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"Is this real?": Armored Core 6 is the top-selling game on Steam and a breakout moment for a 26-year-old cult hit

 Armored Core 6 screenshot of two mechs in red environment
Armored Core 6 screenshot of two mechs in red environment

As we said in our Armored Core 6 review, FromSoftware's latest mech beatdown is an irresistible action experience paired with one of the studio's best-ever storylines. Its overwhelmingly positive critical reception and mounting launch hype have now pushed the game to the peak of Steam's top sellers, and after loving a cult hit for 26 years, longtime Armored Core fans can hardly believe it.

The tone over on the small but dedicated Armored Core subreddit is one of disbelief and celebration. "We are so back," technophyleboi writes over a shot of Steam's sales charts. Smol_Toby is even more stunned: "Is this real? Armored Core is #1 top seller in the world?"

Armored Core has been around since 1997, but it hasn't gotten a new numbered game since Armored Core 5 in 2012, and there's been no release at all since 2013's Armored Core: Verdict Day. FromSoftware has since become known for dark fantasy hits like Dark Souls and Elden Ring, and after a decade of these RPGs, mech lovers are all but blinking back tears as Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon rings in what could be a new golden age of giant robots.

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"You don't know how much it makes me happy," says Objective-Effect-880. "This is way more important than people think." They hope that "Armored Core selling well means FromSoft will make sequels and it will revive mech genre as a whole."

"AC6 first game to make 100 Rubillion dollars," predicts ShiftyWombat420.

"I am so happy for all you oldschool AC fans, this must seem like a dream. Plus that metascore, wow," chimes in Extreme_Warthog_6636. (We're assembling a pretty intense crew of animal usernames, here.)

"You have no idea," replies DemNeurons. "My first console was a PS2, the first game I got was Armored Core 2 - 10-year-old old me had a magical Christmas that year ... Seeing this game get the love it has feels a little strange because it was hated by the American market for so long. But I am glad it is getting the love."

"I've been playing these games since I was old enough to play games," adds ALakeInTheClouds. "It always felt like this best-kept secret that only me and my brother knew about, none of my friends had ever heard of it. Seeing the series not only return but take center stage of the entire gaming industry is like a dream come true."

Indeed, Armored Core has always been a modest success for FromSoftware, and it's generally sold much more in Japan than overseas. Old reports indicate Armored Core 5 had a considerably bigger launch than Armored Core 4, but even it was a small release compared to the likes of not just Elden Ring but even Dark Souls 2. Armored Core 5 was also presumably buoyed by the momentum of 2011's Dark Souls and perhaps 2009's Demon's Souls, though the latter was a cult hit of its own.

Armored Core 6's rise on Steam is undoubtedly partly a function of FromSoftware's reputation in general, but it also shows that kick-ass mech games can still find an audience in more than one region and on more than one platform. A quick look at Amazon's best selling games puts Armored Core 6 on PS5 at number seven, for comparison, with the only real game above it being the collector's edition for Persona 3 Reload.

These figures obviously only speak to the peak sales period for specific storefronts, and Armored Core 6 may not end up doing Monster Hunter World-grade sales figures, which is still the benchmark in my mind for a cult hit consuming the mainstream. But there's no doubt it's going to be much bigger than Armored Core 5, and its demonstrable popularity is good news for longtime Armored Core supporters whose beloved series is finally getting a spotlight worthy of an AC. See that, folks? All you have to do to make your niche series popular is spend a decade building another series that redefines the entire action-RPG genre. Easy.

Armored Core 6 continues an iconic FromSoftware Easter egg: the Moonlight Greatsword.