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Nintendo Switch Sports is Europe's biggest game of May | European Market Report

Console supply issues begin to ease

Over 7.9 million digital and physical games were sold across Europe, according to GSD.

It's a big drop of 29% compared with April, and down 21% compared with May 2021 (note: 2022 includes digital numbers for Bethesda and Gearbox) . The past four weeks has been severly lacking in new game releases, with not a single new release in the Top 20.

Almost 4.5 million of the games sold last month were via digital download stores.

Nintendo Switch Sports was No.1, purely based on the game's physical sales alone (Nintendo does not share digital figures). The game has been a particular hit in France and Germany, with the two countries representing over half of all copies sold across Europe. The game was also No.1 in Spain and Italy, whereas in the UK it was Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga at No.1 (to check out the UK report, click here).

Console supply issues ease

In terms of hardware, over 297,000 games machines were sold via tracked European countries (German and UK data is not included, for the UK market report click here). That's a drop of almost 3% over April and 3% lower compared with May last year.

New console sales (PS5 and Xbox Series X and S) in May 2022 across tracked European markets are higher by 26% month-on-month as supply constraints began to ease. For Nintendo Switch, sales were almost identical between May 2022 and May 2021, around the 135,000 mark.

So far this year the PS5 has come off worse. Sales for the PS5 in the first five months of 2022 are lower by half compared to this time last year. This is in comparison to the Xbox Series X and S, which has sold roughly the same numbers of units in 2022 compared with 2021. Meanwhile, Nintendo Switch has seen a 20% growth in unit sales year-on-year.

Accessories market slips slightly

Just over 992,000 accessories and toys-to-life products were sold across Europe during May, a drop of 14% over the same period last year, and 8% down compared with April.

The PS5 DualSense controller remains No.1, ahead of the PS4 DualShock controller.

In terms of points cards, 924,000 cards were sold at retail last month, a drop of 7% over last year and 11% down over April.

Sniper Elite 5 enjoys streaming success

Data from Sparkers stream tracker, Audience, which tracks worldwide streaming on Twitch, YouTube Gaming and Facebook Gaming found that during May, Sniper Elite 5 (one of the few new releases last month) had over 50,432 hours broadcast with 1.9 million hours watched.

This made for an average of 37 hours watched for every hour live streamed. This is based purely on the six days it was on sale for during May.

Last month, the average hours watched for Sniper Elite 5 was three times higher compared to Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga which released on the April 5, Sparkers has revealed. However, it was 61% lower than the average hours watched for Nintendo Switch Sports, which released on the April 29.

Average hours watched for Nintendo Switch Sports was double that compared to FIFA 22 and 45% higher than for GTA 5, even though FIFA 22 had 45 times the numbers of hours broadcast and GTA 5 95 times. This means that those streamers who live streamed Nintendo Switch Sports got the highest average viewership based on a fraction of hours broadcast compared to the two evergreen titles.

Although the number of hours broadcast for the Elden Ring halved during May, compared to April (when the game released), the average number of hours watched to hours broadcast declined by just 9%.

European GSD May 2022 Top 20 Games (Digital + Physical)

Position Title
1 Nintendo Switch Sports (Nintendo)*
2 FIFA 22 (EA)
3 Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga (Warner Bros)
4 Grand Theft Auto 5 (Rockstar)
5 Elden Ring (Bandai Namco)
6 NBA 2K22 (2K Games)
7 Horizon Forbidden West (Sony)
8 Mario Kart 8: Deluxe (Nintendo)*
9 Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar)
10 Gran Turismo 7 (Sony)
11 Kirby and the Forgotten Land (Nintendo)*
12 Pokémon Legends: Arceus (Nintendo)*
13 Minecraft: Switch Edition (Mojang)
14 Assassin's Creed Valhalla (Ubisoft)
15 Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (EA)
16 Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Nintendo)*
17 Far Cry 6 (Ubisoft)
18 Mario Party Superstars (Nintendo)*
19 Hearts of Iron IV (Paradox)
20 The Sims 4 (EA)

* Digital data unavailable

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, Bahrain, 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, UAE 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.

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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