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“Distasteful”, “bland”, and “lackluster”, were some of the strong terms critics have used to describe The Lord of the Rings: Gollum since its release on May 25. It was so bad that the developer Daedalic Entertainment had to tweet a public apology. But, as the days rolled by, it appears Gollum might have been hastily judged.

The Lord of the Rings Gollum

A bon mot once said, “One man’s meat is another man’s poison”. While The Lord of the Rings: Gollum failed to satiate the yearnings of one class of gamers, it has become the darling of other groups of gamers, beating the likes of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Minecraft in sales records.

Obviously, there is still a group of gamers out there that refuse to follow public opinion but would rather experience the game themselves and make unbiased decisions. Interestingly, that was what we suggested in our review of the game.

The list of the top-selling games in the 21st week of this year was recently released in Switzerland by SwissCharts.com and The Lord of the Rings: Gollum surprisingly made the cut. Interestingly, that was the week of the release of the game. That record runs the entire weekend until and ended May 28.

ALSO READ: The Lord Of The Rings: Gollum Developers Tenders Heartfelt Apology, But Should We Take It?

Perhaps, driven by the fandom for The Lord of the Rings, the Swiss trooped out in great numbers to purchase Gollum before ever seeing the reviews. Below is the list of the 10 best-selling titles in Switzerland in that week.

  1. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
  2. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
  3. FIFA 23
  4. Hogwarts Legacy
  5. Farm Simulator 23
  6. The Lord of the Rings: Gollum
  7. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  8. Nintendo Switch Sports
  9. Minecraft
  10. New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe

4 Possible reasons why The Lord of the Rings: Gollum scored high in Switzerland

The Lord of the Rings Gollum

The top 10 chart had two new entrants in the 21st week. The Lord of the Rings: Gollum debuted in the sixth position while Farming Simulator 23 debuted in the fifth position. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom spent its second week in the top spot while Mario Kart 8 Deluxe remained in the second position.

A few other movements were also reported on the list. FIFA 23 moved up two places to become the third best-selling game, pushing Hogwarts Legacy down by a spot. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild fell three places to number seven. In total, six Nintendo Switch-exclusive games occupied the top 10 position, leaving only four multi-platform games.

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Taking a look at the top 10 list, it is easy to see why The Lord of the Rings: Gollum may have gained big acceptance in Switzerland compared to America. Let’s take a look at some of the possible explanations below.

1. Swiss ignore game reviews

The Lord of the Rings Gollum

This is likely the first logical reason why The Lord of the Rings: Gollum still ended up on the best-selling list even after the flurry of negative reviews. Yes, we must admit, not everyone likes their game spoiled for them—and reviews always come with spoilers.

Most people who nursed the intention of purchasing The Lord of the Rings: Gollum probably erased the thought after reading the reviews. On the other hand, it may just be that the Swiss don’t like to be pigeonholed into a bandwagon mindset. Maybe Swiss gamers are a group that loves to experience every game and come to their own logical decision.

2. Switzerland is a rich country

The Lord of the Rings Gollum

According to World Population Review, Switzerland is among the top 5 richest European countries. Let’s face it, most of the people that depend on reviews to decide if they will purchase a game or not do that because they don’t want to feel like they wasted their money.

Those who are not limited by money will not mind buying a game and making their own decision rather than depending on random reviews to tell them what to do. Moreover, the taste of the reviewer may be different from yours. So, why let someone that hates bananas decide for you whether you should buy a bunch of bananas?

3. Swiss has little stomach for blood and gore violence

The Lord of the Rings Gollum

When you look at the list of the top 10 games, you will easily notice that they share something in common; they don’t feature blood and gore violence. It is not surprising that Nintendo Switch games dominate the list. Nintendo has a history of zero tolerance for blood and gore violence, just like Walt Disney.

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That is a total contrast to most American and European gamers where games are only as good as the intensity of the blood and gore violence they serve. That explains why Dead Space and The Last of Us are both considered masterpieces in America.

4. Swiss gamers are not as diverse as in America and Europe

The Lord of the Rings Gollum

Another possible explanation is that the Swiss gaming community is not as diverse as in America and other European countries. Perhaps, the vast majority of gamers in the country share the same interest in game preferences which explains why the genre of games on the list are fairly the same.

Conclusion

Inasmuch as The Lord of the Rings: Gollum got mostly negative reviews, SwissCharts has shown that the game may not be as bad as it was painted. Like one of our readers pointed out, the game may not be for everyone. Perhaps, the majority of people that reviewed the game are those that don’t like the genre that The Lord of the Rings: Gollum fell into.

This is not in any way absolving Daedalic Entertainment of any wrongdoing. Obviously, some of the issues that plagued the game were performance-related rather than genre-related. Nevertheless, reading about the diversity of interests of gamers all over the world is exciting. It is also a reassurance for developers that there will always be an audience for their work.

What other reason do you think was responsible for the stellar performance of The Lord of the Rings: Gollum in Switzerland? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.

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Anthony Emecheta

Anthony Emecheta has over a decade experience as a freelance writer. Gaming has always been a childhood hobby and he is excited to be collaborating with a gaming company as a content creator. It is like having all the things he loves in one place.

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