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PlayStation, Xbox, Mario and FIFA dominate EMEAA games markets in H1 2021

Console sales increase slightly, but software sales drop compared with pandemic year

2.7 million games consoles, 8.2 million accessories and 82 million video games have been sold across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Australia and parts of Asia during the first six months of the year.

That's the latest data from GSD, the EMEAA market tracker. The figures include retail data from tracked territories, and digital data from most major AAA publishers (Nintendo and Bethesda the notable absentees). See the bottom of the article for all included companies.

CONSOLE HARDWARE

Beginning with console sales, that 2.7 million figure marks a 4% increase over the same period in 2020.

The sales growth is entirely driven by the arrival of the PS5 and Xbox Series machines. The two sets of devices have bounced in and out of stock during the first six months of the year.

The new hardware has seen both Sony and Microsoft gain significant market share at the expense of Nintendo Switch -- combined, both platform holders represent 53% of all consoles sold, vs 40% during H1 2020.

Now in its fifth year in the market, Switch sales are down by over 26% compared with the first half of 2020. However, it is still the best-selling console for the first half of the year across tracked European markets.

Of course, comparing Switch sales right now is tricky due to the impact of the pandemic. The lockdowns across Europe in the second quarter of 2020 caused a surge in hardware sales, with Nintendo Switch being one of the chief benefactors. If we compare the first half of 2021 to the first half of 2019, Switch sales are up almost 38%.

Of course, there were still stay-at-home measures in place during the first half of 2021 in some markets, so the comparison still isn't like-for-like. But the conclusion is that the first half of the year has been a positive one for all three major console platforms.

ACCESSORIES AND PERIPHERALS

8.2 million accessories were sold across tracked markets during the first half of the year. It's a slight 5% drop compared with the same period the year before.

Controllers were the best-selling products once again. The PS5 DualSense controller was the No.1 selling accessory of the six months, just ahead of the PS4 DualShock controller. The best-selling headset is the Pulse 3D Wireless headset for PS5.

STORE WALLETS/POINTS CARDS

Digital points cards dropped significantly year-on-year by 24% with 6.17 million cards sold. The revenue from points cards was 144 million euros, a slightly smaller drop of 20%.

The decline in points card sales are in-line with the software market (see below). PlayStation Store top-up cards was comfortably the biggest and most popular product in this category.

VIDEO GAME SOFTWARE

The 82 million games that were sold across Europe for the first six months of the year is a drop of 22% over the same period the year before. The first lockdown across Europe last year caused a significant surge in game sales. Compared with the first half of 2019, game sales are actually up 5.6%.

Just over 53 million games (down 26%) were downloaded (from tracked publishers), while nearly 29 million games (down 14%) were bought physically (from tracked countries).

In order to work out the digital/physical split accurately, we have removed countries where GSD doesn't track retail sales and only counting games from the publishers who submit digital data (see bottom for full list).

The data shows that over 67% of games sold across the tracked markets were downloaded. This is slightly up on last year, when 62% of games were downloaded. The pandemic -- with customers increasingly shopping from home -- has certainly altered buying habits, but it remains unclear of the long-term impact this will have on the physical retail space.

FIFA 21 was the best-selling game of the first six months. The best-selling physical game is Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury, while Grand Theft Auto 5 was the No.1 digital game. Digital data from Nintendo is not included in this data.

In terms of individual platforms, the aforementioned Mario game was the best-selling Switch title of the period. Spider-Man: Miles Morales was the top-selling PS5 game, while Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War was the top-selling Xbox Series S/X title. FIFA 21 was the No.1 game on PS4, while Grand Theft Auto 5 was No.1 on Xbox One.

In terms of countries, GTA 5 was the best-selling game in the UK for the first six months. Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury was the top game in Germany, while FIFA 21 was the No.1 game in France, Spain and Italy. Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 was the best-selling game in Hong Kong, while Mortal Kombat 11 is the best-selling game in Russia (Hong Kong and Russia data only includes digital sales).

