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UK Charts: Physical game sales plunge 43%

Final Fantasy VII Remake tumbles to No.4

The sales of boxed games in the UK dropped by 43% week-on-week as the lockdown situation continues.

The boxed games market has seen a surge in sales over the previous four weeks, with 1.5 million games sold as a result of consumers buying up games to play during lockdown. Some of this has been driven by a sharp increase in console sales, with PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch all spiking in popularity, and many of these consoles were sold with software.

However, that initial surge is showing signs of abating, with just over 200,000 games sold in the UK last week, compared with more than 350,000 the week before.

Despite the drop, 200,000 is still ahead of how the market was performing before coronavirus restrictions were put in place (around 150,000 games were selling every week during February and early March). It's also worth noting that there were no new releases last week, plus there have been stock shortages of Nintendo Switch consoles.

Indeed, the stock shortages of Nintendo Switch can be seen in the performance of its games this week. Animal Crossing: New Horizons (No.2) is down 42% week-on-week, Mario Kart 8: Deluxe (No.7) is down 62%, and Luigi's Mansion 3 (No.9) is down 9%.

The one exception is Ring Fit Adventure. Nintendo's sold out fitness game was available briefly via GAME, Amazon and ShopTo, and as a result it increased 12% in sales week-on-week and rises to No.10 (a small quantity of stock also arrived the week before).

The best-selling game of the week was FIFA 20, which jumped from No.4 to No.1 despite a 25% drop in sales week-on-week.

Last week's big new release was Final Fantasy VII Remake, which suffered coronavirus-related distribution challenges and didn't sell as many boxed copies as you might expect from a major Final Fantasy launch. Unfortunately, the situation hasn't improved in its second week, with sales down 87% and the Square Enix title now sits at No.4.

The only new game in the charts is Cooking Mama: Cookstar, which actually launched the week before but didn't make the Top 40. The Switch game enters the charts at No.35.

Here is the GfK Top Ten for the week ending April 18th

Last Week This Week Title
4 1 FIFA 20
3 2 Animal Crossing: New Horizons
2 3 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
3 4 Final Fantasy 7: Remake
8 5 Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
9 6 Grand Theft Auto 5
5 7 Mario Kart 8: Deluxe
7 8 Resident Evil 3
16 9 Luigi's Mansion 3
10 25 Ring Fit Adventure
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Christopher Dring avatar

Christopher Dring

Head of Games B2B

Chris is a 17-year media veteran specialising in the business of video games. And, erm, Doctor Who