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Animal Crossing: New Horizons ends 2020 at the top | UK Boxed Charts

It is also the second biggest game of the year behind FIFA 21

It's somewhat fitting that Animal Crossing: New Horizons ends 2020 as last week's best-selling boxed video game in the UK.

The game rises two places over last week thanks to a sales increase of 7%.

The Nintendo title's incredible success has been well documented, reaching an audience the franchise has never seen before. In terms of UK boxed sales, the game is the second best-selling title of the year, behind FIFA 21. FIFA is, of course, available on multiple platforms and in terms of single platform sales, Animal Crossing is comfortably No.1 for 2020, ahead of FIFA 21 on PlayStation 4.

Typically in the UK, the end-of-year best-seller list is dominated by the likes of FIFA, Call of Duty, Assassin's Creed, and -- when they launch -- games like Battlefield, Fallout and Grand Theft Auto. Nintendo's title is now in the same league as these huge blockbusters.

This is purely on boxed game sales. The full analysis of the 2020 UK and European market data (including digital, console and accessory sales) will be revealed and dissected via GamesIndustry.biz over the next two weeks.

The latest GfK weekly chart is for week 53, running from December 26th - January 2nd, and so it's not a surprise to see game sales fall across the board now that the Christmas sales window has closed. Overall, boxed game sales were down 40% over the previous week.

The Top Ten mostly feature sales drops. Chart topper Animal Crossing may have risen 7% in sales, but FIFA 21 (No.2) dropped 55%, Mario Kart 8: Deluxe (No.3) fell 35% and Assassin's Creed Valhalla (No.4) plunged 58%. Just Dance 2021 actually rose up to its highest position at No.5, but that's despite a sales drop of 43%. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold Wa at No.6 fell 61%, Minecraft on Switch slipped 29% but is up to No.7, and Super Mario 3D All-Stars fell 42% and rose to No.8.

GTA 5 (No.9) also rose back into the Top Ten, despite a sales slide of 38%. Bucking the trend at No.10 is a return for New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe, which enjoyed a 33% sales spike helping the game rise ten places.

All of these sales drops means that Cyberpunk 2077 leaves the Top Ten, dropping from No.8 to No.15 after a 66% sales fall. Spider-Man: Miles Morales also exits the Top Ten, down to No.11 with a drop in sales of 70% week-on-week. However, expect Spider-Man to bounce up and down the charts as more PS5 consoles are released into the market.

Nintendo Switch games appear to be the most resilient, with boxed sales of these titles overall dropping just 25% week-on-week (by comparison, PS4 game sales fell 48% and Xbox One games are down 53%). With a lack of stock of PS5 and Xbox Series S and X, Nintendo was actively marketing new hardware deals right up until December 25th (and even now), and the console sold strongly during December. Therefore this may be the result of consumers buying more games having received a Switch console for Christmas.

The start of 2021 is extremely quiet for new game releases. The one exception is that IO Interactive plans to release its new Hitman game on January 20th.

Here is the GfK Top Ten for the week ending January 2nd:

Last Week This Week Title
2 1 Animal Crossing: New Horizons
1 2 FIFA 21
4 3 Mario Kart 8: Deluxe
7 4 Assassin's Creed Valhalla
7 5 Just Dance 2021
5 6 Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
10 7 Minecraft (Switch)
9 8 Super Mario 3D All-Stars
11 9 Grand Theft Auto 5
20 10 New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe
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Christopher Dring avatar

Christopher Dring

Head of Games B2B

Chris is a 15-year games business veteran. He spent nine years at UK business weekly MCV, including five years as editor. He joined GI in 2016 and oversees editorial, sales and events worldwide. He is the architect behind Best Places To Work Awards and GI Live. And is a tiny bit obsessed with market data. He also writes for Doctor Who Magazine. Because Doctor Who is awesome.