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Will Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree be the biggest DLC release ever?

Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree isn’t your average DLC. It might just turn out to be the biggest DLC release in all of gaming.

Occasionally, a video game is released that unites millions of gamers worldwide in their excitement for it. Upon its original release in 2022, Elden Ring was just such a game. As the next work from heralded developer studio FromSoftware, the game arrived with massive expectations on its shoulders, and yet still somehow surpassed what most players had expected.

Shadow of the Erdtree is generating similar levels of excitement, even though it’s only an expansion to the original game. In fact, it’s DLC, an acronym that has become something of a controversial subject as developers and publishers alike use it to try and squeeze further revenues out of already-released games.

Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree is different, however. Not only are players accepting of this particular batch of DLC, their excitement for it is off the charts, and might just lead to it being the biggest and most successful DLC release of all time.

How many players will play Shadow of the Erdtree?

FromSoftware recently announced that Elden Ring surpassed 25 million games sold to players. That’s a big deal not only because it’s an immense number of sales, but also because of what it could mean for the prospects of Shadow of the Erdtree.

Many of those sales were surely made in recent weeks in the runup to Shadow of the Erdtree’s release date. That shows tangibly just how excited players are, even those who hadn’t played the original Elden Ring campaign prior to now.

What’s more, active player counts have been shooting up. The number of players in the game can be seen at any given time via Steam, and this only accounts for a particular subsection of the game’s overall base of players.

After falling to near 30,000 active daily players, Elden Ring began seeing close to 200,000 players each day, numbers not seen since when the game was still quite new in 2022. Players are just that excited about this new release.

There are even players collating information on how best to start the Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree DLC story as quickly as possible, rushing to the in-game events and bosses that need to be checked off in order to begin playing Shadow of the Erdtree.

This level of excitement is rare for any video game release, on any platform. That these levels are being reached for downloadable content, an expansion being made to a game that is already more than two years old, speaks to the faith that players have in FromSoftware to deliver a great experience.

Early critical response seems to be justifying that expectation, as most are aligned on Shadow of the Erdtree living up to the standard set by the original game. That’s no surprise, not only because Elden Ring was itself of such quality, but also because FromSoftware has a solid track record with its previous DLC releases. That includes DLC created for the Dark Souls games, which inspired Elden Ring and stand as the game’s spiritual predecessors.

So while it’s hard to say just how many copies of this new DLC FromSoftware will sell, one thing seems clear: This is going to be one of the biggest DLC releases in all of gaming history.