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European console and PC game sales fall 7.1% in 2022

UK is Europe's biggest games market ahead of Germany, with FIFA and Call of Duty the best-selling games

At a glance:

  • Video game sales fell, but new game sales increased year-on-year by 16%
  • PlayStation 5 and Nintendo Switch sales down, but Xbox sales up
  • FIFA 23, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Pokémon and Elden Ring drove game sales
  • UK ahead of Germany as Europe's biggest games market

159 million console and PC games were sold across tracked European markets in 2022, a drop of 7.1% over the year before.

This is according to the latest GSD data, which tracks physical and digital game sales across Europe. It tracks all physical sales in major European countries (see list below), and digital sales from most major AAA publishers (the main exception is Nintendo, which doesn't share digital data) in every territory across Europe. The data does not include games from indie teams.

82.5 million games were sold via digital downloads, with the remaining 76.6 million sold via physical retailers.

If we focus purely on new games (so titles released in 2022) game sales are actually up 16% compared with the new games released in 2021.

Sales of FIFA 23 were up 3% over FIFA 22 year-on-year, and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 sales were up nearly 73% over Call of Duty: Vanguard.

If Pokémon Scarlet and Violet sales were combined, the game would have charted at No.6 (replacing its sister title, Pokémon Legends: Arceus). It's worth noting that the Pokémon games do not include digital sales, so they may have charted higher.

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet's sales were 13% bigger year-on-year than 2021's Diamond and Pearl remakes, and 8% bigger than the previous mainline releases (2019's Pokémon Sword and Shield).

In terms of the average digital/physical split (the ratio to which the average game was bought physically vs digitally), 64% of sales were via digital download stores, which is actually a drop on the 65% figure from 2021. We are only including games that are sold both physically and digitally in this analysis and we are only counting countries where physical and digital data is available.

Other key sellers in the Top Ten include LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga (No.8), and three PlayStation exclusives: God of War Ragnarok (No.7), Horizon: Forbidden West (No.9) and Gran Turismo 7 (No.10). Outside of Pokémon, Mario Kart 8: Deluxe was the best-selling Switch game at No.11, with Nintendo Switch Sports close behind at No.13.

In terms of countries, the UK was the No.1 games market across Europe (game sales down 6% year-on-year), followed by Germany (game sales down 13%), and then France (game sales down 3%). Both Spain (up 1%) and Italy (up 2%) saw an increase in game sales year-on-year.

The UK was the best performing market for games such as FIFA, Call of Duty, LEGO Star Wars and Elden Ring. Whereas Germany and France were the strongest markets for Nintendo Switch titles, such as Pokémon Legends: Arceus, Mario Kart 8: Deluxe, Nintendo Switch Sports and Pokémon Violet/Scarlet.

FIFA 23 was the best-selling game in most major markets, with just a couple of exceptions (such as Finland, where Elden Ring was No.1).

Games that didn't make the Top 20 but are in the wider Top 50 includes NBA 2K23 (No.23), It Takes Two (No.26), Splatoon 3 (No.27)*, WWE 2K22 (No.32), Mario Strikers: Battle League Football (No.34)*, Sonic Frontiers (No.43), Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection (No.44), Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope (No.46) and Dying Light 2: Stay Human (No.48)*.

*Digital data unavailable.

Nintendo Switch continues to lead across Europe

In terms of console sales, not every major market is tracked (Germany and UK data is missing – for UK figures, check our latest monthly charts story). However, for the tracked territories, 5.3 million consoles were sold last year, a drop of 25% over the year before.

Nintendo Switch was comfortably the No.1 console, despite sales falling by 15% over the year before. PS5 was a clear No.2 (sales down 35%), while the Xbox Series S and X consoles were the only platforms to report a sales growth year-on-year (up 4.4%) but it is in third position.

Switch was the No.1 selling console in almost every country with a few exceptions. In Denmark and Sweden, PS5 is the No.1 console, whereas Xbox Series S and X was No.1 in Norway.

In terms of peripherals (including toys-to-life), sales were down 10% across tracked European markets to 18 million products sold. The best-selling accessories were the PS5 DualSense controller (sales up 12% year-on-year), followed by the PS4 DualShock controller (sales down 3.2%), then the Nintendo Switch Joy-Con controllers (sales down 23.7%), before the Xbox Series Wireless Controller (down 32.2%).

The best-selling accessory that isn't a controller is the Sony PS5 Pulse 3D Headset at No.5, which saw sales drop 3.6% over 2021.

In terms of points cards and wallet, 22.4 million of these products were sold across tracked European markets in 2022, a drop of 8% over the year before.

European GSD 2022 Top 20 (Digital + Physical)

Position Title
1 FIFA 23 (EA)
2 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Activision Blizzard)
3 Elden Ring (Bandai Namco)
4 Grand Theft Auto 5 (Rockstar)
5 FIFA 22 (EA)
6 Pokémon Legends: Arceus (Nintendo)*
7 God of War Ragnarok (Sony)
8 LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga (Warner Bros)
9 Horizon: Forbidden West (Sony)
10 Gran Turismo 7
11 Mario Kart 8: Deluxe (Nintendo)*
12 Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar)
13 Nintendo Switch Sports (Nintendo)*
14 Pokémon Violet (Nintendo)*
15 F1 22 (EA)
16 Pokémon Scarlet (Nintendo)*
17 Minecraft: SWitch Edition (Nintendo/Mojang)*
18 Assassin's Creed Valhalla (Ubisoft)*
19 Kirby and the Forgotten Land (Nintendo)*
20 Mario Party Superstars (Nintendo)*

* Digital data unavailable

European GSD 2022 Top 10 (Physical Only)

Position Title
1 FIFA 23 (EA)
2 Pokémon Legends: Arceus (Nintendo)
3 Mario Kart 8: Deluxe (Nintendo)
4 Nintendo Switch Sports (Nintendo)
5 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Activision Blizzard)
6 Horizon: Forbidden West (Sony)
7 God of War Ragnarok (Sony)
8 Pokémon Violet (Nintendo)
9 FIFA 22 (EA)
10 Gran Turismo 7

European GSD 2022 Top 10 (Digital Only)

Position Title
1 FIFA 23 (EA)
2 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Activision Blizzard)
3 Elden Ring (Bandai Namco)
4 Grand Theft Auto 5 (Rockstar)
5 FIFA 22 (EA)
6 Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar)
7 LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga (Warner Bros)
8 God of War Ragnarok (Sony)
9 F1 22 (EA)
10 Gran Turismo 7 (Sony)

GSD digital data includes games from participating companies sold via Steam, Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, Nintendo Eshop. Major participating companies are Activision Blizzard, Bandai Namco, Capcom, Codemasters, Electronic Arts, Embracer Group (including Gearbox, Koch Media, Sabre Interactive), Focus Entertainment, Konami, Marvellous Games, Microids, Microsoft (including Bethesda), Milestone, Nacon, Paradox Interactive, Quantic Dream, Sega, Sony, Square Enix, Take-Two, Ubisoft and Warner Bros. Nintendo and 505 Games are the notable absentees, alongside smaller studios.

Digital data includes games sold in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, and United Kingdom.

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

Console hardware sales cover Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. Accessories sales cover the same markets, but doesn't include Switzerland.

Author
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