Snow > Gruff Men: Skyrim Is UK Xmas #1

By Alec Meer on December 19th, 2011 at 10:00 am.

Next year: The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim: Modern Dragons 2

I’m still waiting for per-platform breakdowns that will confirm the PC version of Skyrim is as number oney as the all-formats result is, but this we do know: Skyrim is officially the number one videogame in the Christmas UK chart, outselling every other game over the last seven days. That means eight years of Activision and EA Chrimbo-list dominance comes to end in one fell, dragon-based swoop.

Usually, a Call of Duty game squats grimly atop the chart at this time of year, as the nation’s men-folk once again spend the festive season shooting lots of other men again and again and again. It seemed inevitable that the same would happen this year. But no: on the all-formats chart, Modern Warfare comes in at three, just behind the athletic spectre of Just Dance 3.

This year then, the all-formats number is all about Draugr bothering. I know we could all nitpick Skyrim until the mudcrabs come home, but this is a super-positive precedent to my mind: gamers at large don’t just want to be spoon-fed the same thing year after year after all. (Well, they do a bit, just not as much as before.)

Eurogamer note that the last time a non-Acti or EA game pulled off this sales-based feat was 2002′s GTA: Vice City. Bethesda HQ will be full of very happy bunnies today, I don’t doubt. Skyrim 2 next year, then?

I’ll update this with the PC-specific chart once I have details. Oh, and Chart-track say this week counts as the Christmas chart due to the day of Festivus falling on a Sunday.

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95 Comments »

  1. Ashpolt says:

    >Skyrim 2

    Oh, YOU.

  2. Joshua says:

    When two dogs fight over a bone…

  3. pakoito says:

    Skyrim 2 = 56 weekly DLC packs.

  4. mbp says:

    Not surprised. Last week I spotted Skyrim on sale in my local GAME shop for the very tasty price of €25. I promptly informed my lady wife that I would like a copy in my Christmas stocking please. Whe she got to the shop a few days later they had bumped the price back up to €35 because, I quote, “They were selling like hotcakes”.

    • TheOldFirm says:

      Just out of curiousity, which GAME store do you frequent?

    • youthful cynic says:

      They are all the same anyway; there are just different portals into the hell dimension in which GAME inhabits

    • ananachaphobiac says:

      You can still buy PC games in GAME?

    • mbp says:

      Dundrum Shopping centre is the closest GAME to me. Frequent is probably an exaggeration these days because their vanishing shelf of PC game rarely holds anything to catch my eye. It is always worth checking out new releases though because they are often cheaper in shops than online.

  5. Dominic White says:

    I dunno about some of you, but I’m really glad to see something as thoroughly nerdy as Skyrim – a game about magic, dragons, orcs, elves and vikings – completely steamrolling a franchise that has had the entire games industry convinced that shooting middle-eastern and/or russian terrorists with TACTICAL EXTREME PREJUDICE was just the most natural thing in the world.

    It’s just a gentle, dragon-sized reminder that videogames *are* nerdy. And that’s actually alright.

    • skalpadda says:

      Yes, it almost feels like a relief.

    • RegisteredUser says:

      +1

      Fuzz orf Call of Doodie.

    • TheApologist says:

      Testify, nerd-friend!

    • Jimbo says:

      I kill dragons with tactical extreme prejudice.

    • Prime says:

      +1 for celebration of nerdiness, says Optimus.

    • The Tupper says:

      Honk! Honk! (+1)

    • Wizardry says:

      There’s nothing nerdy about action games. Sorry to break the news to you.

    • Donjo says:

      OH, INDEED. This makes me very happy.

    • Unaco says:

      @Wizardry,

      Skyrim is an RPG. Sorry to break the news to you.

    • Durkonkell says:

      @Wizardry

      Damn it, Wizardry! He didn’t say it was nerdy because it was an RPG, but because it contained “magic, dragons, orcs, elves and vikings”! These are traditionally nerdy things, your argument is nonsensical. Also: irritating.

      Also also: It’s an RPG more than it is an ‘action game’. The meaning of the term has broadened over time. I’m sorry you don’t approve, but there it is. It’s odd that you want the definition of RPG to remain so specific but are happy to dilute the ‘Action’ genre and stick Skyrim in there…

    • Ninja Foodstuff says:

      Allow me: It’s not an action game if it doesn’t have mouse smoothing

    • GenBanks says:

      Perfectly said Durkonkell. Dominic too.

      I’ve also been suprised by how well known the Elder Scrolls series has become among non gamers. None of my flatmates play games (their minds were blown when they found out that when I was playing BF3 I was playing with other people) but they had heard bits and pieces about the ES series.

