I’m busy playing through Shadow of Mordor at the moment, and I quite like it. I think the brutal and rewarding combat’s excellent, the Nemesis system is genius and I love how each orc has an element of individuality. Beyond that though, I feel there’s something missing – something I can’t quite put my finger on. Still, I’m rather enjoying killing and/or branding everything I can get my grubby ranger hands on in Mordor – so I’m glad to see it’s doing pretty well. Maybe.
According to the dubious numbers spat forth by much-maligned internet sales figure guessers, VGChartz, Shadow of Mordor sold through 850 thousand copies in its first week at retail. This of course only accounts for physical copies and not the wraith-like ones that have made their way to computers and consoles via digital distribution. According to VGChartz, 362,97 copies found their way in to US homes, with 303,802 units setting up camp in Europe and the rest of the world. Over three quarters of a million copies of a a game sold in a week doesn’t really sound like a lot when compared to games Call of Duty but it’s pretty good numbers for a game that’s essentially a new IP, that had a limited marketing budget and many people had no idea even existed. Thanks to word of mouth and the hopefully long-tail sales, shifted physical units should at this point be well in excess of a million copies.
Going a little further; The PlayStation 4 version was apparently the best selling, with 554,230 units sold worldwide at retail. The Xbox One is home to 265,969 units, while the PC version sold through just 34,733 units. That low number could be attributed to two things; the old chestnut that is rampant PC piracy, and the fact that savvy PC gamers use Steam and other similar services for their games, eschewing outdated and outmoded things like physical media.
Whichever the distribution method, let’s hope the game continues to do well. Derivative as it may be, Developer Monolith has some great ideas in play in Shadow of Mordor that could be further refined when it comes to an inevitable sequel. The game was released at the end of September in the US, and on 3 October in the rest of the world, for PC and the new consoles. An old-gen version of the game is still on its way, though it’ll be missing much of what makes the game fun to play, with the game’s most ambitious featured scaled back on those ancient consoles.
Last Updated: October 21, 2014