Last Updated on June 14, 2023
Reports that The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has sold 60 million copies come at an odd time, with the game joining an elite list from apparetly nowhere.
First released in 2011 on Windows, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360, the game has since been ported to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X/S. It is now 12 years old, so claims it has sold over 60 million copies don’t seem far off the mark.
The problem, however, is that game sales lists are published regularly, and Skyrim is never near the top 10.
Speaking to IGN this week (about the upcoming Starfield), the game’s director Todd Howard stated:
“We’re sitting here, it’s 12 years after Skyrim, we’re looking at a game that has over 60 million copies.”
In a previous conversation with IGN, Howard stated the game had sold “far more” than 30 million copies, but Bethesda has never released sales data.
Now, you might say “fair enough” but what sort of games developer or publisher wouldn’t want their greatest achievement considered as such? Top 10s and top 100s lists are regularly published online (IGN’s was updated in May 2023, with no significant mention of Skyrim), with the game regularly languishing a good 30 playces away from the top 10.
Suddenly declaring a figure of over 60 million is bold, but without the sales data to back it up it’s just a statement.
That figure would place Skyrim as enjoying around the same level of popularity as Mario Kart 8 + Deluxe. It’s interesting that both games have enjoyed cross-platform re-releases and remasters. But where does that leave us?
Well, there is no reason to disbelieve Todd Howard. But until official figures are provided by Bethesda, there is also no reason to rearrange the list of best selling games.
Gaming since 1984, retro gaming since 2004. Contributes to Linux Format magazine and MakeUseOf.com.