    • Wizardry says:

      @Durkonkell: It’s the Christmas #1 and has sold over 10 million copies worldwide apparently. It has sold Call of Duty amounts. I think that’s a clear indication of what attracts people to the game. If it ticked all the RPG boxes it would have sold less than a million. It’s not the stats and character development that draws people in. It’s the first-person camera, the real-time combat, the pretty graphics and the size of the game world that is the draw. In other words, the “immersivness”. Make it cold and mechanical like the majority of RPGs by sticking in a player made party, turn-based combat and a lot of stat tweaking and you end up with a game that’ll get 5/10 from mainstream reviewers.

    • Chris D says:

      So now we’re adding “popular” to the list of things that disqualify something from being an RPG? And cold and mechanical are things games should aspire to? Bravo Wizardry, you’ve outdone yourself this time.
      Or do you think that just possibly it might show that people are perfectly happy to play games with stats and character development so long as games don’t make themselves deliberately inaccessible to demonstrate their purity?

    • Wizardry says:

      @Chris D: I was pointing out that the reason it has sold 10 million is because of elements other than the RPG ones. I don’t want to get into definitions again because even I’m bored of that.

    • vecordae says:

      Behold the RPG checklist:

      1) Is it a game? (Y/N)
      2) Does it contain Role-Playing*? (Y/N)

      If the answer to both questions 1 and 2 is Yes, then, congratulations! It is a role-playing game in the most technical sense.

      *Role-Playing in this sense is defined as the ability to make dialogue/plot choices as the character. Deus Ex would qualify in this case, but not Half-Life 2.

    • Chris D says:

      @Wizardry

      Ok, lets say you’re right and Skyrim is an action game. The thing is it’s really not that good as one. Melee combat is just clicky-clicky-click. There’s very little in the way of timing required, some if you take the perks for blocking and power attacks but still not lots. Ranged combat is a little better but there are games that do it much better including virtuallt every FPS ever made. Magic involves casting something then waiting till your mana regenerates or navigating the menu system to change to something else.

      Travel. Walking everywhere will mean big gaps between action. Dismounting a horse is slow if you’re trying to do it in combat. Map travel is there but that’s about as far from action as you can get.

      For an action game there’s sure a lot of talking, reading books and crafting. In an action game you want the test to be your skill and reflexes, not how many points you’ve put into a combat skill, levelling works against that.

      In short, judging this as an action game it’ll be struggling to get that 5/10. Which means the appeal has to lie elsewhere. Either it’s in the setting, people actually can’t get enough dragons, elves and stuff. Or people enjoy the levelling, the character development, the tactical choices you have to make about what to equip, what to improve, when to drink that potion. All things it shares in common with pretty much anything that’s ever been called an RPG. (Except sometime the potions are medpacks)

      Even if you personally don’t like Skyrim surely the fact the there are clearly so many people prepared to embrace fantasy settings and role-playing mechanics can only be a good sign for the kind of games you do like.

      (I like Skyrim, by the way, but I think it succeeds despite some very large flaws. Which is quite an achievement. Also +1 to Dominics original post. Yay nerds.)

    • Nick says:

      @vecordae That makes adventure games RPGs and, somewhat amusingly, the likes of most old RPGs not RPGs.

    • vecordae says:

      @Nick

      Nope. That’s intentional. A role playing game is a game where you play a role. If you’re not playing a role, it’s not a role playing game. The original batch of cRPGs were fantasy turn-based strategy games with an emphasis on unit progression, exploration, and small-group combat. That’s not surprising, as they were based on Dungeons and Dragons, which was, itself, based on an older fantasy wargame.

      Eventually they added in the role playing bits and tossed out the Dungeons and Dragons bits, which is why we have games like Deus Ex, Mass Effect, and The Witcher.

    • Wizardry says:

      Ok, lets say you’re right and Skyrim is an action game. The thing is it’s really not that good as one.

      It is a poor action game. Just like Call of Duty. And just like Call of Duty it has sold millions.

    • Wulf says:

      I can agree with this. There’s so, so much wrong with Skyrim. There are lots of things wrong with it that will bug me until the end of time (or until I get my hands on the damn CK). But it still feels like a very basic step in the right direction.

      Now if only Bethesda could make it feel less… vapid. That’s what I want from them in the future. And make it possible for me to do my best to make Skyrim a better place without having to kill 80% of Skyrim’s population – because that doesn’t make me feel like a hero, it just makes me feel like a genocidal maniac. I’d have been so happy if I could have had a cart with Frost to load these people onto so that I could carry them off to the Skyrim equivalent of a high-security prison complex.

