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PS5 sales surge in March across Europe | EMEAA Charts

Comparisons to first lockdown look weak, but overall a strong month despite a lack of new games

March 2021 game sales were always going to make for tough reading.

Last March was when the lockdown started to hit across Europe and the video game market began to explode as consumers bought up titles to keep themselves occupied. Also, Animal Crossing: New Horizons launched last March, and that game was one of last year's best and fastest-selling titles. It's still in the Top Ten -- Top Five, even -- now.

However, it was still a bumper month for games sales. Across tracked digital and physical sales, 12.6 millon video games were sold across Europe, Middle East, Africa, some parts of Asia and Australia (see below for the full list), which is down 25% year-on-year. Digital accounted for eight million of those sales, which is 30% down year-over-year, while physical accounted for 4.6 million (down 14%).

The biggest new game of the month was Monster Hunter: Rise, which reached No.2 in the physical charts and No.6 in the combined charts. The game was published by Nintendo in Europe, which doesn't share digital download data, and therefore we don't know the true extent of its success.

HARDWARE AND ACCESSORIES PERFORM STRONGLY

Things are looking a bit rosier in the physical hardware and accessories space. Across Europen markets and Australia, 554,504 games machines were sold (including retro consoles and Oculus Quest 2), which is 17% up over last year. The big reason for this was PlayStation 5, which was the No.1 console of the month (just as it was in the US), and saw very strong sales in France, Italy and Spain. It was the biggest month for PS5 sales outside of the console's launch month.

Nintendo Switch is the second best-selling console, although sales are down a bit compared with March 2020. This won't come as a surprise when you consider the huge launch of Animal Crossing: New Horizons last time. The Xbox Series set of consoles come in at No.3.

In terms of headsets, controllers and other accessories, 1.32 million products were sold across tracked markets, which is a 21% increase year-on-year. Again, this is due to the popularity of PlayStation 5, with the DualSense controller the best-selling device. The controller finally ends the reign of the PS4 controller: the DualShock 4.

Finally, 930,000 wallets and points cards were sold across the tracked European markets, which is pretty much the same as March 2020. PlayStation Top-Up cards remain at No.1. Nintendo Eshop Cards are at No.2, up 56% over the same period a year before.

Here are the EMEAA GSD charts for March 2021:

GSD March 2021 Top 20 Video Games (Digital + Physical)

Position Title
1 Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege (Ubisoft)
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 FIFA 21 (EA)
6 Monster Hunter Rise* (Capcom)
7 Mario Kart 8: Deluxe* (Nintendo)
8 Assassin's Creed Valhalla (Ubisoft)
9 Animal Crossing: New Horizons* (Nintendo)
10 NBA 2K21 (2K Games)
11 Middle-Earth: Shadow of War (Warner Bros)
12 Metro Exodus (Deep Silver)
13 Spider-Man: Miles Morales (Sony)
14 Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar)
15 The Crew 2 (Ubisoft)
16 Assassin's Creed Odyssey (Ubisoft)
17 Little Nightmares 2 (Bandai Namco)
18 Little Nightmares (Bandai Namco)
19 Assassin's Creed Origins (Ubisoft)
20 Minecraft Nintendo Switch Edition* (Mojang/Nintendo)

*Digital data not available

GSD March 2021 Top 10 Video Games (Digital)

Position Title
1 Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege (Ubisoft)
2 Grand Theft Auto 5 (Rockstar)
3 Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War (Activision Blizzard)
4 FIFA 21 (EA)
5 Middle-Earth: Shadow of War (Warner Bros)
6 Metro Exodus (Deep Silver)
7 The Crew 2 (Ubisoft)
8 NBA 2K21 (2K Games)
9 Assassin's Creed Odyssey (Ubisoft)
10 Little Nightmares (Bandai Namco)

GSD March 2021 Top 10 Video Games (Physical)

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

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, UK, Australia and New Zealand. Accessories sales cover France, Benelux, Spain, Italy, Nordics, UK, 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.

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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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