I am very curious about a very specific race going on this year. While there are many big releases happening in 2023 after a series of 2021-2022 delays, there are caveats to most of them.
Games like Redfall and Starfield are Xbox exclusives and will not “sell” in the traditional sense due to launching on Game Pass. Tears of the Kingdom will be massive, but is only on Switch. Same for Final Fantasy XVI and potentially Spider-Man 2, only on PlayStation.
However, there are two, possibly three exceptions to this. We don’t know exactly what Call of Duty is doing this year. Some sort of $70 offering, possibly a fully new game, but it seems like it may be something tied directly to MW2. Therefore I wonder if it will sell as monstrously as a normal installment would.
That leaves two games I’m watching, Diablo 4 and Hogwarts Legacy, and I am wondering which will outsell the other, as both are multiplatform and not exclusive to any one system. And bigger than other third party games are likely to be, such as Jedi Survivor (even if that’s great).
So, here’s the data:
Hogwarts Legacy sold 12 million copies in its first two weeks, blockbuster numbers at a pace that has rarely been matched in the industry, and almost never for a brand new IP (Cyberpunk 2077 might be the closest comparison). Those are the last numbers we have from the series right now, and the game will continue to release on more platforms like last-gen consoles and the Switch, still to come.
Diablo 4? It’s not out yet, clearly, but we can look at Diablo 3 as reference.
Diablo 3 became the fastest-selling PC game ever at launch, racking up 3.5 million sales in 24 hours. It hit 6.3 million sales its first week. By the end of 2012 it sold more than 12 million copies, which would have been about six and a half months after launch. Eventually, Blizzard would reveal it had sold 30 million copies by August 2015, though it seems likely that also included sales of the Reaper of Souls expansion as well.
I know how this looks initially. 12 million sales in two weeks versus 12 million sales in 6.5 months. And I probably expect Hogwarts Legacy to move 20 million copies in its first year, similar to Elden Ring.
However, I think there are additional factors to consider:
- Diablo 3 was released in 2012, 11 years ago, and the overall gaming industry has expanded dramatically since then, hence why you’re seeing sky-high totals for games that maybe wouldn’t have reached those levels a decade ago.
- Diablo 4 has had two, going on three promising betas that have only amplified interest in the game. It has built on those initial 30 million sales over the past decade so that likely a lot more people will be interested in D4 at launch than D3, which of course already set records itself.
- Diablo 4 also seems like it has the potential to have longer legs that Hogwarts Legacy and all its upfront sales. Unlike Hogwarts Legacy, which most players just beat and dropped, Diablo 4 will exist as a live game in perpetuity, and in addition to seasons, paid expansions have also been confirmed. That means a higher volume of sales for longer, as new content is consistently added.
It’s a steep climb, but if any game that isn’t a new Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto can do it, I think it’s Diablo 4, but we’ll have to wait and see.
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In the world of video game releases, two highly anticipated role-playing games are set to battle it out for top-selling game of the year: Blizzard’s Diablo 4 and Avalanche Softwares’ Hogwarts Legacy.
Both games have been eagerly awaited by fans of the genres since they were announced, with Diablo 4 described as a continuation of Blizzard’s classic dungeon crawler series while Hogwarts Legacy is set in the Harry Potter universe, allowing players to fully explore the magical world and make choices that will shape their destiny in the game.
So, which game is likely to outsell the other?
On the one hand, Diablo 4 should be a hit with fans of the original series due to the carefully crafted RPG mechanics and story. The game also boasts a multi-player style mode that allows for both cooperative and competitive play – something that should help it reach a wider audience than single-player games.
On the other hand, Hogwarts Legacy is based around the popular Harry Potter franchise and this alone should guarantee a certain level of success. Not to mention the fact that the game is the first to officially explore the world of Harry Potter in RPG form – it’s a sure bet that the game will appeal to fans of the books and films alike.
Ultimately, it’s hard to tell which game will be the bigger success in terms of sales. Blizzard retains the upper hand when it comes to RPG style mechanics, while Avalanche Softwares also has an advantage as they stand to benefit from the wider popularity of the Harry Potter franchise.
We’ll have to wait until both games are released and gamers get their hands on them before any real calls on who will emerge as the victor can be made. Nevertheless, no matter the outcome, both games are sure to be thrilling experiences for fans of the genres and have the potential to reignite an interest in the classic RPGs of the 90s.