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The first two Fallout games were cult classics with heaps of critical praise but not a whole lot of sales. Fallout 3, though? In the game's first week, Bethesda has shipped 4.7 million copies worldwide.

"Shipped" is different than "sold", to be sure, but it gives you an indication of how huge of a launch this game had. For basis of comparison, Bethesda shipped out 1.7 million copies of Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion over the first three weeks since that game's release in 2006. If retailers sell all of those copies, that's going to be over $300 million.

Some will gripe about the small bits of censorship that made such a massive, global release possible - changing all morphine references to "Med-X," for example. Still, it's gratifying as an Western/PC RPG fan to see a company that specializes in that genre do well. After Troika Games produced two games as good as Arcanum and VTM: Bloodlines and still went under, there's always been that nagging fear (for me anyway) that these types of games were a niche market. Glad to see that's not the case.

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