Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto series has produced the best selling game of the year in the UK once again, with San Andreas comfortably topping the full-year chart for 2004 as the market showed significant growth overall.
The fastest selling game of all time in the UK, Grand Theft Auto San Andreas sold over a million units in nine days and topped the 1.75 million unit mark by the end of the year, making it the best-selling game in the series to date.
However, the big winner of the year was Electronic Arts, which despite a rocky ride in critical terms at the end of the year still managed to get nine titles into the full-year top twenty, including FIFA 2005 at number two and Christmas number one Need for Speed Underground 2 at number three.
The full-year figures, released by UK publisher trade body ELSPA, show that the software market overall in the UK grew by some 6.6 per cent, which is solid if unspectacular growth by the standards of the industry's track record, and reached sales figures of UKP 1.34 billion.
Microsoft's Xbox achieved the biggest boost of all the formats in terms of software sales, which were up 37.9 per cent over last year - with flagship title Halo 2 coming in at number nine in the full-year chart, despite falling slightly short of the half million sales mark.
The PlayStation 2, however, saw the biggest growth in cash terms, with the leading console growing its software sales by 13 per cent and driving some UKP 640 million in revenue through retailers, continuing stellar growth for the platform which remains strong in Europe despite slowing down elsewhere in the world.
The full ranking for the year looked like this....
|1||GRAND THEFT AUTO: SAN ANDREAS||TAKE 2|
|2||FIFA 2005||ELECTRONIC ARTS|
|3||NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERGROUND 2||ELECTRONIC ARTS|
|4||THE SIMPSONS: HIT & RUN||VIVENDI UNIVERSAL|
|5||PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 4||KONAMI|
|6||SONIC HEROES||SEGA UK|
|8||NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERGROUND||ELECTRONIC ARTS|
|12||THE SIMS 2||ELECTRONIC ARTS|
|13||BURNOUT 3: TAKEDOWN||ELECTRONIC ARTS|
|14||FIFA 2004||ELECTRONIC ARTS|
|15||CALL OF DUTY: FINEST HOUR||ACTIVISION|
|16||HARRY POTTER - PRISONER OF AZKABAN||ELECTRONIC ARTS|
|17||THE SIMS: BUSTIN' OUT||ELECTRONIC ARTS|
|19||TOM CLANCY'S SPLINTER CELL: PANDORA||UBISOFT|
|20||LORD OF THE RINGS - RETURN OF THE KING||ELECTRONIC ARTS|
Source: Chart-Track / ELSPA