Assassin’s Creed Valhalla launched last week, and it has absolutely killed it in terms of sales and player numbers. The game has sold more copies, and has more players right now, than the last entry to the series, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. That game, set in ancient Greece, was seen as the pinnacle of the series until recently. It had a huge world which was packed with stories, quests, and just loads of stuff to do. It was one of the most accomplished open world RPGs in history. However, compared to this year’s massive hit, it hasn’t sold particularly well. Here’s why I think that is.
There’s no simple way to say this, but I think Vikings automatically sell media. Whether it’s a movie, TV show, book, or game, they push sales through the roof. At least in the UK, we have this obsession with these brutal invaders from the past who integrated with English society. They’re a part of the heritage of both the UK and US, whether you like it or not. I’m fascinated by their religion, and how it played into their day to day life, whilst others love the technology they utilised. Whatever it is that you enjoy about them, you can’t deny that some part of you prefers Assassin’s Creed Valhalla because of them.
This is the second reason that I believe that the game sold so well compared to Odyssey. Usually, at this point in the year, people don’t have much to do. Sure, it’s not freezing cold outside everywhere, but it’s preferable to stay indoors and play games or watch something. That’s why these blockbusters release towards the end of the year. Players are more likely to buy them when they have less socialising to do.
However, this year has flipped everything on its head. The pandemic has forced everyone to look for more indoor entertainment, and games are a huge part of that. You can see the sales numbers rise as lockdowns around the world came into effect, which I think shows exactly why Valhalla has sold so well. There are more people looking for meaty games to consume, and this is the meatiest game around right now.