Why four of Steam's top five sellers are Hogwarts Legacy

Hogwarts Legacy screenshot
(Image credit: Avalanche Software)

Steam has released its sales charts for the week just gone, broken down here by SteamDb, and Hogwarts Legacy has sold extremely well. It was clear from the game's early access period that there was a big appetite for some open-world wizardry, with the game even breaking Twitch records for viewership in the runup to release, but even so it's striking to see that Hogwarts Legacy occupies four of the top five slots in Steam's best sellers for the week.

The reason why is that Steam treats each SKU, which is to say version of the game, as a distinct product. Thus the top seller is Hogwarts Legacy: Digital Deluxe Edition, which puts the previous week's best-seller, plain old Hogwarts Legacy, down to second position. But then both products seem to appear again in the third and fourth spots. This is because, for whatever reason, Steam categorises the pre-order sales and the release sales as distinct products. So the top two sellers are people buying the game before release, and the next two are those who bought it once it was out.

Pretty confusing but one thing is clear: Hogwarts Legacy has sold big. That is on the one hand not very surprising at all: This is a Harry Potter game, which is one of the world's biggest franchises, and it also seems to be a good Harry Potter game. However it's also become a lightning rod for a much broader controversy that ultimately focuses on the views of J.K. Rowling, author of the Potter novels and creator of the Wizarding World universe in which Hogwarts Legacy is set.

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Hogwarts Legacy didn't launch on PC in the best of states but seems to have addressed most of the early stuttering issues players were experiencing. Modders have also had some time to get to grips with the game, and have of course done what modders do: Thomas the Tank Engine is now in there. Unusually, one of the most popular mods addressed a specific problem with the character creator, in order that players could make their witch or wizard's skin paler.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."