      Skyrim went out of its way at times to make me feel stupid, as if the only way I could have fun is if I were stupid, and that’s a shame. Skyrim does a lot of interesting things, really. So many interesting things, but they were half-arsed in favour of populist vapidity. I mean, there were some great stories buried under that, some that I’m hoping modders will flesh out and give some due thought to. The Companions, the Eye of Magnus, the dragon situation post Alduin, all of these points left hanging just so we can go off and kill more things.

      It’s a step in the right direction but it can be built upon. I really hope that someone at Bethesda is reading this and listening. Build upon it. I believe that you can have it in you. Some of the plot points in Skyrim genuinely surprised me, but it still left a hell of a lot to be desired versus something by Obsidian. But the talent is there, I’m sure it is.

      I’m cautiously optimistic for TES VI, but only if they learn from TES V.

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      Wulf: you should really try The Sims, it sounds right up your alley.

    • ffordesoon says:

      Surely Wulf calling a post-Morrowind Bethesda game “a basic step in the right direction” and “interesting” means it is Game Of The Forever? ;)

    • Gnoupi says:

      To be honest, I’m not sure if seeing a game about ” magic, dragons, orcs, elves” performing so well is so impressive, or even nerdy.

      Because the same description also fits WoW, and it is hardly the most obscure game or setting ever heard of.

    • scatterbrainless says:

      @Wulf – I… really don’t understand this. Obsidian games have much better narrative structure and writing, but then they’re mostly linear, tightly controlled affairs, which allows them to do that (Mask of the Betrayer, SWKOTOR II I’m mostly thinking), a kettle of fish completely different from Skyrim’s ocean of whales. Bethesda were delivering a setting, and given the ad hoc, player directed nature of its narrative there were always going to be constraints on the level of impact you could have on that setting. Within that is its own depth, things like the localization of plants and ingredients to climates, or…. I dunno, other things that support my argument. Tired now, but I think I basically made my point.

  6. Suits says:

    I’ll be putting it off for Skyrim 2: Patched Edition

  7. Man Raised by Puffins says:

    Bookies are already paying out on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 as the UK’s Christmas number one game – only twelve hours after it went on sale.

    “At odds of 1/16 this contest is well and truly over,” said Ken Robertson from Paddy Power. “On its day of release we are happy to crown Call of Duty: MW3 this year’s undisputed champion!”

    Whoops.

  8. Apples says:

    I think this is an alright sort of thing to happen – it’s nice that a game full of books is top of the charts. On the other hand I have the same misgivings about it as LA Noire being popular; it’s the derivative, simplistic offspring of ‘real’ late 90s/early 00s RPGs, as LA Noire was for adventure games. They’re sort of bland, palatable Wonderbread versions. It’s cool that people enjoy them, but it’s still galling that we used to have “the real thing” and now largely don’t.

    (And no, not entirely rose-tinted nostalgia talking; I only played Deus Ex this year and PS:T a couple of years ago so I like to think I’m not massively biased about how good old games were)

    • Jumwa says:

      I personally wont be happy until we finally see the quality of titles we enjoyed in the text-only days. These RPGs of the modern era with their distracting graphics simply distract from what it’s truly all about.

    • gwathdring says:

      Er … maybe it’s just me, but I thought he was being reasonable enough to merit an actual response. If you spend a second to read, he didn’t say “GENERIC HATE OF NEW THINGS. GENERIC LOVE OF OLD THINGS.”

      Said actual response: I like a lot of the “new” features people talk about in RPGs, am ambivalent about the changes that have been made to shooters, and feel like old school adventure games may rest in peace.

      Insanity Simulators: I loved Monkey Island 1 and 2 for their writing and hated both of them for their puzzles–almost every adventure game I ever played grabbed me with it’s premise and dropped me instantly with the gameplay except the much maligned Crystal Key which was ok up until the several hours in at the Jungle where I couldn’t figure out what to do, gave up and tried a walkthrough only to discover I’d done everything right and my game was bugged.

      Shooters: I thought the Half-Life games were pretty good, but what I played of Crysis 2 (graphical setting turned way down, sadly) pulled off a similar play experience more adeptly in my mind. Things like CoD depress me, but classic CoD wasn’t substantially better. It’s a mixed bag, but that’s how I’ve always felt about the genre.

      Immersive Sims: System Shock was alright back in the day, but while Bioshock was vastly overhyped I preferred a lot of what it had to offer. I have Deus Ex and plan to play it this winter, so we’ll see how that holds up.

