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Nintendo and Mario Kart 8 top UK boxed charts in quiet April

Switch exclusive is No.1 despite being on sale for just two days

It had only been on sale for two days, but Mario Kart 8: Deluxe still beat the competition to become the UK's best-selling physical game of last month.

Not that there was a great deal of competition. It was a desperately quiet month for UK games retailers. Within the entire Top 50, there are just six new releases - and only four in the Top 20. Those four include the aforementioned Mario Kart, Persona 5 at No.7, Yooka-Laylee at No.17 and Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 at No.18.

It sits in contrast to March, which saw the launches of Zelda, Nintendo Switch, Horizon: Zero Dawn, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Wildlands and Mass Effect: Andromeda. The combined impact of these titles meant that UK retailers sold 1.67m boxed games in the UK during March, generating £59m.

For April, however, those figures sit at 974,000 copies and £29m.

The current release schedule for between now and September suggests that things aren't about to get better anytime soon. There's a Tekken 7 and Injustice here, a Dirt 4 and a Crash Bandicoot there, but in terms of significant launches, you're looking towards the back-end of the summer when Middle-earth: Shadow or Mordor and Destiny 2 arrive.

One exception to that is Nintendo, which is making the most of the lack of competition. It has a number of big titles for Switch coming during these barren months (beginning with Mario Kart and continuing on with Arms and Splatoon 2) alongside the arrival of New 2DS XL - plus a string of 3DS titles.

Niche and smaller games publishers are also filling the gaps and using the quiet months to ensure their games gets extra retail exposure. We've seen that this month with Persona 5, Yooka-Laylee, Bulletstorm, Little Nightmares and Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3, and that's going to continue throughout the summer.

Returning to April, Nintendo's success with Mario Kart 8: Deluxe (plus continued sales of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild) saw it emerge as the most successful games publisher of the month - both in terms of games sold and revenue generated.

The biggest console was (of course) PS4, which accounted for 44.3% of all the physical games sold in the UK last month - ahead of Xbox One (30.8%) and Nintendo Switch (10.9%).

The games that continue to do well in the monthly charts includes Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Wildlands at No.2, GTA V at No.3 and LEGO Worlds at No.4. LEGO City Undercover also returns to the Top 20 at No.13, following the game's arrival on new platforms.

All this data is courtesy of GfK/UKIE. Here is the Top 20 for the month (April 2nd to April 29th):

Last Month This Month Title
New Entry 1 Mario Kart 8: Deluxe
1 2 Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Wildlands
3 3 Grand Theft Auto V
5 4 LEGO Worlds
7 5 FIFA 17
3 6 The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
New Entry 7 Persona 5
10 8 Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
4 9 Mass Effect Andromeda
8 10 Rocket League
14 11 Overwatch
2 12 Horizon: Zero Dawn
Re-Entry 13 LEGO City Undercover
12 14 Forza Horizon 3
20 15 WWE 2K17
13 16 Battlefield 1
New Entry 17 Yooka-Laylee
New Entry 18 Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3
11 19 For Honor
14 20 Minecraft: Xbox Edition

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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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