In terms of brand new releases, nine million new games was sold during the first half of the year. This is a considerable drop on the 12.8 million sold during the same period in 2020, and an even bigger drop on the 17.2 million games sold over the period in 2019. There was a smaller number of big games released during the first half of this year, with big games of 2020 including Animal Crossing: New Horizons and The Last of Us: Part 2.

The No.1 new release of 2021 is Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury.

GSD EMEAA H1 2021 Top 20 Games (Digital + Physical Only)

Position Title
1 FIFA 21 (EA)
2 Grand Theft Auto 5 (Rockstar)
3 Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War (Activision)
4 Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury* (Nintendo)
5 Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Siege (Ubisoft)
6 Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar)
7 Resident Evil Village (Capcom)
8 Mario Kart 8: Deluxe* (Nintendo)
9 Assassin's Creed Valhalla (Ubisoft)
10 NBA 2K21 (2K Games)
11 Animal Crossing: New Horizons* (Nintendo)
12 Spider-Man: Miles Morales (Sony)
13 Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 (Bandai Namco)
14 Ring Fit Adventure* (Nintendo)
15 Just Dance 2021 (Ubisoft)
16 Minecraft: Switch Edition (Mojang)
17 Little Nightmares 2 (Bandai Namco)
18 Mortal Kombat 11 (Warner Bros)
19 Tekken 7 (Bandai Namco)
20 Monster Hunter Rise (Capcom)

*Digital data not available

GSD EMEAA H1 2021 Top Ten New Games (Digital + Physical)

Position Title
1 Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury (Nintendo)
2 Resident Evil Village (Capcom)
3 Little Nightmares 2 (Bandai Namco)
4 Monster Hunter Rise (Capcom)
5 It Takes Two (EA)
6 Outriders (Square Enix)
7 Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart (Sony)
8 Mass Effect: Legendary Edition (EA)
9 New Pokémon Snap (Nintendo)
10 Persona 5 Strikers (Atlus)

GSD EMEAA H1 2021 Top Ten Games (Digital Only)

Position Title
1 Grand Theft Auto 5 (Rockstar)
2 FIFA 21 (EA)
3 Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege (Ubisoft)
4 Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War (Activision Blizzard)
5 Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar)
6 NBA 2K21 (2K Games)
7 Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 (Bandai Namco)
8 Little Nightmares (Bandai Namco)
9 Tekken 7 (Bandai Namco)
10 Resident Evil Village (Capcom)

GSD EMEAA H1 2021 Top Ten Games (Physical Only)

Position Title
1 Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury (Nintendo)
2 FIFA 21 (EA)
3 Mario Kart 8: Deluxe (Nintendo)
4 Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Nintendo)
5 Ring Fit Adventure (Nintendo)
6 Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition (Mojang)
7 Grand Theft Auto 5 (Rockstar)
8 Just Dance 2021 (Ubisoft)
9 Assassin's Creed Valhalla (Ubisoft)
10 Spider-Man: Miles Morales (Sony)

GSD digital data includes games from participating companies sold via Steam, Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, Nintendo Eshop. Participating companies are Activision Blizzard, Bandai Namco, Big Ben Interactive, Capcom, Codemasters, Electronic Arts, Focus Home Interactive, Koch Media, Konami, Microids, Microsoft, Milestone, Paradox Interactive, Quantic Dream, Sega, Sony, Square Enix, Strelka, Take-Two, Ubisoft and Warner Bros. Nintendo and Bethesda are the notable absentees, alongside smaller studios.

Digital data includes games sold in Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, 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.

Console hardware sales cover France, Benelux, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Nordics, Australia and New Zealand. Accessories sales cover France, Benelux, Spain, Italy, Nordics, Australia and New Zealand. Wallet and points cards sales are for France, Benelux, Spain, Italy and Nordics.

You can find out more about the GSD charts here.</p

Author

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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