      RPGs: I haven’t gotten around to PS:T or Baldur’s gate, though, so I’ll reserve most of my judgement about old-school RPGs until I (maybe) buy and play one of the classics.

      Action Games: Sands of Time and Mirror’s Edge are my favorites here. Sands of Time isn’t exactly ancient or old-school, and Mirror’s Edge isn’t exactly new, so I guess this doesn’t help me pick a side in the Old vs. New debate much.

      I guess old-school games were just aimed at a different kind of audience than me. I don’t dislike them becasue of their poor performance and graphics any more than I appreciate some of the shittier modern games because of their slick controls and pretty graphical effects. At the same time, I feel like the same advances that have brought us more drivel like Homefront have brought us things like To the Moon, Portal, Sanctum, Bastion, Mirror’s Edge, and many more. Sure, most of the innovation is happening away from the big money, but it’s happening all the same. If I had to pick a genre best served by looking back, I’d pick platforming. VVVVVV is a nice example of modern-retro fusion on this front, while more straightforwardly retro games like Cave-Story are also rather fantastic.

    • Wizardry says:

      @gwathdring: I don’t want to sound hostile but Baldur’s Gate II and Planescape: Torment are very much new school in everything other than their rule systems. Story heavy with characters at the forefront. Similar to Obsidian and later BioWare games in that respect. Old-school is really the pre-Black Isle times. The DOS days. The days where the stories were basic and the fun can only be had from dealing with the raw underlying RPG system. The days where dialogue options were for adventure games only.

    • RandomGameR says:

      If you play a game from your childhood or your early-game-playing-experience many years after you originally played it you are still experiencing it through nostalgia colored glasses. Nostalgia doesn’t require the thing you experienced back in the “good old days” to be no longer experience-able. It’s an emotional response in relation to memories and it definitely colors your modern-day perceptions.

      PS:T and Deus Ex are no more “The real thing” than Skyrim is, in fact I would argue the opposite. The idea behind RPGs has always been an attempt to imagine yourself as a different person in a different world and in that way Skyrim is way more successful than either of those games.

      I think that anyone who wants stat-heavy games necessarily MUST be looking at things through thick nostalgia-colored glasses. Stats are one (clunky) attempt at forcing indirection between a player and their character. They aren’t a particularly elegant solution to the problem. They’re brute-force.

      Therefor I’d argue that RPGs that strip out player-fiddling with stats are actually the more evolved form of the genre.

    • vecordae says:

      Some of the old “old-school” role-playing games aren’t really RPGs in the technical sense. They are heavily inspired by the mechanics of pen and paper role-playing games, however, so they tend to get a pass. At their core, they are strategy games with a basic fantasy plot. That doesn’t diminish their fun or their importance, but it does need to be said. Dungeons and Dragons, afterall, started its life as a wargame and all of the games it has inspired have also featured a heavy emphasis on combat and stat-building.

      So, that’s pretty much what to expect when playing old school RPGs. Eventually, designers started marrying the concept of “role playing” to things other than small scale turn based combat, tolkienesque fantasy, and dungeons, but back in the beginning they were basically the same things.

    • RakeShark says:

      I think people are missing Wizardry’s position. RPGs can be played in a few different styles.

      You have the verbose, flavor-lathered adventures of grandeur with combat/skills being an afterthought or just additional flavor based on the roll, the point being to tell a story rather than dictate laws and mechanics of play. Many action games like Prototype, Saint’s Row, GTA, Zelda, and several others have taken this angle, allowing player skill to trump anything the game system can throw at it short of a curveball or two. For the most part, LARPing is the extreme example.

      You also have the RPGs that try to mix story and mechanics into some semblance of equality, combat and plots carrying the same weight and involvement. This is what most PnP RPGs do today, especially video game RPGs. Yes there are mechanics that will keep you from doing everything and anything, but a clever player will find a way to game the system to his/her advantage, and/or the DM/game will sweep the table clear with a deus ex machina out of frustration/exhaustion/pity. The Elder Scrolls, Mass Effect, Fallout, and Vampire: TM are of this vein, as are Rifts, CyberPunk 2020, and AD&D.

