Bethesda ships 7 million Skyrim launch units, expects $450 million in return

Bethesda today announced official "ship" numbers (read: not "sold") for its latest Elder Scrolls tale, Skryim, counting 7 million units across Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC worldwide. As Bethesda's in the business of making money, it's expecting a return of approximately $450 million on those 7 million units, and claims that "more than 50% of launch units were sold in the first 48 hours" -- at least in North America, Europe, and Australia.

It stands to reason that those 7 million units and the "launch units" are one in the same (we're checking with Bethesda). If true, then roughly 3.5 million units of Skyrim were sold in just 48 hours. Not too shabby! Also, if each game has infinite dragons and infinite quests, and 7 million copies exist, is that, like, 7 million infinity? Gadzooks!

Update: Zenimax originally reported $500 million as its expected return, but changed it moments later to $450 million. That's a $50 million gaffe right there!

Update 2: Bethesda confirmed with Joystiq that the 3.5 million units sold in the first 48 hours were indeed part of the "launch shipment."

[Image credit: Skyrim Forums]