Games retail on fire as blockbuster Q4 heats up

James Batchelor
Games retail on fire as blockbuster Q4 heats up

Call of Duty triggered its customary retail surge, but the games that dared go up against it were also victorious.

Last week was the UK games market’s biggest week ever in terms of revenues, bringing in £120.8m. More than 3m games were sold. While Modern Warfare 3 accounted for most, GfK Chart-Track also heaped praise on Bethesda’s Skyrim.

“For the first time we had Call of Duty with another big new release,” games director Dorian Bloch told MCV. “They both helped achieve the record-breaking market figure of £121m.”

Bethesda’s European PR and marketing director Sarah Seaby added: “We’re delighted with Skyrim’s success. In the same week as the incredible launch of Call of Duty, we saw a huge amount of people queuing for the midnight opening.”

One unsung hero was Mind Candy’s DS title Moshlings Zoo, the first Moshi Monsters boxed game. It sold over 30,000 copies in its first weekend, took No.1 in the DS chart and No.7 in the All Formats Top 40.

“It’s fantastic to be seen in the same light as some amazing mainstream titles,” said senior brand marketing manager Andrew Matjaszek. 

And this sales surge isn’t about to stop. Assassin’s Creed: Revelations and Halo Anniversary were released earlier this week, while today (Friday, November 18th) sees the arrival of Saints Row, Need For Speed, Zelda, Mario, LEGO Harry Potter and Mario & Sonic.

“Of course, it remains to be seen whether the current crop of triple-A titles will turn the market round the corner,” Bloch said. “What I can say for sure is Q4 2011 is the most concentrated Q4 that we’ve ever seen. 

“The last thirteen weeks of 2011 will probably account for 50 per cent of the entire year in terms of games software by revenue, which has never happened before.”

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Tags: Retail , uk , video games , records , busy

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