      The other style of RPG is the one Wizardy is pining for: The Munchkin game. Nothing but stats, numbers, and no distractions. Plot? Screw it, I’m making my dude/dudette a goddamned statistical terror. Born out of the love of miniature hobbies like Warhammer and Battletech, the earliest cRPGs aped the basic mechanics, drew some sprites, wrote a paragraph or two about the world on the box, and dropped you into a world of hurt where your only friends were stats and probability. It’s all up to you character’s numbers, no amount pre-meditated knowledge can help you, unless you find a loophole in a broken system. As technology got better, nearly all RPGs left this style in favor of trying to force a story down your throat. The only RPGs that play in this style today are sports games, like the 2K MLB series and Madden for turn-based systems, and NHL Hockey and FIFA for real-time systems. Pick your line-ups, adjust your play-calling, and let the computer play itself to see how well you manage.

      Seriously, you want a hardcore Munchkin gamer? Talk to an online fantasy sports league player who takes it seriously. That or go to a Magic: The Gathering tourney, perhaps even a Hero Clix game, those guys all have only numbers on the mind.

      In Wizardry’s defense, there are RPGs that are like he states, but they’re not THE definition of the broad word RPG.

    • Hatman says:

      I think that anyone who wants stat-heavy games necessarily MUST be looking at things through thick nostalgia-colored glasses. Stats are one (clunky) attempt at forcing indirection between a player and their character. They aren’t a particularly elegant solution to the problem. They’re brute-force.

      In other words, you can’t comprehend the possibility of people liking different things to you and still having a valid opinion.

      I grew up on console action games and initially preferred action-RPGs; in fact, I didn’t play the Wizardry/Might and Magic (etc) games until the last few years. I like them more. There’s no nostalgia involved, and the nostalgia argument is little more than a cheap way to discredit someone’s tastes when unable to accept that they might actually like what you see as the wrong things.

      For the record, I enjoy Skyrim, not as much as I liked Morrowind (and nostalgia definitely is a factor there), but it’s surprisingly good for a game I expected to be unmitigated crap. Action-RPGs and “lite” games definitely have their place; I just see modern games coalescing into a bland, homogenous mass-appeal blob that tries to be all things to all people, and I lament the death of real variety and specialisation. Ah well, plenty of old games I missed out on that I can play and enjoy thanks to my magical nostalgia for stuff I’ve never encountered!

  9. CaLe says:

    I finished the game but have left so much content due to having other things to do. I hope I can be recaptured by that world again next year, for another 90 hours or so.

  10. aircool says:

    So broken, yet so brilliant :))

  11. Jumwa says:

    Well deserved. I feel like I should gripe as well, but I wont. Skyrim continues to hold me in thrall, and probably will for a long time to come yet.

  12. Scatterbrainpaul says:

    I’ve just hit the 57 hour mark playing. quite worrying really as its only been out for a month.

    I keep on telling myself I’m bored of it and should probably play something else… and then a day later i’m back playing it again, pretty much addicted to it. I should really try the main quest soon

    • Prime says:

      108. And that’s with me not playing it since Wednesday last week. And I only stopped because if I didn’t Christmas just wasn’t going to happen for me this year.

    • Drayk says:

      My steam accounts says 104 but I really played something like 90h. I am still deeply in love with the game but needed a break.

      Swtor gives me that but now i have even less time for the other games…

      At least I finished Orcs must die and the last two episodes of Hector.

    • Sic says:

      I hit 80 hours the Tuesday after it was released.

      Probably haven’t been this engrossed in a game since Morrowind.

    • yoggesothothe says:

      Eeyeah….. I have 262 hours, a level 54 in expert difficulty, a level 81 in master (yes, that’s 100 in every skill), and a new level 34 in master I started just for the magicka resist race bonus on breton.

      It’s kind of disgusting. So yeah, you could definitely do worse.

    • Kestrel says:

      @ yog – wow, I’m impressed you have all of that in only 262 hours. You had to spend at least 50 hours just grinding skills to get to the level cap, so kudos.

      I’m wrapping up at 200 hours and level 75 on my first playthrough.

    • GenBanks says:

      You have nothing to worry about… 45hrs for me, but that’s on top of 60hrs of bf3 :p

    • yoggesothothe says:

      @Kestrel
      Yeah, it’s strange though because I don’t actually remember grinding all that much. I must have, I mean at least like 7-8+ hours or so for alchemy alone (mostly because I bought all the ingredients instead of killing giants and churning out wheat+giant toe+creep cluster), but it just doesn’t seem like it in retrospect.

      The only two skills that really felt like grinding were lockpicking (just afk’d that one after 60) and archery (really slow for some reason, but I didn’t start leveling that until after 65ish–was tempted to use the attacking essential NPC exploit it was so slow, but decided to heal other grounded ancient dragons instead [same difference, i guess]).

      It was definitely less grindy than I remember Oblivion to be, at the very least. I miss grinding Unarmed though.

