Ubisoft is back at the top of the UK physical retail charts this week with For Honor.
The game's first-week sales didn't quite match those of last month's Resident Evil 7, but it was still a strong debut performance - particularly for a new IP in a genre that has been somewhat dormant in recent years (hack and slash). For Honor is part of the publisher's 'Live' line-up, which are games that are expected to hang around for months and years (which also includes The Crew, Steep, The Division and Rainbow Six: Siege), so if it resonates with its audience, we can expect to see the game in the charts for a while yet.
It's actually the first Ubisoft title to top the charts since The Division almost 12 months ago, and the most successful new IP at retail since No Man's Sky (which basically means it has performed better than Steep and The Last Guardian, the two new IPs launched during Q4).
The performance of both Resident Evil 7 and For Honor will come as some relief to the market following an unpredictable end of 2016. It suggests that perhaps the combination of Black Friday and a congested release slate was to blame for last year's under performing triple-A launches. We'll be keeping a close eye on the market during what looks set to be a very busy March, which includes the release of Horizon: Zero Dawn, Nintendo Switch, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Ghost Recon: Wildlands and Mass Effect Andromeda.
Returning to the weekly charts, there's also a new game at No.2 in the form of Sniper Elite 4. The title was developed by Rebellion and published at retail by Sold Out, and it's another game that reviewed well and is expected to sell strongly over time. This is the first time there's been a new game at No.1 and No.2 in the UK charts since Forza Horizon 3 and FIFA 17 came out at the end of September, which just highlights how much the business has changed in terms of physical releases.
The opening performance of For Honor and Sniper means it is back down to No.3 for Grand Theft Auto V, which actually enjoyed a sales increase of 7% week-on-week but didn't quite outsell Sniper Elite 4. FIFA 17 also enjoyed a sales spike on the back of some price activity, with sales rising 45% to keep it at No.4.
Last week's No.2, Nioh, tumbles to No.12 with a 69% drop in sales. It may sound severe, but hardcore games often see a steep drop in sales during their second week.
There is one other new game creeping into the Top 40. Dragon Ball Fusions on 3DS debuts at No.36.
Here is the UKIE/GfK UK Retail Top Ten:
|Last Week||This Week||Title|
|New Entry||1||For Honor|
|New Entry||2||Sniper Elite 4|
|1||3||Grand Theft Auto V|
|3||6||Resident Evil 7|
|5||7||Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare|
|Re-entry||9||Forza Horizon 3|
|10||10||Watch Dogs 2|