The end of October is the most congested launch period of the year, and we begin this week with three new games in the Top Five UK physical charts.
It's all led by Sony's Gran Turismo Sport, which had a bigger launch than Gran Turismo 6 (which arrived in December 2013, after the launch of PS4), but significantly below the series' 2010 high-point Gran Turismo 5 (where week one sales were three times higher).
Yet the market today is a radically different one to what we saw in 2010 (and even 2013), with different buying habits and a significant growth in download sales. So instead, let's make a few better comparisons.
Gran Turismo Sport is the most successful racing game launch of the year so far, in a period where we've seen a number of notable competitors. It has comfortably outpaced Project CARS 2, Forza 7 and F1 2017. Despite being a single-format release, it also sold slightly ahead of the week one sales of Middle-earth: Shadow of War.
For a GT that isn't a numbered title, and with a specific target at a mainstream audience, Gran Turismo Sport seems to have had a solid start to life. As we head into the festive console sales period, expect GT Sport bundles to feature heavily.
FIFA is pushed down to No.2, with South Park: The Fractured But Whole debuting at No.3. The game sold narrowly below 2014's South Park: The Stick of Truth, but again the comparisons are hard to make. The Stick of Truth was a 360 and PS3 game, which launched when those two platforms had a far higher install base... but also, after the launch of PS4 and Xbox One. The game had a PC boxed release in 2014, too, which covers much of the shortfall. And once again, digital will almost certainly be a lot higher this time around.
Overall, South Park's sales seem strong, particularly when you consider the competition in the market place. Furthermore, GfK says that the game kept performing strongly as the week progressed, which suggests there may be a longer tail for Ubisoft's RPG.
The final new release in the Top Ten is WWE 2K18. The wrestling game franchise suffered another year of decline, although the higher priced collector's edition meant the game generated more money than last year's product. This year's WWE title also didn't come out on 360/PS3, and when you compare the sales of just the PS4/Xbox One versions, they are actually pretty flat year-over-year.
Elsewhere, Shadow of War takes a hefty week-on-week sales drop of 74% (falling from No.2 to No.5), whereas The Evil Within 2 takes a slightly softer drop of 56% (down from No.3 to No.6). The latest Switch release, Fire Emblem Warriors, debuts at No.16, while THQ Nordic's Elex comes in at No.25 and Rogue Tropper Redux from Sold Out makes No.37.
The UK boxed market overall is up 11%, but expect a significantly bigger increase this coming week, with the major launches of Assassin's Creed Origins, Super Mario Odyssey and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus.
Here is the UKIE/GfK Top Ten for the week ending October 21st:
|Last Week||This Week||Title|
|New Entry||1||Gran Turismo Sport|
|New Entry||3||South Park: The Fractured But Whole|
|New Entry||4||WWE 2K18|
|2||5||Middle-earth: Shadow of War|
|3||6||The Evil Within 2|
|7||8||Grand Theft Auto V|
|4||9||Forza Motorsport 7|
|8||10||Crash Bandicoot: N.Sane Trilogy|