    • ffordesoon says:

      Nearing 130 hours according to the game timer. It’s probably closer to 140, to be honest.

      And I haven’t completed a single main questline, and there are still at least two of the main cities I’ve yet to explore in any detail.

      AND I LOVE IT.

      This must be how people who like MMOs feel about MMOs.

  13. Nice Save says:

    “so you’re saying gamers don’t want to be spoon fed the same thing every year”

    I didn’t read much further because I ran out of spare punctuation, but I’ll bite on this.

    To us here at RPS it might seem like the RPG genre is worn out, but that’s because we are mostly hardcore gamers. There are millions out there who have never played many games past COD, FIFA, Forza, etc. and for them, this is something different and new that they would never have considered even 2 or 3 years ago.

    Just because you’ve been playing similar RPGs for however many years, doesn’t mean everyone has. If you’re so tired of being spoon fed the same thing every year, go find a game in a genre you’ve not tried. Maybe you’ll find something that’s fresh and new to you, that the rest of us think is more of the same.

    We’re lucky that Skyrim is such a good game in my opinion. Having the sales figures mentioned in the article, many of those sales must be to people who have never played RPGs before (hooray guesswork/logic!), making it an ambassador of sorts. These people took a risk to try something new, and if they have a good experience they will be more likely to take other risks with other games and other genres, which will lead to more gamers in areas of gaming that aren’t as popular outside of the mainstream. This is a good thing for the industry and therefore for us.

    • bonjovi says:

      Word. Oblivion started it really, but they hit the nail on a head with Skyrim.

    • Nala says:

      To be honest, and to give the opinion from the point of view of a gaming minority, it’s kinda hard to get a good RPG if you are no hard core gamer. But that’s not because of the dragon-slaying-magic-undead-thing – I LOVE this things, it’s just hard to get a game that suits me.

      My parents bought me Two Worlds 2 last christmas and for a few hours I’ve had fun, but that’s it. The same for Gothic (sorry!) which my co-worker borrowed me (“You MUST play this!”). It’s simply hard to play a RPG where I try to get immersed into the world just to play a guy. Or some other stupid stereotype I’ve now seen for hundreds of times. It’s nice to get a change and the last few years were a relief: Dragon Age Origins, Mass Effect 1&2 and now Skyrim (And yes, the roleplaying aspect of some of these games could be discussed, I know. Just for the sake of argument, they are RPGs in my opinion).

      On the other hand most of my co workers (which are all male, and – which is more important – hard core gamers) don’t like Skyrim: Because they play WoW or BF and MW. Period. And “it’s boring”. Yeah…

      I think if Game Developers will continue to include a bigger audience (Yeah, there’s a tiny bit of “casual” in there, but also: women!) they’ll be surprised to see how many people love to play RPGs.

      Greetings,

      Nala

    • Apples says:

      I don’t think people who play things like WoW and CoD exclusively are ‘hardcore gamers’. That’s like saying someone who watches all the summer blockbusters and nothing else is a film buff. Maybe there needs to be a different word – they are clearly not casual gamers (i.e. not playing iPhone games while on the tube) but they’re not enough into games to play anything that isn’t a high-octane AAA action-fest. I’ve heard people call them “bro gamers” and things but I dunno? Or does “hardcore” now really refer to people who don’t actually like games as a whole, they just like the popular ones?

      Also I don’t think the RPG genre is worn out, but it’s a shame that the impenetrable, weird, complex Elder Scrolls has become the de facto ‘entry level RPG’ series (after the ‘baby’s first RPG’ Fable series). Yes I am throwing a hipster tantrum over something I like getting popular but oh well.

    • Nala says:

      @Apple That’s where I start to get a headache – What is a hardcoregamer?
      I’d never consider myself one, yet I spent hours and hours playing RPGs I like. Deep into the night.
      My preferences are just not about high textures and hardest difficulty, but I like to play things like Minecraft, Trine and Dwarf Fortress (which is definetly not casual *g*). As well as gripping RPGs.

      In my experience a hardcoregamer is someone whose preferences are on high quality graphics, high (and absurd) difficulties, high end Computer systems and chewing on my ear about how bad my pc setup is. ;-)

      But that’s just how I experience other gamers in every day life. They call themselves “hardcore gamers”, so I accepted it.

      We are getting a little OT here, I fear.

    • MajorManiac says:

      Hi Nala. Given the slightly childish nature of the term ‘hardcore gamer’. I would imagine anyone who describes themselves as one, will likely belong to a certain type of mentality.

