESO has to build it's own loyal fanbase and how much they want what's in ESO in the next TES game…. again, would WoW players expect that in a singleplayer Warcraft? I don't think so.
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February 2nd, 2014, 12:14
What Warcraft single player?

And MMORPGs are often played as SP game.

The audience for the next TES is going to be split in several passionate fractions, one being ESO fan base. That must be convinced to get into the next TES (which means by the way that one thing that is supposed to work one way [getting tes fans into eso] works the other way round.
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February 2nd, 2014, 14:12
Originally Posted by Siannah View Post
Nothing official, but Statistic Brain seems to have pretty solid data about it.
PC 14%?

If I was Bethesda CEO I'd stop making new TES games on PC.
And everyone would be happy - even bugs haters.

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February 2nd, 2014, 14:20
I doubt that report because digital sales are hard to get data on. Though I have no doubt the console version outsold the PC as that's old news at this point.

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February 2nd, 2014, 14:30
Originally Posted by ChienAboyeur View Post
What Warcraft single player?

And MMORPGs are often played as SP game.

The audience for the next TES is going to be split in several passionate fractions, one being ESO fan base. That must be convinced to get into the next TES (which means by the way that one thing that is supposed to work one way [getting tes fans into eso] works the other way round.
I know there isn't a Warcraft SP coming. But if it would, what part of WoW would influence / evolve it? Apart from lore changes, I don't see any and that has no effect on the next TES, as ESO plays roughly 900 years before Skyrim and 700 years before Morrowind / Oblivion.

Sure MMOs are often played as SP. Still don't see this affecting the next TES game as MMOs work fundamentally different. What does an MMO cover, that could / should evolve or flow into a pure SP game?
If at all, it's a big "nope" to all wanting TES games to incorporate multiplayer in any form - they have ESO covering that.

Split audience - ESO first has to build it's fanbase. This isn't a given, not even with the success of TES / Skyrim. It has some things speaking for it and some against it, but how this works out remains to be seen. WoW didn't build mostly upon it's Warcraft fanbase, nor did SWtor build solely upon Jedi / Kotor games / fans.

Given the roughly 5 years interval Bethesda took so far between TES games, the next installment will be 2016/17 and a Fallout before that. That's a long time ESO can work / build up it's own fanbase.
…. and just because one has an active subscription with ESO, doesn't make him / her uninterested in a new TES.

Originally Posted by joxer View Post
PC 14%?

If I was Bethesda CEO I'd stop making new TES games on PC.
Why? Roughly 3 million copies isn't something I'd dismiss, especially not with the added longevity through modding.
… and luckily enough the current CEO seems to be a wee bit smarter than you.

Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
I doubt that report because digital sales are hard to get data on. Though I have no doubt the console version outsold the PC as that's old news at this point.
Source: Bethesda Game Studios, Steam, Zenimax - I don't know how they collected all data, but it's rather difficult to get better sources.
Last edited by Siannah; February 2nd, 2014 at 14:52.
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February 2nd, 2014, 14:45
Originally Posted by Siannah View Post
Why?
The answer is in my next sentence but you didn't quote it.

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February 2nd, 2014, 14:56
Originally Posted by Siannah View Post
Source: Bethesda Game Studios, Steam, Zenimax - I don't know how they collected all data, but it's rather difficult to get better sources.
I saw that but the problem is most other sites only count physical sales. I also never even heard of this site. Never the less I concede on this your right.
Why? Roughly 3 million copies isn't something I'd dismiss, especially not with the added longevity through modding.
I agree it may not be the largest share but it's still allot of money. Though Joxer would be happy if they did cause he has a vendetta agaisnt Skyrim bugs.

I sometimes wonder if those bugs did something unspeakable to him.

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