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Which do you expect to sell more, Elden Ring or Horizon: Forbidden West?

Which will sell more, Horizon Forbidden West or Elden Ring?


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Phantom Thief

The Ghost of Tsushima
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Two extremely hyped and anticipated open world action RPGs are launching almost back to back. Horizon's great luck with choosing the absolute best possible release windows continues, with the sequel to 2017's breakout Horizon Zero Dawn launching just one week before From Software's open world magnum opus, Elden Ring.

Now ordinarily a question about whether a hyped multiplatform game may sell more than a hyped exclusive is simple - the multiplatform game sells more in most cases (though with Nintendo, and increasingly Sony, first party games, that isn't always the case these days). But there are a lot of factors pulling in a lot of different directions here that may or may not end up making this matchup play in unexpected ways.

A quick look at some of them:
  • Broad appeal: Elden Ring is probably From's most accessible game yet, but it doesn't really come close to the kind of broad appeal a Sony flagship first party game will have; the multiplatform advantage Elden Ring might have gets dampened a bit as a result
  • Addressable install base: Elden Ring is selling to literally all but one platform's audience - PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, and PC are all getting this game. Horizon is launching only on PS4 and PS5, one of those two being supply constrained to such a degree it's practically a meme. This could potentially be an issue because
  • Platform sales split: This is the elephant in the room, because it comes down to whether or not PS4 owners end up buying Horizon too in any appreciable volume. Previous PS4-PS5 cross gen first party games have reportedly had sales split skewed heavily (if not to a lopsided degree) in the PS5's favour. If that holds true here, then there is a natural and very real cap on Horizon sales - if the bulk of people view it as a PS5 game (which to be clear is the kind of marketing and association that Sony itself pushes for), and decide to wait till they have a PS5 before they play it, then it really can't sell as much because functionally its sales potential is capped by how many PS5s are out there, which is, not very many, because unfortunately supply is constrained by production shortages. Elden Ring doesn't run into this problem as much, because a) its marketing has not been tied as much to being a next gen showpiece as that for a Sony tentpole game is generally, and is especially so for Horizon, and also because the bulk of FromSoft's sales come from PC, which this game is hitting at launch.
  • Critical reception and word of mouth: To be honest, both games are going to be incredibly well received so I don't know how much this will push either game over the top relative to the other. Yes, I do expect Elden Ring to get better reviews than Horizon, but a) I expect Horizon to review really well regardless, and b) Elden Ring's advantage there will, again, be dulled by the fact that Horizon is a lot more accessible and appealing to a lot more people. I would say this area is a draw.
Okay, so - which one do you think sells more, and why?
 
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