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Battlefield V struggles as Black Friday transforms UK Charts

PS4 dominates hardware sales, just ahead of Xbox One

It's a bumper week for UK video game sales, with 1.66 million boxed games sold and more than £53 million in revenue.

Unfortunately, it's a weaker Black Friday than last year, with revenue down 4.6 per cent and unit sales down 6.7 per cent.

There's a few caveats to consider, of course. The first is that digital sales are not included - we do not know if download sales over Black Friday were up or down. In addition, Black Friday ran for a far longer period this year, having started (in some cases) up to two weeks before.

Discounting on FIFA 19 propelled the EA game to the top of the charts (it was also bundled with PS4 consoles). The title's average selling price was just over £30 (on Switch), and under £40 (on Xbox One and PS4), which meant the game shot up 177 per cent in sales to reclaim No.1.

Also firing back up the charts with an impressive 360 per cent sales rise was Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. Activision's game was discounted even further, selling at just over £35 on average.

It means Red Dead Redemption 2 (which wasn't discounted) fell to No.3. But even the Rockstar game enjoyed a small sales improvement (up 36 per cent) thanks to hardware bundling with PS4.

All of this means that the one big new release of the week, Battlefield V, had to settle for No.4. It's not a great start for EA's shooter, with launch sales down more than 63 per cent compared with 2016's Battlefield 1. Even with the expected rise in digital sales, it seems like the shooter is another AAA title to struggle in the current marketplace. However, it did perform better in its first week than titles such as Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Fallout 76.

One interesting stat about Battlefield V is that the game sold best (in a box) on Xbox One. Microsoft's console accounted for 50 per cent of the game's sales.

It wasn't the only new release in the charts, however. The impressive Farming Simulator 2019 makes it to No.16, while Bendy and the Ink Machine comes in at No.30.

As for last week's big new games, Fallout 76 dropped 51 per cent in sales week-on-week. Bethesda's game was discounted slightly over Black Friday (barely a week since it came out) and now sits at No.7.

The online title is just ahead of Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu at No.8, which saw sales drop 43 per cent week-on-week. That game's sister title, Pokémon Let's Go Eevee, dropped 55 per cent in sales and is at No.18.

However, it was Spyro Reignited Trilogy that endured the heaviest fall. Sales fell 62 per cent week-on-week and the game tumbled from No.1 to No.9.

Black Friday is a big sales period for hardware, and you'll often find exclusive games (particularly those bundled with the consoles) tend to perform strongly during the weekend. According to retailers talking to Gamesindustry.biz, more than 300,000 consoles were sold over Black Friday. It was pretty close between all three formats, but we understand that PS4 was the best-selling machine, narrowly ahead of Xbox One, which was narrowly ahead of Nintendo Switch. Over Black Friday, PS4 consoles were being sold at just over £220 (with bundles featuring FIFA 19 or Red Dead Redemption 2), Xbox One was on sale for as low as £170 with a game (including Forza Horizon 4, Minecraft or Battlefield V), while Nintendo Switch saw its first real price drop, falling by around £20 in price overall.

As a result, Xbox One exclusives such as Forza Horizon 4 (No.5), Minecraft Master Edition (No.33) and Forza Motorsport 7 (No.34) all shot up the charts, with sales rising 535 per cent, 1768 per cent and 573 per cent respectively.

PS4 exclusives Spider-Man (No.6), God of War (No.21) and Detroit: Become Human (No.35), saw sales rise 634 per cent, 1283 per cent and 826 per cent respectively.

And finally, Nintendo Switch regulars Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (No.10), Super Mario Party (No.24), Super Mario Odyssey (No.25) and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (No.38) rose 98 per cent, 110 per cent, 110 per cent and 111 per cent.

PlayStation VR hardware also made it into the sales (available for around £170) and this saw games like PlayStation VR Worlds (No.15) and Astro Bot Rescue Mission (No.19) increase in sales 204 and 242 per cent.

Here is the UKIE/GfK Physical Retail Top 10 for the week ending November 24th

Last Week This Week Title
5 1 FIFA 19
7 2 Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
2 3 Red Dead Redemption 2
New Entry 4 Battlefield V
11 5 Forza Horizon 4
13 6 Spider-Man
3 7 Fallout 76
4 8 Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu
1 9 Spyro Reignited Trilogy
9 10 Mario Kart 8: Deluxe
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Christopher Dring avatar

Christopher Dring

Head of Games B2B

Chris is a 15-year media veteran specialising in the business of video games. And, erm, Doctor Who