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EMEAA January Report: Nintendo Switch accounts for 52% of all console sales

More than 15 million AAA games sold across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia and Australasia territories

Nintendo Switch, Grand Theft Auto 5, FIFA 20, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot were the big winners in January acrosss Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia and Australia.

This is all according to GSD figures [the data project owned by European trade body ISFE] analysed by The data features physical retail numbers from 17 countries, and digital download data from 16 major publishers in nearly 50 markets. The full details of which are at the bottom of the article.

Just over 15 million AAA games were sold across EMEAA territories during January, a slight increase of 1.1% compared with the same period 12 months ago.

Due to the ageing console cycle, sales of games machines are down 15.8% in January compared to the same period a year before, with revenue down 13.1%. The only console to sell better in January 2020 vs 2019 was Nintendo Switch (up more than 17%). Switch accounted for almost 52% of all consoles sold across the retail markets, with the Neon version the most popular individual product.

The increase in game sales was primarily due to an increase in full game downloads, with Grand Theft Auto 5, FIFA 20 and Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege the biggest selling digital titles. Just under 8.45 million full games were downloaded last month across the markets.

Physical game sales took a slight tumble, down 5.6% year-on-year to 6.6 million games sold. The physical games market performs best when big new games are launched, and there was a lack of significant titles released last month. By comparison, Resident Evil 2 and New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe were released in January 2019.

In terms of the split between download and physical sales, including just the countries that supplied physical data and the publishers supplying digital data, 66% of games were downloaded vs 34% bought in a box.

The charts across individual countries all look pretty similar. Although Finland's love of ice hockey sees NHL20 reach No.2 in that market's chart. Portugal is also a fan of Japanese-style games, with two Dragon Ball games and a Doraemon title in the Top Six.

The single game that sold the most units in one country is Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot, which was the best-selling title in France.

Similar to our recent UK market analysis, Ubisoft was the No.1 digital download publisher of the month with a 16.7% share of unit sales. Nintendo was the biggest physical publisher of the month with a 20.4% market share. However, EA was the No.1 publisher across digital and physical combined with a 14.1% share of the sector. Nintendo does not share digital numbers and, as a result, does not appear in the digital publisher rankings at all.

50% of all tracked games sold last month were on PS4, followed by PC (18.8%), then Switch (16.3%) and finally Xbox One (11.9%). Again, Switch's position may well have been higher if Nintendo supplied its digital data. In terms of boxed games alone, PS4 still comes out top with a 47.3% share, Switch is second with a 32.9% share, with Xbox following at 25.1%. It's worth noting that Game Pass data (the subscription service that is popular on Xbox) isn't included in these figures.

The biggest country for game unit sales across the tracked markets is the UK, with 16.1% of software sales coming in this market (followed by France at 14.5% and then Germany at 11.8%). UK's success comes from the fact it is the biggest market for digital downloads (15.8% share), ahead of Germany (13.3%) and Russia (13.2%). The No.1 boxed games market is France, which accounts for 22.8% of all boxed games sold across the tracked territories (see bottom). Spain is the second biggest physical games sector (17.1%), with the UK in third place (16.5%).

In terms of accessories, just over five million accessories, points cards and toys-to-life products were sold across tracked territories during January, a drop of 11.9% year-on-year. Revenue reached $158.9 million, which is down 7.46% compared with the same period the year before.

The biggest market for accessories, toys and cards was the UK, followed by France and then Spain. €10 PlayStation Store Credit was the most popular points card, Sony's DualShock 4 controller with additional Fortnite items were the biggest single accessory, whereas the top selling toys-to-life product was the Dark Samus Amiibo from Nintendo.

January EMEAA Combined Digital & Physical Top 20 (Full Games)

Position Title
1 Grand Theft Auto 5
2 FIFA 20
3 Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot
4 Call of Duty: Modern Warfared/th>
5 Red Dead Redemption 2
6 Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
7 Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege
8 EA UFC 3
9 Need for Speed: Heat
10 Tekken 7
11 Star Wars Battlefront 2
12 Just Dance 2020
14 NBA 2K20
13 Mario Kart 8: Deluxe*
15 Assassin's Creed: Odyssey
16 Spider-Man
17 Luigi's Mansion 3*
18 God of War
19 Mortal Kombat 11
20 Pokémon Sword*

* Digital data not available.

January EMEAA Physical Top 20 (Full Games)

Position Title
1 FIFA 20
2 Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot
3 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
4 Grand Theft Auto 5
5 Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
6 Mario Kart 8: Deluxe - Nintendo
7 Just Dance 2020
8 Luigi's Mansion 3
9 Pokémon Sword
10 Red Dead Redemption 2
11 Need for Speed: Heat
12 Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition
13 The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
14 The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
15 New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe
16 NBA 2K20
17 Minecraft
18 Super Mario Party
19 TSuper Smash Bros Ultimate
20 Pokémon Shield

January EMEAA Download Top 20 (Full Games)

Position Title
1 Grand Theft Auto 5
2 FIFA 20
3 Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Siege
4 Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot
5 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
6 Red Dead Redemption 2
7 EA Sports UFC 3
8 Tekken 7
9 Star Wars Battlefront 2
10 Spider-Man
11 Assassin's Creed Odyssey
12 Uno
13 Need for Speed: Heat
14 Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
15 Assassin's Creed Origins
16 Mortal Kombat 11
17 God of War
18 Civilization 6
19 Dark Souls 3
20 Resident Evil 2

Digital data includes games from participating companies sold via Steam, Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, Nintendo Eshop. Participating companies are Activision Blizzard, Bandai Namco, Capcom, Codemasters, Electronic Arts, Focus Home Interactive, Koch Media, Microsoft, Milestone, Paradox Interactive, Sega, Sony, Square Enix, Take-Two, Ubisoft and Warner Bros.

Digital data includes games sold in Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kuwait, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, UAE, United Kingdom.

Physical data includes all games, but only those sold in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom.

You can find out more about the GSD charts here.

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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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