      I’ve been playing games since the 80s starting in Arcades and the Spectrum. I think the term experienced gamer seems to fit better. Though I don’t mind being referred to as an “anything” gamer. I (and probably everyone else who reads RPS) have learnt to embrace my nerdy side long ago. :)

    • Nala says:

      Hi MajorManic

      Just telling my experiences. *g* I’m perfectly happy with my gaming style (whatever that is), just maybe getting a littly .. uhm snippy (correct english word? Don’t know, hope it’ll get the meaning across nonetheless) about discussing success or non-success of a game and constantly plundering into “Yeah, but hardcore gamer..” territory. I’d just like to know someday what a hardcoregamer is. ;-)

    • Donjo says:

      I think it’s slightly negating to label yourself as any one thing.. I don’t really think too much about how gaming as a part of my lifestyle might be perceived by others, so that I have to invent a label to justify it or whatever.. that being said I don’t mind when friends who don’t play computer games call me a nerd, it’s usually affectionate anyway :)

    • vecordae says:

      Being a “hardcore gamer” is a label one applies to oneself when one finds complaining about games more entertaining than actually playing them.

    • ffordesoon says:

      I prefer to identify myself as a “gamer”. “Hardcore” and “casual” both have too many negative connotations, and they’re so limiting as roles. Sometimes I do want to play a stock-stupid cinematic military manshoot CoD game. Other times, I want to play an emotionally involving story-based game like To The Moon. Still others, I just want to sit around playing Tiny Wings or Peggle while listening to comedy podcasts. And then there are times for Civ, for Dwarf Fortress, for Skyrim, for Mass Effect, for Mario, for Kirby, for Final Fantasy, for Dragon Quest, for Street Fighter, for Avadon, for Minecraft, for Tetris, for Gunstar Heroes, for Planescape: Torment, for Deus Ex, for DXHR… The list goes on.

      Are some of those games “casual”? Sure. But I like them. Why should I have to justify my enjoyment? Why should anyone? There are enough things wrong with the world; I don’t need to watch Angry Internet Men shit all over the few things that make me smile just so they can impress some imaginary observer who is much cooler than they are.

      You know, maybe if we treated so-called “casuals” with respect and tolerance, they would be more receptive when we try to get them into the games we like. Maybe they just need to be allowed into our world instead of being denied access to our dumb little club because they don’t know about “the good stuff”. Maybe they can teach us a thing or two as well. People are always going on about games being “taken seriously”, but it’s those same people who are all up in arms when a game that isn’t for them is brought up in front of them. Mention Angry Birds, and they’re immediately like “GOD, ANGRY BIRDS IS SO STUPID! WHY WON’T EVERYONE JUST SHUT UP ABOUT IT!?” Well, you know what, guys? It may be a simple little puzzle game, but it’s getting people into puzzle games. After they finish Angry Birds, they’ll want more out of the next game they play, and the next, and the next. How is that not good for people like us?

  14. Eoghan says:

    How much of this would be pricing related? MW3 is still around €50 where as I’ve sighted skyrim for 15-20 euro less.

    Edit: Which content wise would be MW3 = a tenner an hour? You can play Skyrim for as long as you want. I’ve clocked up about 140 hours since it came out.

    • bonjovi says:

      no to defend MW3 too much but potentially MW3 can give you far longer playtime. depends how fast you get annoyed with 13olds killing you all the time.

    • MrMud says:

      Yea, this is dumb. MW3 is a multiplayer game so there is infinity hours (or until the servers close down).

  15. Tony M says:

    I think I can see Skyrim tea bagging Modern Warfare.

  16. Unaco says:

    Well done to Bethesda, and well deserved imo. Is a great game. Flawed, perhaps… a little broken, but that just adds to it’s charm. It is an unconventional game… only Bethesda make games like this… World driven (not story or character driven) RPGs, and they seem to have returned to form (after the letdown that was Oblivion and, for me, FO3). And, thankfully, they’ve resisted (what I’m sure must have been quite tempting) to compromise that World-driven approach, to go the story/character driven way that we see in a lot of BIG RPGs these days (ME/DA etc)… fully voiced Companions with their own plot lines, cut scenes.

    It’s not my game of the year, but I’m quite happy to see it being number 1 over the Festive weekend.

    Also, I don’t think anyone’s mentioned this yet… but it is a completely, unashamedly Single Player game.

  17. Ravenger says:

    I’ve spent over 100 hours playing the game and I’ve still not completed all the quests. This game has got to be the best value game I’ve bought for years.

    Ok it’s not perfect (keybinding problems, terrible UI, poor textures, etc., etc.) , but for sheer amount of stuff to do it’s amazing. I’m in awe of how big it is.

