Monday 5 December 2005/...ELSPA, the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association, today announced in association with Ladbrokes that a new favourite has taken the lead in the annual betting on the Christmas number one spot in the Chart-Track computer and video games chart.
The previous favourite, Buena Vista's The Chronicles of Narnia has slipped to 6/1, with Electronic Arts' Need for Speed: Most Wanted now priced at evens for the top spot, as punters place their bets on the urban racing sequel repeating the yuletide success of its 2004 predecessor.
Roger Bennett, director general, ELSPA noted that: "We never fail to be surprised by the title that finally takes the Christmas number one spot. Year on year, it's been a game from the main pack that's come from behind to take the win. Even though we have a clear favourite at the moment, everything could change over the next three influential weeks, when Christmas shopping truly takes off."
David McMorrow, retail marketing manager for Labrokes adds: "Most of the action so far has been on Need For Speed: Most Wanted and the price has been cut to even money as a result. As more people place their bets on EA's racing sequel, the price could be cut even further. However, Crazy Frog Racer has also been popular in the betting and punters can still get 10/1 on it taking the number one psot this Christmas. It would also be foolish to rule out a movie title taking the top prize with Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia and King Kong all currently priced at 6/1 co-second favourites."
The full list of this year's contenders includes:
|Need for Speed: Most Wanted||Electronic Arts||evens||3+|
|Harry Potter: Goblet of Fire||Electronic Arts||6/1||7+|
|The Chronicles of Narnia||Buena Vista Games||6/1||7+|
|Crazy Frog Racer||Ubisoft||10/1||3+|
|Call of Duty 2: Big Red One||Activision||16/1||BBFC 15|
|Prince of Persia 3||Ubisoft||16/1||16+|
|FIFA 06||Electronic Arts||20/1||3+|
|Pro Evolution Soccer 5||Konami||20/1||3+|
|The Sims 2||Electronic Arts||20/1||12+|
|Half-Life 2||Electronic Arts||25/1||16+|
|Civilisation 4||2k Games||33/1||12+|
|Eye Toy 3||SCEE||33/1||3+|
|Football Manager 2006||Sega||33/1||3+|
|GTA - Liberty City Stories||Rockstar||33/1||BBFC 18|
|Project Gotham Racing 3||Microsoft||33/1||3+|
|Resident Evil 4||Capcom||33/1||BBFC 15|
|Star Wars: Battlefront 2||Lucasarts||33/1||12+|
|True Crime: New York City||Activision||33/1||BBFC 18|
|WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2006||THQ||33/1||16+|
|50 Cent - Bulletproof||Vivendi Universal||33/1||BBFC 18|
|Spongebob Squarepants: Lights, Camera, Pants.||THQ||50/1||3+|
Prices correct at time of writing and subject to change.
Ladbrokes Rules apply.
Combined multi-format sales will count in the week running up to 18th December.
Ladbrokes will take the final result from ELSPA/Chart-Track.
These prices will be available shortly through Ladbrokes shops, over the phone and at www.ladbrokes.com
About ELSPA - http://www.elspa.com
ELSPA (The Entertainment & Leisure Software Publishers Association) was founded in 1989 to establish a specific and collective identity for the computer and video games industry. Membership includes almost all companies concerned with the publishing and distribution of interactive leisure software in the UK.