Elden Ring has been a long time coming, but who would have thought that the hype would be this big?
It’s official: it’s in the papers. Elden Ring is FromSoft’s biggest and most hyped launch to date. The latest game from the iconic studio that brought us the Soulslike, Soulsborne, Soulbornkiro, whatever you’d like to call it, genre has attracted over 750,000 concurrent Steam players. There’s been a spate of negative user reviews generating thanks to its inconsistent PC performance; this success can be even seen in gaming marketplaces that specialize in selling game accounts and other types of services. Publisher Bandai Namco has yet to announce the game’s official launch sales, but we’ve seen massive success just from Steam alone, so it’s easy to assume that the numbers are above 1,000,000 at launch if the PC numbers alone are anything to go by.
Comparing Elden Dark to Other Dark Souls Games
On launch day, Elden Ring hit a peak concurrent player count on Steam of 764,835 players. When you compare that to Dark Souls 3 which had 129,975 players and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice which had an all-time peak of 125,315 players, you can see just how huge these numbers are on PC. If we crunch the numbers, we can see that Elden Ring had nearly six times more concurrent players than Dark Souls 3’s highest ever peak. The player numbers will constantly change on Steam – no game sits at the top forever, after all.
Performance is A Big Issue
It’s not all good news for Elden Ring despite hitting such high numbers. The game has attracted a swathe of negative reviews on Steam thanks to its dubious performance on PC. Digital Foundry’s statement of Elden Ring’s performance being a mixed bag right now is putting it lightly, to say the least. Even with the 1.02 available to download now, PC users can see stutters of up to 250 milliseconds in length when new areas, effects, and enemies appear on the screen. At its worst, Elden Ring players experience “tumbling frame-time issues” that drop the frame rate from 60 to 40. A look at the Steam reviews shows that over 7,000 of them consist of negatives shows that these performance issues are not lost on PC players despite the patch update.
What’s All the Hype About Anyway?
A big part of the hype surrounding Elden Ring is the great track record that Hidetaka Miyazaki (the game’s director) and FromSoftware have had over the best decade. This has built a trusting relationship between fans of the games and the developers, as each new mechanic added to the game before its official launch was received positively.
Another reason why fans are hyped about Elden Ring even after its release is that it’s the spiritual successor to the Dark Souls series due to its graphics, story, and overall medieval setting being the perfect fit for the franchise. Especially since the last FromSoftware title, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, was set in Sengoku Era Japan, players were itching for a more Gothic experience featuring magic and greatswords than samurais and katanas.
Lastly, the story is more intricate this time around, as fans will experience a mythos built from the ground up by George R. R. Martin, writer of the novels that the Game of Thrones series was based on.
Due to FromSoftware’s attempt at making the game accessible to as many computers as possible, they’ve essentially taken on a situation more difficult than if they were to just leave these PC players behind. Elden Ring is facing serious performance issues on PC to the point that they aren’t just minor inconveniences anymore, leading to a lot of players from that platform selling their game accounts on gaming marketplaces. Almost all GPUs – yes, even the super expensive ones – struggle when going outside into the beautiful horizon but run fine indoors. This is likely due to the game using DirectX 12, a software developed by Microsoft that has been known to produce fluctuations and aggressive stutters in modern games since it takes a different approach to memory management. Variable refresh rate technologies like FreeSync and G-Sync alleviate the issues to some degree, but that’s now how it should be as not everyone has access to those.
It remains to be seen what Bandai Namco does about this situation as the day-one patch didn’t address these issues one bit. This is even more strange if you consider that FromSoftware’s last two games, Sekiro and Dark Souls 3, had no problems across all platforms. In the meantime, there are still a lot of players actively grinding through Elden Ring, even if it currently faces a lot of problems.