    So a well deserved Christmas no. 1 to Bethedsa!

    • Lobotomist says:

      I played RPGs since Bards Tale, and actually RPGs are only type of games i love.

      And I came to conclusion that Skyrim climbed to No1 RPG of all times for me.

      I enjoy every second.

    • Fiatil says:

      According to Wizardry, you’re doing it wrong. This game actually tickles your latent love of high testosterone action games, not RPGs.

  18. Lobotomist says:

    And just to celebrate that – the most awesomest UI mod

    http://skyrimnexus.com/downloads/file.php?id=3863

    • Zack says:

      Thanks for that!

    • The Tupper says:

      I’ve never used any mods for anything before. The usual caveats aside (it’s beta, no guarantees etc) has anyone here tried this and does it seem stable? From the screenshot it looks great – I don’t want anything that changes the appearance of anything (I’ve become attached to it) but this looks like the very thing to make the inventory work properly.

      Also, what’s the situation when Bethesda updates the core game? Is it easy enough to remove such a mod or is it likely to cause problems later on down the line? I’m using a Steam installation, btw.

      Any advice welcome.

    • Durkonkell says:

      That UI mod looks MAGNIFICENT! Any mod which has its own custom header images in the description has got to be high quality…

      @The Tupper: Skyrim (and Elder Scrolls games in general) are very friendly to mod from a user’s perspective. Generally, you drop the files in the Data folder, and then launch the game. In the launcher there’s a Data Files option – you click on that and tick the name of the mod. If a future update breaks it, you just untick it! So long as it doesn’t add any new items to the game, you’re usually fine with any saves you made while the mod was enabled.

      Naturally, this one is slightly more complicated to install, but using Nexus Mod Manager seems like a good bet. Grab the mod and the Skyrim Script Extender (linked in the description page) and let NMM sort everything out for you.

    • The Tupper says:

      That is truly amazing – thanks for the link, it’s exactly what I was looking for.

      I had a bit of a hiccup with using the Nexus Manager to install it (still not sure why), but manually installing it seems to be working a treat.

      Edit: not only that, but for the first time I’ve realised why I couldn’t sell some of my necklaces to vendors. They, um, appear to have been…um…stolen.

    • RandomGameR says:

      I have been using this mod for a week now and I love it. I have not noticed any instability as a result of it. The downside to the mod is that you have to launch the game through the script extender launcher (a separate executable) instead of launching it through steam…

      However that is offset by the ability that this mod has to sort by value divided by weight. It also adds in a box at the top that allows you to filter the current pane by whatever you type in.

      So far this only modifies the inventory menu. It doesn’t modify any other menu that I’ve noticed (though they clearly plan to). This means you still have the old menu when you are buying/selling things for instance, or when you interact with chests.

  19. Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    Fus! Ro! Chart!

  20. Shooop says:

    Egad, you mean there are more people who actually want to PLAY video games, interact with them instead of just follow an AI character from set piece to set piece?!

    Lies. Damn lies.

  21. Drinking with Skeletons says:

    I’m going to predict that the console versions massively outsold the PC version.

  22. Duffin says:

    I’m not a CoD fan by any means, but having a go at CoD’s rinse and repeat formula and complete lack of innovation because of it’s previous dominance is a bit tiring. We all know what CoD is, and it does it’s job very well. Maybe we should look to other big developers (Indies will just never have the marketing required) not making enough good games to explain the CoD dominance. Thankfully this year has seen some cracking games and low and behold CoD is off the top spot.

  23. vecordae says:

    It is good to see Teh Skyrimbs making lots of money. Big, open sandbox games are my favorite kind of them all. Having one be so successful this year should, hopefully, convince other devs to make similar efforts.

    Hopefully, one day my dream game (like Mount and Blade, but it’s in space and you have to fight dragons via dialogue options) will be made and I can quit doing anything else forever.

  24. PearlChoco says:

    I’m particularly happy a single player only game can still manage to get these kind of sales records.

    Let’s just hope TES VI won’t serve to launch some kind of Beth Store, Elder Scrolls ELIT3 online stat management site or Beth.NET social platform…

  25. darksune says:

    @hatman morrowind all the way I would still play that if my original discs still worked simply because I love magic I love being able to fly walk on water an the myrid of spells and number of hodge podge spells you could make. I sure do miss free baseing spells like a real wizard as we’ll as the INTRICATE puzzles sure skyrim has some good points but not being able to make new spells and the laclusture story leaves much to be desired such as the mages end quest hell all the end quests leave much to be desired but this trend isn’t new oblivion was much the same.

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