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Call of Duty comes out on top in difficult November for UK games retail

Pokémon debuts at No.5 and No.6 after less than a week on sale

UK sales of physical video games slumped in November, as big triple-A titles struggled at launch.

However, there were a string of successes on the High Street - particularly from Pokémon, Skyrim, Forza Horizon 3 and FIFA.

Sales of boxed games dipped 6.5 percent compared with the same period a year before to 4.12m. That figure may not seem too severe when you consider the lower-than-expected sales of Call of Duty, Watch Dogs 2 and Dishonored 2. However, last year's GfK November report finished before Black Friday, so the actual like-for-like comparisons would have been more severe if the weeks were more accurately aligned.

Gamers spent £148m on boxed games last month, a drop of 14.5 percent, but again, that's because Black Friday discounting is featured in this year's report and not last year's.

Another factor to consider when making annual comparisons is with the release schedule. Last year's November benefited strongly from the launches of Fallout 4 and Star Wars Battlefront, two of the biggest games of 2015.

In terms of individual software, there's actually a few positives to call out. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare was comfortably the best-selling game of the month, and is showing signs of life after a launch that was 48 percent lower than its predecessor (Black Ops III).

FIFA 17 (No.2) and Battlefield 1 (No.3) are also continuing to out-perform the market, and EA will certainly be pleased that both games are still charting high in their third and second months on sale respectively.

Elsewhere, with over 7.4m sales across Europe, America and Japan, Pokémon Sun and Moon appear highly in the charts - despite only being on sale for less than a week when this data was compiled. Sun sits at No.5, while Moon makes it to No.6.

There are also a few sleeper hits that are sticking around in the Top Ten - Microsoft's Forza Horizon 3 and Bethesda's Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition are both performing ahead of expectations.

Unfortunately, titles such as Watch Dogs 2, Dishonored 2, WWE 2K17, Titanfall 2, Gears of War 4 and Skylanders Imaginators continue to struggle for momentum in what is proving to be a soft Christmas for games stores.

The GfK/UKIE November Top Ten (30th October - 26th November) reads as follows:

Last Month This Month Title
New Entry 1 Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
2 1 FIFA 17
3 2 Battlefield 1
New Entry 4 Watch Dogs 2
New Entry 5 Pokémon Sun
New Entry 6 Pokémon Moon
4 7 The Elder Scrolls V: Skryim Special Edition
8 8 Forza Horizon 3
10 9 Grand Theft Auto V
New Entry 10 Dishonored 2
Re-Entry 11 Uncharted 4: A Thief's End
9 12 Titanfall 2
5 13 Gears of War 4
6 14 WWE 2K17
14 15 Minecraft: Xbox Edition
3 16 Mafia III
17 17 Overwatch
16 18 Star Wars Battlefront
15 19 Skylanders Imaginators
Re-Entry 20 LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens

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