Following strong reviews and even stronger word-of-mouth, Nier: Automata's shipments and digital sales have managed to top more than a million units.
These figures come despite being released in the same month as Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Horizon Zero Dawn—top-tier first-party releases that have dominated most of this month's coverage.
These sales are made all the more significant by Nier: Automata's lineage. Developer Yoko Taro has always had a following, but his games have been mostly known for being weird, bloody, and not terribly polished. Arguably his most popular game before Automata was the original Nier: an oddity that was panned by critics but embraced by a cult audience.
Still, Taro is known for his unique sensibilities and his meta commentary on the medium, which has won him a loyal audience. In bringing the sequel to Platinum, Taro was able to bridge the gap and bring the series to a wider audience.
Reviews in the wake of Nier: Automata have been accordingly glowing. In giving it a perfect score, Caty wrote, "It's a game that continuously subverts itself, from constantly reiterating how you play it (as it bounces from top-down shooter to swordplay at the blink of an eye), having a shopkeeper that sells you trophies (yes, trophies) to a mysterious NPC explaining to me just why those world maps were so damn bad (poor reception from satellites, it turns out, and androids like me just have to "deal with it"). Nier: Automata knows it's a game, and it plays with that expectation in befitting ways.
Compared to most major releases, a million units isn't all that much. But given Nier: Automata's competition, as well as the fact that it's only been out a month, it feels like a pretty significant number. And if it's anything like its predecessor, its apt to stick in the collective memory for a long time to come.