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Call of Duty remains No.1 in strong week for UK games retail

Signs of recovery for some of the big Q4 hitters

Sales of boxed games in the UK will be down by around 14% come the end of the year, but there have been signs or recovery for some of the big games of Q4.

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare has scored its third No.1 of December. In the days building up to Christmas, the title enjoyed a sales increase of 37%. The game has made a very mild recovery from its disappointing launch, when says were down 48% in its first week compared with last year's Black Ops III. It's currently trending 35% behind last year's edition.

There are quite a few examples of games that have recovered slightly following disappointing first week sales. Part of this will be down to the severe discounting that has occurred in the marketplace, which suggests that consumers are interested in these big games but only if the price is right.

One such example is Watch Dogs 2. The game's sales are still trending behind its predecessor, but if you compare it to last year's big Ubisoft Q4 game - Assassin's Creed Syndicate - and things look more favourable. In fact, Watch Dogs 2 sales are now trending 100,000 units ahead of last year's Assassin's Creed. Ubisoft has lowered the price of this title to £35, which seems to have pleased consumers - sales have risen for the second week in a row.

Steep at No.7 is another good example. The action sports game launched four weeks ago and every single week since has seen its sales rise. Steep has yet to break the 100,000 barrier, and its price has dropped to £29.99 (or lower at some retailers), but its growth trajectory is promising - especially as Ubisoft has billed this as a service-based game. Steep rose from No.9 to No.7 in the UK charts with a sales jump of 60%.

Even Dishonored 2 (No.11) and Titanfall 2 (No.13) are starting to gather a strong user base, although both games have also had their prices severely cut (Dishonored 2 down to £29.99 on average, with Titanfall 2 falling to £34.99). Overall, the pre-Christmas chart looks strong, with decent sales for Mafia III, GTA V, Skyrim Special Edition, Final Fantasy XV and the boxed version of Rocket League. Ratchet & Clank also makes a late surge into the Top 40 at No.32 (sales up by 138%)

However, the late December releases of Dead Rising 4 and The Last Guardian are still struggling for momentum. Both games saw their sales increase week-on-week, but they remain down at No.16 and No.23 respectively.

Here is the GfK/UKIE Top Ten for last week:

Last Week This Week Title
1 1 Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
2 2 FIFA 17
3 3 Battlefield 1
4 4 Watch Dogs 2
5 5 Grand Theft Auto V
10 6 Mafia III
7 9 Steep
6 8 Final Fantasy XV
7 9 Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition
16 10 Forza Horizon 3

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Christopher Dring avatar

Christopher Dring

Head of Games B2B

Chris is a 15-year games business veteran. He spent nine years at UK business weekly MCV, including five years as editor. He joined GI in 2016 and oversees editorial, sales and events worldwide. He is the architect behind Best Places To Work Awards and GI Live. And is a tiny bit obsessed with market data. He also writes for Doctor Who Magazine. Because Doctor Who is awesome.

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