Image: FromSoftware / Bandai Namco
2022 was truly the year of Elden Ring, with FromSoftware’s latest game exploding into the mainstream unlike anything it had previously created. As such, a lot of people played and finished Elden Ring. In fact, according to one set of data, Elden Ring was the most completed game of 2022. But funnily enough, the same source also pegs it as the game players were most likely to abandon before reaching the end.
If you’ve read Kotaku (or any other gaming website) in 2022, you are likely already familiar with Elden Ring, the latest game from Dark Souls creators FromSoftware. And like Dark Souls and Bloodborne, Elden Ring is a tough-as-nails action-RPG with a heavy focus on mystery, world-building, and boss fights. However, this time around FromSoftware added a true open world to its popular “Soulslike” formula. The end result? One of 2022’s most acclaimed, best-selling games. The open world in particular helped sway many to try Elden Ring for the first time, letting players avoid harder areas until later and ostensibly making it easier to finish than past FromSoftware adventures. And it seems that design choice paid off.
According to data on HowLongToBeat.com, Elden Ring is 2022’s most completed game, with nearly 6,000 users of the site reporting they have played and finished the massive open-world RPG. That’s an impressive number when you look at the runner-up games on the list. Stray, that adorable futuristic cat game, was completed by nearly 4,000 users. Meanwhile, in third with 2,500 completions, was Game Freak and Nintendo’s Switch hit, Pokemon Legends: Arceus. To see such a big and difficult game top the list is both a sign that Elden Ring is very good and also a hint at the kind of audience that is primarily using HowLongToBeat.com.
Screenshot: Howlongtobeat.com / Kotaku
But perhaps more interesting is that Elden Ring is also the most “retired” game. When users “retire” from a game on Howlongtobeat.com it means they have given up on it, either permanently or temporarily. Now, even though only 261 players officially retired from Elden Ring on the site, that’s still more than double any other game in 2022. Even if the dataset is a bit small and weird (how many people are logging into this site to admit defeat?) it’s still an interesting data point.
This all makes sense to me. Elden Ring was the most talked-about game of 2022, and with that many people playing, it makes sense that a good chunk of them might give up on it. Other data seems to suggest around half the people playing Elden Ring never reached the end. So I buy that Elden Ring could be the most completed game of 2022 while also being the game more people gave up on than anything else.
Some other interesting 2022 data from the site: Turns out Elden Ring is also on the most backlogs, has the most reviews, and is the longest game of 2022. However, Naughty Dog’s The Last Of Us Part 1 is the most positively reviewed game, and Diablo Immortal is the worst-reviewed.