In the universe of open-world RPGs, few games can beat Skyrim’s sheer quality and appeal. This game came out in 2011 as the fifth installment of the legendary Elder Scrolls series and is set in Tamriel, a land filled with all manner of creatures and NPCs to meet. You start as a prisoner supposed to be executed, but a dragon interrupts the guards and you escape only to find that you are a prophetic warrior called the Dragonborn. The rest of the game is spent exploring the world and completing quests. Skyrim is insanely well-made and has been ported to pretty much every console imaginable, so we’re going to be listing some Skyrim statistics to see how the game has performed over the years as we eagerly wait for the release of The Elder Scrolls VI. If you’re the type of person who prefers a broader approach to statistics, we can also tell you all about the esports industry’s worth.
Skyrim key stats
Okay, so this first section is meant to demonstrate some of the most basic, but relevant statistics regarding Skyrim such as sales and revenue. Aside from that, you can expect to also find the latest news regarding the game and some milestones crossed in the past for a contrasting view of the game’s progress over the years. Who knows, maybe Bethesda ports the game to toasters now?
Skyrim has sold over 30 million copies to date.
(Sources: Contains Moderate Peril, Time, The Verge, Eurogamer)
The game sold 3.5 million copies within 48 hours of release.
It sold 10 million copies in its first month.
The 30 million milestone was reached in 2021.
At the time of release, Skyrim was the fastest-selling Steam game ever.
In this first line of stats, we can see the massive popularity of Skyrim. Some franchises did not manage to sell as many copies as Skyrim did in a single month, let alone the 10+ years it has been out. The game still has good sales to this day because it has been released on many platforms so it was made more accessible to a wider audience of gamers.
Skyrim made $1.39 billion within 5 years of its release.
The total revenue the game generated by 2016 was $1,390,000,000.
The marketing and development budget for Skyrim was $85 million.
Bethesda earned 5x times their return on investment.
The game sold 7 million copies within the first week.
The total profit generated by the game in its first week was $450 million.
The total profit that Skyrim has generated over the years is surely much higher than the number listed above, but since there has been no official confirmation by Bethesda for sales numbers, we can only look at previous announcements and updates regarding the situation. Many people have claimed that Skyrim made $1 billion within its first month, with the profits tapering off in the following years.
Skyrim has been released 17 times.
The original version of the game was released 4 times for PC, Xbox, PlayStation, and the Nintendo Switch.
The Special Edition of Skyrim was released three times for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.
The Anniversary Edition of Skyrim was released 7 times.
There are two VR versions of Skyrim for both PSVR and PC VR.
There is even a version of Skyrim for Amazon Alexa.
This is one of the memes that has made Skyrim so popular in recent years because it seems like every once in a while a new announcement pops up about how Skyrim is now available on Samsung fridges and Tesla cars, and that isn’t too far from the truth. In reality, Bethesda has been capitalizing on the popularity and appeal of Skyrim by releasing it on a wide variety of consoles so more and more games can get on the hype train.
Skyrim mods topped 100 million monthly downloads 12 years after the game came out.
(Source: Gaming Bible)
There are over 60,000 Skyrim mods available to download.
Skyrim Special Edition had 2 billion mod downloads.
This equated to 50 mods uploaded to the site per day in 2022.
This is another show of the game’s potential for endless content through its healthy modding community since Skyrim’s mods are still getting millions of downloads per week and they are just getting better and better, and even more creative.
A Skyrim modder added a DLC-sized mod to the game.
(Source: Gaming Bible)
The mod is called The Pride of Teia and was released in August of 2022.
It features six new islands, two new dungeons, and new wildlife.
A ship is available to players to sail from Teia to Skyrim and vice versa.
This is similar to something that happened with Fallout 4, where a modder created the Fens Sheriff’s Department mod which featured a massive wave of content that easily added multiple hours to the game’s already long campaign. Pride of Teia is, we presume, larger than the Fallout 4 DLC and is a great representation of what a dedicated modder can do to bring more content to their favorite game.
A new Skyrim DLC and a major update were leaked.
(Sources: Comic Book, Gaming Bible)
Some scanning of internal Skyrim Steam files has yielded some interesting data pointing to the development of something new.
One of the possible changes is adding a mod Marketplace to the game.
This means that paid Skyrim mods are a possibility in the future.
Bethesda has not commented anything on the topic.
