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Assassin's Creed Valhalla beats Call of Duty in race for No.1 | UK Boxed Charts

It's a massive, massive week for UK game sales

Assassin's Creed Valhalla is the best-selling UK boxed game in one of the biggest release weeks in video games history.

It did remarkably well, so well that it kept Call of Duty from making No.1 during its debut week for the first time in 13 years.

It's a surprise result, even with the Ubisoft viking game being on sale for a few days longer than Call of Duty (it was released on November 10th, while Call of Duty arrived November 13th). However, it is a very different games market this year due to COVID-19, with the majority of AAA Xbox and PlayStation game sales taking place digitally. As a result, we cannot say if Assassin's Creed was the biggest selling game of the week, only that it was the biggest selling boxed game.

In fact, a statement from Activision Blizzard's EMEAA MD Anna Malmhake said that Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War "set a new record as the highest first day digital sales worldwide in franchise history". We will see how the game performed digitally in the UK later in the week, but expect good numbers.

In terms of physical sales, Assassin's Creed Valhalla had a massive week, with launch sales more than double that of its predecessor -- Assassin's Creed Odyssey. 42% of the game's sales came on PS4, and 18% came on PS5, despite the latter machine not coming out in the UK until next week. The rest of the sales (40%) came with the Xbox version. The game was marketed alongside the new games consoles released this week, the Xbox Series X and S. However, Ubisoft sold just one 'Xbox' SKU to cover all platforms -- including Xbox One -- which means it's impossible to know exactly which Xbox platform the game was bought for.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War fared less well as a boxed release, with launch sales down more than 64% compared with last year's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. We'll know the full picture of the game's performance once the digital sales are in, but it's also worth noting the impact of Call of Duty: Warzone -- the hugely successful free-to-play game released in March this year.

39% of Call of Duty's sales came on PS4, 34% was for the Xbox One version, 17% for the PS5 SKU and 9% for the Xbox Series-only version.

Assassin's Creed, Call of Duty and the launch of two Xbox consoles would have made for a massive release week on their own, but Sony also made available its PS5 games to customers this week (ahead of next week's launch), and those games also performed strongly in the charts.

The third best-selling game was the new Spider-Man: Miles Morales, the successor to 2018's hit Marvel's Spider-Man. Boxed sales of this new game are 56% lower than the original, although it's worth noting that Miles Morales is not billed as a full sequel to that game, but rather a shorter spin-off (and again, we will need to consider the impact of digital sales).

It is, however, billed as one of the big launch games for PlayStation 5, and 71% of its sales were for the new console (with 29% of sales coming on PS4). We'll get a better picture of its debut performance once the PS5 actually launches in the UK next week.

Other PS5 games in the charts include Demon's Souls at No.6, Sackboy: A Big Adventure at No.13 and Godfall at No.16. Demon's Souls and Godfall are only on PS5, whereas Sackboy saw 89% of sales coming on the PS5 version, with the remainder on PS4. Again, this is all just boxed games data.

There were other new releases in the charts, too. Just Dance 2021 makes No.11, with the vast majority (89%) of unit sales coming on Nintendo Switch. The game has performed very well, with launch sales 133% higher than last year's Just Dance 2020.

Yakuza: Like A Dragon makes No.20, with 65% of unit sales coming on PS4 and 35% on 'Xbox'. Finally, Planet Coaster: Console Edition comes in at No.17. Remarkably, the game sold almost exactly the same number of copies on PS4, Xbox and PS5.

Elsewhere, NBA 2K21 re-enters the chart at No.31 thanks to the PS5 and Xbox Series versions of the game (sales up 185% week-on-week). The PS5 edition accounted for 63% of sales, with 14% coming on the Xbox Series devices. Indeed, there were three Xbox Series-specific released, Call of Duty (the best-selling Xbox Series-only game), NBA 2K21 (No.2) and Deep Silver's Maneater (No.3).

Elsewhere, FIFA 21 drops from No.1 to No.4 after a 24% fall in sales week-on-week, there isn't currently a version of the game for the new consoles.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons on Switch falls to No.5 after a slight 7% drop. And Super Mario 3D All-Stars falls one place to No.7, despite the game's sales actually increasing 40% week-on-week. Nintendo has begun a new UK TV marketing campaign for the Mario collection.

Watch Dogs: Legion drops from No.2 to No.10 due to a 36% fall in sales week-on-week. The game is enhanced on the Xbox Series machines, and this week 57% of sales were of the Xbox SKU.

Last week's highest charting new release, L.O.L Surprise! Remix: We Rule the World falls from No.10 to No.35 after a 54% drop in sales. Meanwhile, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit - Remastered falls from No.35 to No.40, despite the late arrival of the Nintendo Switch edition. Sales of the EA racing game rose 1% week-on-week. Codemasters' Dirt 5, which also launched last week, has fallen out of the Top 40 entirely.

Overall, more than 790,000 boxed games were sold in the UK last week, a rise of 96% week-on-week. They generated £36.4 million at UK retail, which is a spike of 165% week-on-week. Despite the console not being out yet, PS5 games accounted for almost 19% of all games sold and nearly 25% of the revenue.

Here is the GfK Top Ten for the week ending November 14th:

Last Week This Week Title
New Entry 1 Assassin's Creed Valhalla
New Entry 2 Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
New Entry 3 Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales
1 4 FIFA 21
2 5 Animal Crossing: New Horizons
New Entry 6 Demon's Souls
6 7 Super Mario 3D All-Stars
3 8 Mario Kart 8: Deluxe
5 9 Minecraft (Switch)
4 10 Watch Dogs: Legion
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Christopher Dring avatar

Christopher Dring

Head of Games B2B

Chris is a 17-year media veteran specialising in the business of video games. And, erm, Doctor Who