Since the developers have adamantly stated that Skyrim is going to remain a timeless, popular game for years to come, we suppose that no one should be surprised that a DLC and a major update are in the works. There is practically no information about this leak other than the fact that it has some decent potential for impacting the modding community as a whole. This is because the leak has suggested that paid mods were going to be added, likely to help modders earn money from their work.
Bethesda has stated that people will still be playing Skyrim 10 years from now.
(Source: Gaming Bible)
Mark Lampert said that the game is so timeless that people can always come back to it.
It is never stale as the developer constantly adds new content to it.
Its healthy modding community is also a great contributor to the game’s life cycle.
The design of the game makes players want to play it from start to finish consistently.
Lampert has compared the game to chess to highlight its timelessness.
Skyrim is likely to have a strong player base more than 10 years from now.
The developers of Skyrim love their game and they have stated in multiple interviews that they are sure about the game’s longevity and its potential to remain relevant for at least 10 more years, and we are all here for it. The release of The Elder Scrolls VI is going to be monumental for the gaming industry, so it will certainly overshadow Skyrim, but it will definitely remain a fan-favorite game for the foreseeable future.
A Skyrim player beat the game with just a poisoned fork.
(Source: Gaming Bible)
Insane Frame, the player in question, was looking for a way to beat the game only using poisons.
He used traps and a single poisoned fork to beat the game.
The most time-consuming process of the entire playthrough was foraging for the ingredients for the poisons.
This is a similar accomplishment to some of the crazy playthroughs that FromSoftware players have managed to pull through over the years. However, this isn’t exactly like beating Dark Souls with bananas or Bloodborne with your feet. This player picked a poisoned fork as their weapon of choice as they tried to beat the game using only poisons, which turned out to be a painfully boring ordeal. However, it’s still a good show of the creativity that players express in such an old game.
To sum up
Okay, that is all that we have to say about Skyrim, one of the best entries in the Elder Scrolls series! This is definitely the most popular game in the series and has achieved the most sales and profit out of all the games. Something interesting to note about games is that no matter how good the game is in its early years, it will eventually fall out of relevance as new and more interesting titles are released. This has not been the case with Skyrim, however, as the game is as popular as ever, and will most likely remain so for as long as there are fantasy RPG fans. We sincerely hope that you have enjoyed everything we’ve had to say about this legendary game and that you have learned something new!
“Skyrim mods top 100 million monthly downloads, 12 years after launch”. Gaming Bible, 2023, https://www.gamingbible.com/news/skyrim-mods-top-100-million-monthly-downloads-631104-20230302
“Skyrim: 30 Million Copies Sold and a Decade Later”. Contains Moderate Peril, 2021, http://www.containsmoderateperil.com/blog/2021/5/14/skyrim-30-million-copies-sold-and-a-decade-later
“At 20 Million Copies Sold, Skyrim Is in the Top 20 Bestselling Games of All Time”. Time, 2014, https://time.com/1875/at-20-million-copies-sold-skyrim-is-in-the-top-20-bestselling-games-of-all-time/
“Skyrim is the fastest-selling Steam game ever, 10 million retail copies shipped”. The Verge, 2011, https://www.theverge.com/2011/12/16/2641119/skyrim-fastest-selling-steam-game-10-million-retail
“Skyrim sells over 3.5 million in 48 hours”. Eurogamer, 2011, https://www.eurogamer.net/skyrim-sells-over-3-5-million-in-48-hours
“TIL Skyrim has made 16x as much money as was put into it, including marketing.”. Reddit, 2016, https://www.reddit.com/r/skyrim/comments/3n6t8r/til_skyrim_has_made_16x_as_much_money_as_was_put/
“Skyrim with 600 mods looks just like real life and my retinas are burning”. Gaming Bible, 2022, https://www.gamingbible.com/news/skyrim-with-600-mods-looks-like-real-life-20221125
“‘Skyrim’ Player Beats The Game Using Only A Poisoned Fork”. Gaming Bible, 2022, https://www.gamingbible.com/news/skyrim-player-beats-game-using-only-poisoned-fork-20220907
“New Skyrim DLC and Major Update Possibly Leaked”. Comic Book, 2023, https://comicbook.com/gaming/news/the-elder-scrolls-skyrim-dlc-update-leak/
“‘Skyrim’ Mod Adds Six New Islands, Is The Size Of A Full DLC”. Gaming Bible, 2022, https://www.gamingbible.com/news/skyrim-mod-adds-six-new-islands-dlcsized-20220819
“Every Console Skyrim Has Released On”. ScreenRant, 2022, https://screenrant.com/skyrim-release-how-many-consoles-times-what-when/